Segmenting Auto Leads: When to Contact Now, Nurture or Equity Mine

Segmenting Auto Leads: When to Contact Now, Nurture or Equity Mine

[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]Not every person who visits your auto dealership website is ready to buy, even if they share their contact information in a static lead form. Know when a helpful, less-aggressive approach works better and decide how segmenting auto leads based on a customer’s shopping behavior can help your dealership.

 

Some car salesmen and auto dealerships get a bad wrap for being too pushy about making a sale, especially when a customer simply fills out an online form on a dealer’s website to request more information and their phone suddenly blows up.

 

What those curious online consumers don’t know is that many auto dealerships treat every auto lead (including requests for information) as “ready to purchase” instead of segmenting auto leads, because they have little to no information about the customer’s shopping journey or where they might be in the process.

 

“When you submit the request, whether you’re just casually shopping or if you’re aggressively ready to buy, the dealer doesn’t have that transparency,” says David Kain, an automotive internet marketing professional and president of Kain Automotive in Lexington, Kentucky. “Most dealers are handling those leads blind, so they present everybody as ready to buy right away.”

 

When an auto dealership follows up with every online customer the same way, it inadvertently ends up sending away two-thirds of its potential sales leads to third-party websites or other sites that offer research tools for consumers. Collect better leads by adding some of those helpful tools on your own dealership website, then decide how to segment auto leads and respond appropriately to convert more leads to sales.

 

Segmenting Auto Leads who are Ready to Buy

 

Auto dealerships typically define potential customers as falling into one of two buying-stage funnels: low funnel, or people who know which vehicle they want and it’s just a matter of where they prefer to buy it; and mid-funnel customers, who just began searching online and don’t know which vehicle they want.

 

Auto marketing professional Frank Lopes advises his auto clients to focus on the low-funnel customers first because those online visitors are more likely to make a decision and convert to a sale. Then an auto dealer should focus on the mid-funnel buyers, providing helpful information about its products to move those customers closer to a purchase.

 

“No matter what stage of the buying journey they’re in, it’s all about communicating with the customer on the customer’s terms,” says Lopes, vice president of FB Digital and Forrest & Blake Marketing & Advertising in New Jersey. “What you want to do is always try to convert them to the next level of engagement. You always want to make the engagement as personal as possible.”

 

“You always want to make the engagement as personal as possible.”

 

Kain also teaches his auto clients to focus on genuine interactions, remembering to treat auto buyers as human beings instead of red meat. “I think the first thing to do is recognize they are living, breathing human beings. The nicer you are and the more respectful you are, the better your opportunity is to maintain an ongoing relationship,” Kain says.

segmenting auto leads

 

When to Nurture an Auto Lead

 

Nurturing auto leads takes a bit more finesse and work by the auto dealer to come across as helpful to the customer, instead of the stereotypical pushy car salesman. “There is a scumbag effect, or scumbag syndrome, in the automotive space. Every dealer is a scumbag right out of the gate,” Lopes says. “Do everything you possibly can to eliminate the scumbag syndrome by being of service.”

 

One way to do that, Lopes says, is to build website lead forms upside down. As opposed to auto dealerships that force customers to share personal contact information first, Lopes’ lead forms start by asking the customer to enter any questions they have regarding a vehicle search. “How can I help you? How can I be of service to you?” he explains. “If we’re trying to build a ‘why buy?’ message, we need to show we’re here to help, we’re low pressure. The lead form should go hand-in-hand with that.”

 

The key to making the right sales approach lies in knowing the customer’s intentions, which often dictates whether the auto dealer responds aggressively to those ready to buy now or more gently with helpful information, Kain says. The current environment in the automotive industry pushes sales teams to pounce on potential customers immediately to get them to visit the dealership.

 

“Even if the customer is asking about equipment, availability or colors, it’s all really, ‘OK, yeah, yeah, we’ll get to that, but when can you come in?’” Kain says. “That’s so frustrating to hear, when at the end of the day if they were just really nice … If they would just say, ‘I would love to help you buy a car when you’re ready,’ a lot of people would say, ‘Hey, that’s exactly what I’m looking for — help!’”

