Auto Dealer Solutions: 4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of PERQ Web Engagement

For almost all of our participating dealers, PERQ Web Engagement has proven to be exceptionally helpful at increasing the number of qualified leads and conversions dealerships see. While the software, all by itself, accounts for many these leads and conversions, honing your strategy as well as the overall customer experience can play an instrumental role in further converting those leads into sales.

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Improving Online Engagement to Boost Auto Sales

Improving Online Engagement to Boost Auto Sales

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521224734716{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Your website should engage auto buyers and keep them interested at every turn. It shouldn’t just be about page visits and site clicks. Before we can improve engagement, we first have to understand how to define it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”parallax” header_style=”light” parallax_content_width=”full_width” text_align=”center” full_screen_section_height=”no” background_image=”28348″ section_height=”200″ parallax_speed=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1521230775859{background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}”][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”55px”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1523224185573{padding-right: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;}”]

IMPROVING ONLINE ENGAGEMENT TO BOOST AUTO SALES

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521226682387{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s no secret that your auto sales site is more effective when it encourages consumers to take action. Customers should be engaging with a site that shifts to meet them at each point in the purchasing funnel. That being said, how can your dealership create a more engaging environment online?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237406917{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1523224321686{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Defining Online Engagement

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Boosting sales isn’t as simple as increasing web traffic. A consumer could visit your site once and never return. In this case, very little is learned about the consumer — if anything at all.

 

Brian Pasch, the founder of auto marketing titans PCG Companies explains, “If someone fills out a trade-in process or a finance process, these are very highly engaged people compared to someone who just visits a car page and does nothing. Engagement is not about time on site or page views; it’s about what specific actions somebody is doing on those pages.”

 

As opposed to mere interactions or page visits, engagement is a much more qualitative term. The word itself elicits an image of an inspired consumer that is captivated by your tools and company — someone who is spending quality time with your products. It’s an admirable goal.

 

In fact, a recent study showed that for B2C content creators, 73% said that creating engaging content was their top priority. That said, considering how to improve it is much a much more nuanced process than increasing your ad spend or visitors to your website. Your site needs to be creating quality interactions with customers so that they continue to return to and use your online tools.

 

“Every time a consumer comes back to the website, it is absolutely important for them to find the value in it,” says Pasch.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1521237198580{padding-top: 15px !important;}”][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237414253{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1523224688324{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Measuring Online Engagement

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Though its definition may be a bit more subjective than site visits, we can still view engagement as a metric that can increase or decrease by a specific amount. And though it may seem daunting to try and assign a numeric value, the advent of new analytic tools means that quality engagement can indeed be calculated. A study performed by Statisa found that digital publishers value both engaged time, comments, and shares more than views or page visits.

 

For an industry veteran like Pasch, measuring something as elusive as engagement is something at the forefront of his mind. “When I think of engagement, I think of measuring the specific clicks and activities and weighting certain activities higher,” he says. With this in mind, we can see that quantifying engagement means turning to new forms of analysis.

 

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One way that PCG is achieving this lofty goal is with the use of multi-touch attribution. This much buzzed-about term is a new way of determining how a consumer’s many touches with a brand contribute to a lead generated or a sale closed. Pasch elaborates that, as opposed to multi-touch attribution, the auto world’s current form of measuring engagement is still stuck in the rut of last-click attribution.

 

“Most websites and CRM handoffs are assuming that any time a lead is completed, it’s an organic website lead,” he says. “It’s not saying it came from Facebook or that it came from AdWords or some other referral. We need to, as an industry, get better and move away from last-click attribution. Any platform that could keep track of the sources that a consumer came to and when a lead is submitted would be much more eye-opening for seeing what marketing channels are working.”

 

Pasch is also excited about multi-touch attribution potential for analysis of, not just online marketing, but all advertising materials. Even resources like radio, television, and print ads can be included in the multi-touch umbrella, thanks to groundbreaking platforms and tools designed to take in these all into account.

