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The Planet Adds ecarlist to Customer Roster

February 02
17:36 2009

Web Hosting NewsHOUSTON – The Planet, the global leader in IT hosting, today announced the addition of ecarlist (www.ecarlist.com) to its dedicated hosting platform. Headquartered in Dallas, the company provides hundreds of automobile dealers in the United States and Canada with critical data for inventory management, pricing analytics, search engine optimization, marketing and Web site design.

According to J.D. Power & Associates, an industry research firm, approximately 75 percent of all car shoppers use the Internet when evaluating car purchases.

“Technology and the Internet have created a monumental shift in pairing buyers and sellers for automobile purchases,” said Len Critcher, Chief Executive Officer of ecarlist. “Dealers are facing new challenges to ensure their inventories are current, and their sites always up and running, particularly in today’s difficult environment. The services we provide enable them to take full control of their online marketing and be more competitive, backed by the critical data required to make strategic marketing decisions for their businesses. Our SaaS (Software as a Service) solution means customers count on us to have this information available around the clock, and that’s why we switched to The Planet. The company’s corporate stability and reputation, its reliability and scalability gave us the confidence to make the change.”

“We hear time and again from customers that they select The Planet for our world-class data centers and enterprise-quality network,” said Steve Kahan, vice president of marketing and product management for The Planet. “With the broadest complement of products and services in the industry, we offer customers the power to choose the precise solutions and services for their IT infrastructures.”

ecarlist – A Snapshot
Len Critcher spent the early years of his career in the advertising industry, counseling clients on the best methodologies for building visibility. From ad placements, video production, radio, television and online media, Critcher’s job for years has been based on knowing what works to make his clients successful.

Deciding to pursue a new path based on his own personal passion for cars, Critcher opened an online car dealership that focused exclusively on a high-end luxury car collection.

Out of necessity, and recognizing that emerging technologies would ultimately drive the business, Critcher began building software to support his thriving endeavor.

“When we started our online business, we never intended to build a software company,” says Critcher. “I think great ideas are often borne out of necessity, and that’s how we started ecarlist. Clients and even competitors would call to ask about our success and what we were doing differently. In truth, we were solving a problem to make our business more competitive and creating a software company.”

Today at ecarlist, he uses his marketing and dealership management experience to steer clients ahead of the market with new and emerging technologies. Critcher’s company powers hundreds of dealerships with four key categories of service:

Inventory Management: The SaaS solution allows dealers to manage and distribute inventory with the ecarlist system. Dealers can also include pricing, photography and specific descriptions, which can be distributed to other car-selling Web sites. In particular, uptime and reliability are critical since ecarlist is also an eBay Preferred Provider.

Dealer Analytics: The company tracks and monitors pricing across the entire country on a daily basis. Data on more than four million cars is pulled down each night so dealers can compare their inventories with competing dealerships. They’re able to search on a number of parameters including trim, mileage and proximity to the dealership. The data provides an accurate representation of any shifts and trends in the market.

Search & Media: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are foundational requirements for today’s online businesses. ecarlist plans and develops SEO and SEM directly for the dealer’s marketing program, making information easier to find when buyers are evaluating where to purchase a new vehicle.

Web Site Design: From large to mid-size franchise groups, to independent dealers, ecarlist provides customer Web site designs that enable dealers to seamlessly blend inventory management and analytics with core marketing functions.

“We provide every marketing function any dealer requires, along with the accompanying resources to support their business around the clock,” said Critcher. “If our site and our software are down, it means our customers are down. And we could be down permanently.

“When we decided to change hosting providers, we visited every company and saw first-hand the facilities they operate. We knew The Planet was the right choice. In fact, we’ve already experienced increased traffic, which we believe is a direct result of the quality of the network. The Planet provides us with the same commitment and service that we deliver to our customers, which they deserve.”

To hear first-hand about www.ecarlist.com, visit The Planet Web site and see a new video that features CEO Len Critcher: http://www.theplanet.com/videos.aspx?video-tabs=5.

About ecarlist
ecarlist, based in Dallas, is one of the fastest growing automotive software companies in the country. Designed in tandem with many of the industry’s largest Internet dealers and Franchise Internet Departments, the entirely web-based ecarlist software platform provides Internet Listing, Inventory/Lead Management, SEO/SEM, and Market Data Analytics to dealers looking to exploit the entire range of efficiencies possible from selling and marketing vehicles online. ecarlist houses a specialty automotive design division providing fully integrated optimized website design services to both franchise and independent dealerships seeking fluid and intuitive integration with ecarlist software. ecarlist is an eBay Motors Preferred Provider. For more information, go to www.ecarlist.com.

About The Planet
The Planet is the leading provider of On Demand IT Infrastructure solutions, hosting more than 25,000 small- and medium-size businesses and 14.5 million Web sites worldwide. Customers have the power to choose from the broadest range of hosting solutions in the industry, from dedicated servers, Alpha Professional Managed Dedicated Servers, Northstar Managed Hosting and data center colocation, all backed by 24x7x365 support. With the best choice of servers, software tools and world-class service, backed by state-of-the-art data centers and an enterprise-class network, The Planet turns IT into a powerful competitive advantage that enables customers to grow their businesses. For additional information, visit www.theplanet.com.

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