 

Help is exactly what most online customers seek when they search an auto dealership’s website, Lopes says, adding that most people would rather go to the dentist and get a hole drilled inside their mouth than go through the hassle of buying a new car. “Nobody is going to a dealership’s website for fun,” he says. “There’s no free food, no beer, no pretty girls, no handsome guys, no cat videos, no pony rides, no carnival games … there’s nothing there besides cars. If you give customers more control over the interaction, they’ll be less hesitant or less resistant to actually engage.”

 

“Nobody is going to a dealership’s website for fun. There’s no free food, no beer, no pretty girls, no handsome guys, no cat videos, no pony rides, no carnival games … there’s nothing there besides cars.”

 

When to Equity Mine Auto Leads

 

To equity mine an auto lead, the dealership must maintain a detailed database of all potential car buyers and know who might be in an equity position, or when their trade-in vehicle is worth more than they owe on it. Then, the salesperson can approach that customer with incentives or deals to upgrade to a new car using that equity.

 

Another great way to equity mine, Lopes says, is to approach a customer who comes in for service on their vehicle and show them an upgrade offer that includes no cost for repairing their existing vehicle, if they buy a new one. “The chances of selling a car increase … if the customer is physically at the dealership,” he says.[/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_video link=”https://vimeo.com/297746053″][/vc_column][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/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]

What’s the Magic Formula for Converting Sales?

 

All car leads are not the same, so to be successful auto dealers must develop a strategy to gain more quality leads. Using the detailed consumer data insights provided by PERQ’s Online Guided Shopping Solution, auto dealers can segment those leads to create customized follow-up messages to prospects with the right message at the right time.

 

Lopes says there are three pain points in any car deal: 1) vehicle availability 2) financing and 3) trade. Selection is a luck of the draw, financing depends on the customer’s credit history, and a vehicle’s trade value is fairly easily to determine. But having that information about a customer before they even come into the dealership, along with other important details gained through interactive website quizzes, such as how the vehicle might be used and when they intend to buy, makes a difference when segmenting auto leads and following up.

 

It builds rapport and trust with a consumer, and saves everyone some time. You’re helping them do research and making the buying process easier by gathering information as they move along the sales funnel.

 

“I think it’s extremely important that the dealer puts out a message that conveys they are not a typical car dealer,” Lopes says. “This transaction is going to be easy and it’s going to be transparent. Everybody is going to be upfront, and there won’t be any hidden games and no bait and switch.”

 

Kain thinks the magic formula to selling more cars includes speed, transparency and kindness. “If you are nice and you give them the information they’re looking for, people are so grateful that you’re not like every other car salesperson that they’ll say yes,” he says. “I’d like to encourage more sales people to behave the way they would want to be treated.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Getting into the Minds of Today’s Car Buyers

[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]Today’s car buyers prefer a hands-off sales approach when shopping for a new car, but they still want a good trade-in value and the best price. Deliver the incentives they seek and eliminate the need for upfront human interaction by allowing consumers to interact with your auto dealership through technology.

 

The stereotypical pushy car salesman at your local auto dealership is becoming a thing of the past as auto dealers change the way they sell cars to better respond to car buyers who are more informed and who demand a more personalized and hands-off approach.

 

“The majority of customers really don’t want to pick up phones and talk to dealers, or anyone in the sales process, anymore,” says Peyman Rashid, CEO of Fishers Imports in Fishers, Indiana. “They really want to hash everything out over the internet.

 

“Just a second ago, I had a guy who wants us to buy his car and sell him a car, and he wants us to have it delivered to Martinsville, and he doesn’t even want to come in,” he adds.

 

Car Buyers Prefer Online Research

 

Customers’ preference for a hands-off approach to car buying shines clear in PERQ’s recent Annual Car Buyer Insights Report, with an overwhelming 68% preferring contact by email, followed by text (25%) and phone (7%). Trade-in value (55%) and vehicle price (30%) remain the top two incentives that car buyers are most interested in.

 

It’s not like the old days, where a customer drives by a dealership, looks at 20 cars and then decides to buy one, Rashid says. Today’s customers conduct research online before ever stepping into an auto dealership, and if they find your dealership’s vehicles are overpriced, they quickly lose interest.

 

“When customers are coming here, 90 percent of the time they know exactly what they want and they know exactly what they want to pay,” Rashid says. “As long as we have those facts and put them together, we can sell a car a really fast.”