 

“There are ecosystems that are being built to track offsite activity as well, so that in the future, dealers can see not just the sources that touched a consumer, but what brought them back to the site to engage a second, third, even fourth time,” he says. “Maybe they saw a TV advertisement and it reminded them of your site, or they first discovered your dealership thanks to a newspaper advertisement. That kind of off-site attribution merging with onsite attribution is what we’ll see in 2018.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237431822{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1523224981376{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Improving Engagement

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1523225074337{padding-top: 25px !important;}”]With a clearer understanding of how to define and measure engagement, the focus can now turn to improving the dealer-consumer relationship. Multi-touch attribution is a fantastic way to understand what avenues of advertising and marketing work best. Of course, once consumers have arrived at your website, interactive tools are your best bet for initiating a deeper connection.

 

“Many dealership website pages treat consumers generally the same way every time,” Pasch  says. “There is some minimal personalization available, but the calls-to-action and buttons are not customized.

 

engage auto buyers - image 3If someone already did a trade-in and they come back to the site, they’re going to say, ‘What? I already did this?’ So, the dealers are inadvertently wasting space on call to action banners or buttons and missing an opportunity to engage them for the next step.”

 

Customization is generally a product of smart calls-to-action, in which the user’s information is saved for future visits. Once on your site, they can find quality engagement with intuitive, interactive tools that not only help your dealership learn about their needs, but help them understand what vehicle or payment options are right for them.

 

Examples of highly engaging interactive tools would be trade-in value assessments, payment calculators (customized to income/preference info), or market price comparison shopping. Any one of these might be just what you need to appeal to even the most finicky online shopper.

 

Online interactions and engagement are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are two, separate metrics. The better the interactions are between consumers and your website – whether it be their first or fifth visit – the more they’ll be encouraged to come back and, hopefully, come in to check out a vehicle.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Additional Auto Resources

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The #1 Auto Buyer Dealerships Overlook (Hint: It’s Researchers)

The #1 Auto Buyer Dealerships Overlook (Hint: It’s Researchers)

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521224734716{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]As we’ve mentioned time and time again, the car buying process isn’t just about appealing to consumers who are ready to buy. Quite the contrary! A huge number of prospective customers are still in the research phase when they’re visiting your website. Don’t miss out on engaging these prospects early in the shopping journey.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”parallax” header_style=”light” parallax_content_width=”full_width” text_align=”center” full_screen_section_height=”no” background_image=”28348″ section_height=”200″ parallax_speed=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1521230775859{background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}”][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”55px”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522684246341{padding-right: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;}”]

THE #1 AUTO BUYER DEALERSHIPS OVERLOOK (HINT: IT’S RESEARCHERS)

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521226682387{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]When building a consumer purchasing funnel for an auto dealership, it’s only natural to focus on appealing to the customers ready to buy a car right now. After all, that’s who is usually walking onto the lot, right?

 

However, like everything else, the car buying process has been disrupted by the Internet. PERQ research shows 76% of consumers browsing auto dealer websites are in the discovery or research phases of the car buying journey. That means pressuring them“buy now” may send them away.

 

By optimizing your website to meet those interested auto buyers where they are, you can radically increase your number of potential leads and bottom line sales over time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237414253{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522684318028{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Out With the Old, In With the New

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]When it comes to auto sales, the overall goal of any marketing tactic is to get customers through your doors for a test drive and purchase. However, online marketing now gives auto dealership marketing directors the opportunity to guide people to the lot over time. Prior to the rise of the web, auto dealers had to rely on blanket marketing in the form of print, radio, and TV spots highlighting deals and financing options. Ultimately, a shopper had to come to the lot to learn more about potential vehicles.

 

Nowadays, shoppers use the Internet to judge a car from the comfort of their own home. Turning your website into a tool to self-educate is one way to engage these consumers early on in their shopping journey.

 

While the industry is still working to capitalize on these types of opportunities, some suggest that it’s not happening fast enough. Dave Hazel of Larry H. Miller Super Ford Salt Lake City recently explained how the online sales tactics of some dealers may be stuck in the past.

