By: Sarah Buckner – Bayshore Solutions Account Manager
Bayshore Solutions attended the 14th Digital Dealer Conference in Orlando where leaders in the automotive industry shared their insights on how to be a successful, profitable auto dealership in the digital age. Below are seven current facts that auto dealers – and most businesses who market to consumers can learn from to help improve their online web presence, and ultimately increase sales.
- 84% of consumers are shopping online. This means your web presence is crucial! If you don’t already have a website where consumers can easily learn about the dealership, see specials and search inventory, then you are missing out! Use your website to provide consumers all the information they could need as they start researching their new car purchase, like new models features, leasing versus buying, financing options, etc.
- In 2007, shoppers visited an average of 6 dealerships before purchasing a car, in 2012, the average was only 1.6 dealerships. Instead of physically going from dealership to dealership at the start of the car buying process, consumers are now comparing dealerships online. This is even more evidence that you need a good web presence and how important it is to make an excellent first impression using your website as a digital showroom.
- The 2 highest consumer trust factor ratings are reviews from people they know, and consumer reviews posted on 3rd party review websites. Even nicely-designed, well-branded dealership websites ranked lower in consumer trust than 3rd party review sites. It’s important to encourage your customers to leave reviews on these sites.
- Only 2-3% of consumers are ready to buy any given product, at any given time. But don’t ignore the other 97% – they are your potential customers! When consumers are just browsing your site and not ready to purchase, this is your opportunity to show the dealership value proposition and to gain trust with the consumer so that when they are ready to buy, they will come back to your dealership.
- Only 20% of consumers buy the first vehicle they research. Consumers may start their research with a brand or model in mind, but only 20% of people actually end up purchasing the vehicle they initially started researching. A good online strategy includes reaching those consumers who aren’t even looking for your brand. Including content on your website comparing different models is a great way to show consumers why they might want to consider the brand you offer versus the competition.
- 84.5% of all online users are watching video, 30% of shoppers were prompted to start shopping after seeing a video ad, & 61% visited a dealership after watching an ad. Adding a video strategy to your online marketing strategy is a great way to get ahead of the competition right now. Add a variety of video content throughout the site to show off new models, virtual showroom tours, interviews with staff, customer testimonials, etc. Always be sure you include a strong call to action in the videos giving the consumer a way to contact the dealership.
- Only 2-3% of visitors will fill out a form on your website and that number is decreasing. The average dealership website form conversion rate is only 2-3%, meaning you are missing 97-98% of the visitors to your website if you’re not tracking anything but site forms. In order to accurately measure your online marketing efforts, you must track everything! Track visits to your most important pages, phone calls, chat, new followers on social media, video views, inventory searches, etc. Not everyone wants to give you all of their information out of the gate, so provide many different ways for your potential customers to contact you – and be sure to track it!
Bayshore Solutions has worked with many different car dealerships across the country to develop successful websites and implement comprehensive digital marketing strategies to help our auto dealer customers increase their sales. Contact us to learn how Bayshore Solutions can help grow your business.