 

Fishers Imports implemented PERQ’s online guided shopping solution as an interactive feature on its website about a year ago and it’s changed the way the auto dealer conducts business by eliminating the need for upfront human interaction, Rashid says. “It allows you to interact with us through technology, giving you instant and accurate information without a human having to look it up and maybe not providing the right information,” he says.

 

PERQ’s analysis of car buyer insights also serves as a good refresher for Fishers Imports to pay attention to what’s working and really focus on those areas, he says. “We are so involved in our business every day, and there are times that we get carried away and lose our direction. PERQ shows us what’s working,” Rashid says, noting they can readjust their strategy as needed because data helps to inform them along the way.

 

The Human Touch Still Important When Buying a Car

 

With only a couple of months of data from the PERQ software on his company’s website, Bill Erbstoesser, e-Commerce Director at Sheboygan Auto in Wisconsin, says he’s pleased with the direction of the upgraded website, but he remains unconvinced that a majority of customers will start buying cars without visiting a dealership in person.

 

“I think the human touch in this whole thing still has a whole lot of relevance, especially when something goes south,” Erbstoesser says. “If everything is hunky dory, the customer gets a nice car and they don’t have any troubles with it, they don’t need the human being. But get into some difficulties, or some questions that were not answered properly or misconstrued through emails … can you really sell that unseen?”

 

Erbstoesser says while visiting a website is different than a showroom, it’s still as equally as important and must deliver what the customer is looking for. “The bottom line is you want to give them a great shopping experience, just like they would get if they were in here physically.”

 

While Sheboygan Auto has sold and shipped vehicles out of state, overseas, and even to Canada, Erbstoesser says a completely digital transaction works best when trade-ins are not part of the equation. “That isn’t as easy as it sounds,” he says. “If you’re just buying a new car from a dealership, that’s fine. You throw a trade in there, and you’ve got a whole other ball game.”

 

Car Buyers Value Trade-In and Price Incentives

 

Getting a good trade-in value or the best price on a new car encourages car buyers to move down the sales funnel more than any other incentive or special offer, according to the Insights Report.

 

The PERQ trade-in valuation module is popular with clients at Fishers Imports, Rashid says. “It’s a spot that every customer is worried about. What do they have? What is it worth?” he says. “PERQ allows the customer to do all of that [research] within our website. It basically minimizes customers leaving our site. They can get KBB [Kelley Blue Book] trade-in value, shop and know that the price is fair.

 

“We can really curb our business toward what their needs are,” Rashid says. “We are approaching the customer in a really educated manner and not starting from ground zero.”

 

Erbstoesser also likes that he can engage consumers on his website by asking them questions. For trade-in offers, however, he still prefers to make a real offer in person to avoid making a lowball estimate online and potentially losing the customer.

 

Consumers still want a good deal when they’re on your website. Offering an incentive, such as a coupon for an extra $100 toward a trade-in vehicle or other incentives further entices consumers to visit the showroom and make the purchase.

 

An Informed Car Buyer Makes a Better Buyer

 

The Car Buyer Insights report also shows an uptick in car buyers who aren’t quite ready to buy. 77% of shoppers felt like they were in the beginning or middle stages of the car buying process, while 68% said they were still browsing and doing general research.

 

Informed consumers definitely make better customers, Rashid says, adding that he’s sold cars to customers who make an instant decision to buy, but they often have second thoughts and buyer’s remorse after the fact.

 

“We’d much rather have a customer who is 100 percent educated about a car before they buy a car,” he says. “If a customer is not 100 percent educated about that car, we try to educate them, so when they buy it they feel good about it.”

 

Erbstoesser says he often lets existing customers speak for Sheboygan Auto through video testimonials that he emails to new leads. Through the PERQ leads, he’s now able to pull out the specific needs and wants of the customer and point them down the right sales funnel.

 

“The better we know the customer through their process, the better we can help them to get to where they want to be,” Erbstoesser says. “They’re definitely more informed — they know what they want.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Importance of Multi-Touch Attribution for 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”][vc_column][vc_column_text]When something is attributed, that means it’s assigned to an obvious cause or source. Quotes are attributed to their speakers, for example. But it can be a lot harder to attribute someone’s decision to come to your car lot for a test drive to a certain piece of marketing or web feature.