 

“The car industry is really old school. They want to get shoppers down to the dealership and do the deal there,” Hazel says. “By the time they come to your door, they are far down in the funnel. But people can jump on a website at any phase. Some might be a year out, others might be just as close to buying as someone coming for a test drive.”

 

Hazel also went on to explain that by fixating on consumers who were further down in the sales funnel, dealers were likely missing out on this diverse market.

 

“What a lot of dealerships don’t do and what we are trying to do is focus on every stage of customer. Lots are only focused on the ‘now’ business not what they could be growing now for a few months or even a year out by educating and engaging with online shoppers earlier on in their buying lifecycle.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1521237198580{padding-top: 15px !important;}”][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237406917{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522684502474{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Engagement Without Estrangement

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]It’s true that the more interactive tools you can offer visitors, the better chance you have of converting those interested parties into sales. However, if those tools are poorly designed, too aggressive, or even incorrectly matched with customers on the site, they become far less useful.

 

Consumers don’t just visit your site when they’re ready to buy — so calls-to-action that are directed towards those at the bottom of the funnel may drive those consumers away.

 

Your site will benefit best from smart CTAs that automatically personalize to each user; especially to those in the research portions of the funnel. Chris Thomas of Krieger Ford explained that while it can be tricky to optimize your site to meet the right customers, doing so is ultimately worth it.

 

“It’s something we constantly play with, trying to figure out which experiences work best in each part of the funnel,” Thomas says. “If we have a used car shopper checking us out, and it’s their second or third time on the site, each of those experiences or situations need to offer up different calls to action. For instance, someone who’s higher in the funnel will react better to a lighter touch, in which they can choose to request more information.”

 

Dave Hazel had similar thoughts, and discussed how a site built to serve only those in the buying portion of the funnel could ultimately drive away potential leads.

 

“One thing I really don’t like are call-to-actions that say, ‘please call.’” Hazel says. “People are online because they don’t want to call and just want to do research. Someone might just be sending a message to see if a car has certain features and end up getting spammed with calls and emails when they don’t want to buy yet. In that case, the dealership has burned that lead.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237431822{padding-top: 15px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522684938684{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Tools and Features

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522684950451{padding-top: 25px !important;}”]Given what was said by Chris Thomas & Dave Hazel, how can you be sure which tools offer the best experience to dealership consumers in the research and discovery phases? In order to get more leads from existing site traffic and increase the lead to close rates with more lead data, both Hazel and Thomas partnered with PERQ to take advantage of its hundreds of smart CTAs and interactive tools; which are all centered around the core mission of making dealership websites interactive, connected, and smart. Some tools that PERQ offers for those customers higher in the funnel are:

 

  •         Model Match Assessment
  •         Trade-In Value Estimate
  •         Welcome Guide
  •         Special Offers to Unlock
  •         Incentive Qualifiers
  •         Lease and Financing Calculators

 

Along with being interactive and connective, these tools are also referred to as “smart” because they recognize previous customers and store that information using site cookies. Chris Thomas explained that this can cut back on the perception of pushy sales tactics by allowing customers to continue engaging with your website without feeling locked into a lead trap.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237423302{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_row_inner row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” css_animation=”” css=”.vc_custom_1521232210156{padding-top: 25px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][blockquote text=”It’s about getting the right message to right customer at the right time.” show_quote_icon=”yes” text_color=”#2c2c2c” quote_icon_color=”#871d5a” width=”90″ border_color=”#871d5a”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522685057417{padding-left: 25px !important;}”]“Thanks to PERQ, we do have smart site, so we can get info once without ever having to ask again,” he said. “We’re not driving anyone away, and we still have the opportunity to contact the customers if they want us to.”

 

Thomas added, “It’s about getting the right message to right customer at the right time.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522685075188{padding-top: 25px !important;}”]Car buying doesn’t just happen at the dealership anymore. Customers are increasingly interested in performing research and gaining insight before ever setting foot on a car lot. That means your site can’t just serve those ready to buy, but should engage with customers from all portions of the sales funnel.

