Myth Busting Your Website Strategy - AutoSuccessOnline

Myth Busting Your Website Strategy

Here are the four most common myths that auto dealers believe and that are cause for their dealership’s greatest pain points.

There are a lot of practices that we constantly battle regarding dealership websites. For every sound marketing practice out there, there are several that have been disproven and debunked as complete myths.

Unfortunately, there are a number of auto dealers who continue to abide by these “rules” despite having been debunked. By continuing to believe these myths, many dealerships miss out on opportunities to engage with consumers who are looking for the most insight from you.

Here are the four most common myths that auto dealers believe and that are cause for their dealership’s greatest pain points:

Myth No. 1:  Use Lead Forms as Part of a Website Strategy
Static website forms don’t allow for two-way interaction between the dealership and the consumer. The information a consumer submits into a static form can do one of two things: go into a black hole, never to be seen or heard from again — or, it can go to a salesperson who will promptly badger the consumer with phone calls. Consumers genuinely don’t like being sold to when they’re in the research phase. They simply aren’t ready.

Trade appraisal tools and payment calculators are some of the best performing website tools around because they provide consumers with a highly personalized experience as well as valuable resources. Static forms can’t provide that. Of course, what’s particularly cool about interactive experiences, as opposed to static forms, is that they provide consumers with a place to start — especially if they’re overwhelmed and at a loss on where to begin the car shopping process.

Myth No. 2: Consumers Only Visit My Website When They’re in the “Buy” Stage
The second most common myth I’ve heard is that consumers only visit dealership websites when they’re in the “buy” stage. Most consumers who visit your dealership website aren’t yet in the “buy” stage, but rather, the “research” phase — where they’re basically in the middle of the funnel. According to the recent reports, 22 percent of consumers were at the beginning of the car-buying process, 55 percent were in the middle and 23 percent were at the end (when they were ready to buy).

Because consumers don’t want to interact with a salesperson while they figure out what they want, they’re going to sift through your dealership’s online inventory and leverage tools that help them make better decisions going forward. Think about it — Amazon and Google allow consumers to conduct research freely and easily. It’s pretty obvious why they’re successful.

I don’t know how often it actually happens, but many dealerships we’ve spoken to have consistently been under the impression that consumers on their website are there because they’re ready to visit a dealership and make a purchase. The key takeaway: If you don’t have anything on your website that can engage consumers to help them in the buying process, they’re going to visit another, more-helpful site that will.

Myth No. 3: Offering Prices on My Website Is Bad
A lot of times when we’re talking to dealerships, we hear about tools like the payment calculators and trade appraisal tools. Sometimes dealers say something like “Well, I don’t want to offer a value on my website. I don’t want to allow dealers or customers to calculate payments on my website.”

This idea began to come into fruition when dealers decided consumers should come to the dealership to get that information. Dealers didn’t want to share pricing or trade values online, not only for fear of competition, but because a dealer didn’t want to have to defend a different price when consumers arrived at the dealership. Essentially, many dealers want to hold a certain price point over their consumer’s heads.

The reality is that, no matter what the circumstances are, people are going to try to calculate payments, they’re going to evaluate their trade and they’re going to do all the research and fact finding on other dealership websites — as well as on third-party sites. Consumers desperately want control over the buying process, so they’re going to try to obtain information in the easiest way possible.  They can do this for every other item out there, and they’ve come to expect that it should be the same way when shopping for a vehicle. You need to provide pricing.

Myth No. 4: Visitor Lead Conversion is the Most Important Metric
The last website strategy myth that we need to break is that visitor lead conversion is the most important metric. Although it is an important metric in its own right, it isn’t the only important metric. In fact, you could very well refer to Visitor Lead Conversion as a
“vanity” — or “feel-good” — metric if you don’t understand the layers and why it’s a good metric.

Metrics that are arguably more important pertain to website visitors in the research phase of their shopping journey: time on site, average number of pages visited, bounce rate, etc. These key performance indicators provide insight into what content on your website is relevant to your visitors.

The majority of your visitors aren’t going to become a lead. Even the best converting website typically sees a 5 or 10 percent conversion. That means 90 percent of your website traffic isn’t becoming a lead. If you rely on “visitor lead conversion,” you’re using a metric that only really clues you in to 5 to 10 percent of your traffic. After all, most people are only converting 2 to 3 percent.

You May Also Like

Why Data Security Must Be a Priority in Today’s Automotive Retail Market

Dealers who gain a better understanding of data security and how data relates to industry trends will ultimately find themselves in a better position to achieve long-term goals.

By Aaron Baldwin, chief product officer at automotiveMastermind

In today's ever-evolving automotive retail environment, data security must be a top priority rather than an afterthought. This matter only grows in importance as dealers collect and store a growing amount of sensitive personal information for thousands of customers through their sales and marketing efforts.

The Digital Dilemma: How to Rethink Sales and Delivery to Drive a Successful Car Buying Future

By taking the right steps, traditional car dealers can still compete, win and flourish, even as digital sales become more prolific.

Revolutionizing Auto Service: How Digital Tools Are Transforming the Auto Dealership Landscape

Remote diagnostics, over-the-air updates, faster service appointments and less vehicle downtime all represent the emerging reality of remote automotive services.

147,348 Reasons Why Customer Experience & Dealership Loyalty Matter – The Power of a Point

That’s the annual average revenue increase a dealership can expect to realize by raising its customer satisfaction score by a single point.

In a Fickle Market, How Do We Continue Winning Customers for Life?

It is imperative to ask the right questions to find out what motivates your customers. Getting to know the customer means getting to know their needs and that benefits everyone. 

Other Posts

Alarming Number of Dealers Are Still Not Ready for This Year’s Safeguards Rule — Here’s What to Know

The ruling oversees how financial institutions protect consumer data, and dealerships must implement changes to protect their consumer data.

Before You Make a Video…

Here are a few tips for creating value proposition, service special or test-drive videos. With a little planning you can quickly produce high-quality videos for your dealership.

taking video of car with phone
How AI is Improving Customer Engagement Rates in Automotive

Why is AI the perfect strategic partner for dealerships? What methods does AI use and why does it integrate so well into dealerships?

artificial intelligence for dealerships
A 4-Step Plan to Reduce Declines Using Data

Auto dealers can sit back and wait for payment declines to mount, or they can use a data-driven approach to identify at-risk payers and implement interventions before things get beyond repair.