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Why Dealers Should Stop Relying Only on Auto Trade-In Tools

Why Dealers Should Stop Relying Only on Auto Trade-In Tools

[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]Trade-in tools are great for nudging customers down the sales funnel. But when dealers try to do too much with them, they can actually become a detraction from converting leads to drivers.


Check any car dealer’s website, and you’re likely to find an aut0 trade-in tool. Recent studies suggest 1 in 3 vehicle purchases are at least partially paid for with the trade-in of a used car, so customers looking for a new car definitely benefit from them.[/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_1522688321076{padding-right: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;}”]

WHY DEALERS SHOULD STOP RELYING ONLY ON AUTO TRADE-IN TOOLS

[/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]Dealerships use trade-in value estimator tools on their websites to spike interest in customers at the top middle and bottom of the sales funnel, and can even motivate online window-shoppers to come through your dealership doors to get behind the wheel.

 

These trade value tools are good at generating new leads, however, when it comes to interactive web features, they’re often the only auto trade-in tools on an auto dealership’s website to inspire engagement from shoppers.

 

Auto dealerships today must view trade-in tools as part of a larger web experience designed to put customers at ease and help to lead them into your showroom. To get a better idea of why and how to pull this off, we talked to Dave Hazel of Larry H. Miller Ford in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Chris Thomas of Krieger Ford in Columbus, Ohio.[/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_1522688383868{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Some Trade Tools Ask Too Much

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Trade-in tools work by collecting information about the shopper’s current vehicle and return an estimate of the trade-in value to give consumers a better idea of their actual final price for a car. But, like a talented sales professional knows, it’s often best to keep it simple.

 

Piling on unnecessary information — or asking for lots of details that aren’t necessary to give the trade estimate — can overwhelm the customer or scare them off completely.

 

Dave Hazel explains that this may be due to misconceptions about auto sales professionals or even bad experiences the shopper had at a dealership previously. But, Hazel says to avoid coming off as being dishonest or overzealous,  keep a code of truthfulness.

 

“I’m a firm believer in truth, honesty, and transparency, and if you convey that in your trade tool, it’s effective,” he said. “But when you start being dishonest, it’s a problem. Millennials especially value honesty, and the tools online must represent who you are as a dealership.”[/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_1522688465782{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Some Trade Tools Set False Expectations

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Another reason an auto trade-in tool alone isn’t enough to inform online auto shoppers, Hazel explains, is that they may set unrealistic expectations for trade-in values that don’t match reality when a shopper arrives at a dealership.

 

This may be because certain facts about the car are unknown, or because of other factors. He even referred to seeing other dealers manipulating leads by setting their tools to give a higher value for trade-in, while simultaneously marking up the price of the car the customer is buying.

 

“There’s already a misconception about car salespeople being dishonest,” he says. “Then, when a pragmatic customer sees an inflated trade-in estimate they know is unrealistic, they just think ‘Okay, that’s not accurate,’ and you lose their business.”

 

On the other end of the spectrum, if an auto trade-in tool tries to be too specific it can create problems as well. A trade-in tool is just that: a tool. It can’t act as a replacement for an in-person visit, but even Hazel says they provide a video explaining that the trade value given is only a “rough estimate.” Chris Thomas went on to explained how and why there is a limit to a trade-in tool’s accuracy.

 

“The value of a vehicle is based on really subjective information,” he says. “This isn’t basic information like make, model, or mileage. The trade-in value is also influenced by things like driving history, how often the driver had routine maintenance done, or the general state of the car’s interior.” Thomas says that when a trade-in tool tries to pinpoint an exact figure for the trade-in value, its requirement for such a huge amount of information can actually push away potential clients.

 

“I think that most trade-in tools do a poor job of establishing a balance of giving a customer a high-level idea of where they are in the market and too much detail,” he said.  “This is making the process harder than it needs to be, and makes the process a difficult and negative experience.”[/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_1522688640636{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Options to Make Auto Dealership Websites More Engaging

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1522689386084{padding-top: 25px !important;}”]So, what are car dealers and internet managers to do? Clearly, customers still want to judge trade-in value before coming to a dealership, but what if that tool is pushing customers away by asking for too much information, or giving them a false sense of what to expect?