 

By implementing PERQ’s interactive and smart tools, your dealership can increase site traffic, capture more leads, and better your sales all without any major site overhaul or redesign.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Additional Auto Resources

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How PERQ is Leading the Way to Connecting Consumers with Brands

How PERQ is Leading the Way to Connecting Consumers with Brands

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521224734716{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]Since the founding of PERQ in 2001, we have seen many changes in the landscape of consumer engagement. The idea of online shopping was just starting. It was certainly not a given that one day it would dominate how consumers buy. Fast forward to today, and consumers average 5 hours a WEEK shopping online. In fact, our first reaction anytime we want to buy anything is to get online and research.  If we are happy with our research, then we buy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css=”.vc_custom_1521237423302{padding-top: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;}” z_index=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]This ability for the consumer to research and educate themselves has led to a significant change in the consumers’ expectations when it comes to engaging with brands. Mainly, the consumer expects to be in control of the sales process.  More specifically, they don’t want to talk to a salesperson and certainly don’t want to get ‘sold.’

 

Allow Consumers to Guide Their Own Shopping Process

 

Consumers expect the tools on a brand’s website to make it simple for them to narrow down their choices from the seemingly unlimited options available. In Amazon speak, this is the ‘you may also be interested in’.

 

Consumers shop on their own time, in the comfort of their home, and in a buying journey that is very much specific to them. The tools used to navigate this online buying process are called ‘guided shopping’. This technology makes the research of seemingly endless options simple while continuing to personalize the options and narrow down the choices until the consumer has landed on what they want.  They have sold themselves.

 

At PERQ, our guided shopping software is built for a very specific niche of businesses who sell high priced goods, have consumers who are spending more time researching and educating themselves online, yet still, want to buy face-to-face.

 

These types of businesses include automotive, furniture, and multi-family. These are big consumers purchases where the consumer wants to research and educated themselves in the comfort of their home, but when it comes time to ‘buy’ they want to touch and feel the product to confirm and validate the opinion they developed online.

 

Engage Consumers so They Feel Like They’re in Control

 

The research and education piece is where PERQ comes into play. Smart, Connected, and Interactive Experiences engage consumers regardless of where they are in the buyer’s funnel.  These experiences include assessments to help narrow down choices, calculators to determine payments, credit applications to ensure approval, and appointment schedulers to finalize the sale.

 

Our technology brings the business’s website up to the expectations consumers have today when it comes to shopping thanks to likes of the big retail brands like Google and Amazon.

 

It turns your website into your best salesperson by delivering great recommendations based on the consumer’s desires. But, it very much leaves the consumer in control. It takes all that wonderful product a brand has and delivers the right request by asking questions to the consumer like: Should I buy new or used vehicle? What type sofa is right for me? What amenities are close to this new apartment?  Those answers deliver the consumer to the product page on your website using one very specific use case.

 

But beyond the tools, PERQ’s technology also takes care of some of the common-sense things that we all take for granted when shopping on a big retailer’s site:

 

  • The site remembers me if I leave and come back.
  • The site never asks me to enter the same information twice.
  • The site personalizes to me the more I engage with it and delivers different calls to actions based on my behavior.

 

This is all done without a website overhaul or changes to your existing sales process.  Again, we take your great website, full of wonderful content and product, and turn it into your best salesperson.

 

Over the past year alone, we have had 1.5 million consumers engage with businesses through our technology, and the results are fantastic.  We know because we take the consumers engaging on your site and match it with your sold data.  This gives you unprecedented insight into where your website traffic is coming from, what consumers are shopping for on your website, and last but not least, the ROI of your website.

 

Consumers aren’t going back. Connecting the online world with brick and mortar stores is a must in today’s retail environment. Make sure you educate and see for yourself how guided shopping technology works.  Click here to schedule a demo.

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