Most automotive websites are built like a dealership with no employees. Some signage, some deals/offers, but it’s basically a car lot full of vehicles with customers wandering around unchecked. Other than the obvious, there are three inherent flaws with this design. First, it assumes all people have the same wants, needs or questions. Second, it only addresses people in the purchase phase of the shopping funnel. Finally, the customer is completely anonymous and there isn’t anyone to lead them or sell them on the benefits and value the dealership provides.
When customers walk into your dealership, are you going to let them walk the lot without anyone to qualify their wants or needs? Would you neglect to explain all the benefits of your customer programs and amenities?
In order to maximize the traffic to your website, you must strive to create a conversion funnel that will quickly help consumers get from awareness to consideration and preference. Dropping traffic directly into inventory or moving them there without providing any support or a value proposition is a win-lose play.
You either have the car they want or you don’t. If you are lucky, it sets the stage for conversation completely centered on price. This is not a suggestion to abandon prices or payments – it’s far from it. It’s a recommendation that you support the deal with value. You are kidding yourself if you think that a site visitor isn’t evaluating the dealership before, during and after they have shopped the inventory.
When a customer lands on your site they know a lot about the vehicles, but they don’t know anything about you. All they have are stereotypes, generalizations and assumptions. Make sure you invest as much time selling your value as you do selling the car!
This is part of an ongoing series of insights by Gayle Rogers, Digital Director at Strong, about refining the Internet strategy at your dealership.