Top 5 Reasons Car Buyers Loathe Your Online Experience

By: Kristy Esch

Known for her many years of writing long and short form articles for the multifamily industry. Her amazing writing continues to shine in other industries.

It’s no secret: consumers dislike the car buying process. Don’t lose a sales lead because your auto dealership website experience is dreadful. Avoid these online car dealership mistakes.


“Buying a car is literally the first thing on my list of things I hate to do,” says Joi Nichelle, who recently bought a 2016 Chevy Malibu from a dealership. “The process currently really sucks.”


Other car buyers we interviewed echoed Nichelle’s frustration, citing how complicated and time consuming purchasing a vehicle can be for the average consumer. All of the car buyers started the process by researching online, which means you’re only a few clicks away from making a good first impression with a potential customer.


Don’t give car buyers a reason to dislike your dealership website. Avoid these five common mistakes to keep consumers engaged and coming back for more.


Your Dealership Website Asks Car Buyers for Information Without Returning the Favor


Static lead forms tend to result in dead ends, especially when you ask online visitors for information and send only a generic “thank you for your message” reply in return.


Through our research at PERQ, we’ve discovered consumers who fill out a static lead form leave a website within 45 seconds. Plus, most car buyers we talked to say they’re leery of filling out static forms for fear of being harassed by the dealership.


Interactive engagement software subtly captures a website visitor’s information without blatantly asking for a bunch of information all at once. Interactive web engagement forms result in 18 percent click-to-lead results — compared to 6 percent with static lead forms.


Dealerships can reward website visitors who engage with their website by providing interactive tools like trade-in assessments and calculators, helpful quizzes, and scratch-off coupon deals. At the same time, auto dealers capture the detailed information consumers provide as they engage with the tools.


Your Dealership Website Visitors Get Irrelevant Results


Car buyers report spending weeks or even months researching vehicles online before ever stepping onto a dealer’s lot. Does your current website force online visitors to sift through pages of irrelevant search results and content? If so, it may be time to simplify to keep a potential buyer’s interest.


Thanks to sites like Amazon and Google, online shoppers now expect a personalized experience when browsing the web. These sites turn visitors into buyers by remembering customers and their shopping preferences each time they visit.


A car shopper doesn’t want to fill out a static contact form on a car dealership’s site, only to fill out another form with the same information when they return to the website.


By collecting information through engagement automotive software, dealership websites can remember each visitor and use the data they provide to personalize their online experience, even remembering the vehicles they were last looking at when they visited your website and whether they have a trade-in vehicle.


PERQ delivers dealerships with five times the consumer profile data than what’s collected through a standard auto lead, such as how soon a visitor is ready to buy and if they prefer to be contacted by email, phone or text. Car sales teams can then use that captured data for a more targeted sales approach when the consumer visits the showroom in person or returns to the website.


You Fail to Keep Vehicle Inventory and Information Online Updated


Outdated website information really frustrates consumers. Don’t let someone fall in love with a car on your lot, only to find out it’s not available when they visit the showroom for a test drive.


Dealers must work to keep websites fresh and updated in order to keep up with consumers’ high expectations in the online shopping realm. Invest in interactive software that collects and measures overall website metrics and tracks converted leads so the dealership better understands the value of regularly improving and updating website content.


TMI: You Overload the Dealership Website With Information


Most car buyers report feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of vehicle information available online and on dealership websites, which tend to be cluttered and busy.


Dealers can make the car buying journey less painful by providing a limited amount of interactive CTAs that accurately reflect what the consumer is searching for, while assisting them down the sales funnel, as well as surfacing tools that give visitors helpful information all in one place.


Show the right person the right information at the right time — not all at once — in order to convert website visits into showroom sales.




Ultimately, car buyers want the process of finding the perfect car to be easier, take less time and be more transparent. All of the above mistakes cost consumers valuable research time.


When shopping for a car, drivers not only need to narrow down a make, model and desired amenities, they also must pick a dealership or two to visit for a test drive and figure out financing. It’s exhausting. Be a car buyer’s hero with a personalized approach and you’ll win their loyalty.