 

The answer, Thomas says, is partially to find a better trade-in tool. Customers should be given an appropriate expectation for their estimates, as the tool can only come so close to an accurate prediction without someone actually inspecting the vehicle.

 

“We have found a good tool through PERQ that asks high-level questions to create a fairly accurate estimate,” Thomas says. “We need to know the make, model, year, and mileage, plus ask a couple questions about what their vehicle looks like. The tool is often being refined, but with those five or six questions, I’m going to be within $1,000, plus or minus $500.”

 

However, in addition to the trade tool, Hazel pointed out that dealers can benefit from web tools like quizzes or search filters to help guide customers in their auto shopping experience through more personalized channels. In fact, these interactive tools can capture shoppers in all stages of the buying funnel.

 

If they’re in the Discovery portion, they may respond well to a pre-qualification tool or the ability to unlock a special offer. The Research level of the funnel includes trade-in tools, as well as a market price comparison application. In the Buy portion of the funnel,  tools like chat functionality and the ability to apply for financing help convert remote shoppers into future buyers.

 

This is all to say that trade-in tools can be a valuable asset for your dealership’s online presence, but in today’s market they are expected, and when left to stand alone, can give an incomplete or inaccurate picture of an auto dealership’s approach to sales.

 

It makes sense that customers would want to use their current vehicle as a full or partial payment for a new car, and leveraging their curiosity to inspire an in-store visit is a no-brainer. But your trade-in tool needs to be part of an overall digital strategy that’s transparent and honest.

 

Instead of over-promising or trying to deliver too much information, trade-in value checkers are best used as estimation tools to move customers down the funnel and in the caring hands of your talented sales staff. Trade-in tools should work as part of a larger set of interactive features to engage with your clientele. By asking a few high-level questions and letting the customer’s imagination do the rest, you can set your auto dealership up for web marketing success.[/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_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Additional Auto Resources

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How Auto Buyers Prefer to Shop Online

[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]Dealership websites today focus primarily on the transaction and auto buyers who are ready to make a purchase. But are dealers missing out on connecting with other shoppers?[/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]

True or false? Consumers visit your website when they’re ready to buy a vehicle.

 

The answer? FALSE

 

Today’s auto dealership websites focus primarily on the final transaction and shoppers who are ready to make a purchase. However, data from PERQ’s recent Car Buyer’s Insight Report shows 30% of buyers say they’re in the beginning of the car buying process, while 46% say they’re in the middle. You can do the math, but three quarters of consumers who land on your website AREN’T actually ready to buy now!

 

Are you surprised? Did it confirm what you already knew? Sadly, many of today’s dealer websites are optimized only for consumers who are ready to buy. In reality, the majority of consumers visiting your website need YOUR dealership’s help in making a decision on what to buy first.

 

“Dealership websites today focus on the transaction far more than helping those car buyers in the research phase,” says Russ Chandler, Product Marketing Manager for PERQ. “There are two reasons: Dealerships want to optimize their site and get in front of the consumer when they’re ready to buy right now to help close the deal, and many of the vendor tools used on dealership websites only focus on the transaction.”

 

Dealerships need to take a step back, look at their websites more closely and rethink the way they’re using the online experience to help those visitors in the discovery and research phase of the car buying funnel.[/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_1531450784405{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Modern Car Buyers Like Research

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Today’s shoppers like to make sure they’re making a well informed decision. This is especially true when it comes to a major purchase like buying a car. More than 80% of customers conduct research online before ever making a purchase, according to Forbes Insights.

 

“You can try to sell a car buyer online, but they don’t want to be sold,” says Chandler. “They avoid lead traps at all costs, and you can see it in the poor performance of many digital retail products out there that don’t deliver good leads because they focus only on the transaction, not actually helping the consumer throughout the entire buying process.”

 

It’s up to dealers to help the car buyer through that journey online: moving the consumer from the discovery phase to the research phase to the buying phase, which ultimately gets them to step foot onto the dealership lot. “Optimizing your website to help consumers do the research is your way in,” says Chandler, adding it helps to build trust in your dealership. “You can give consumers a reason to choose you over a competitor.”

[/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_1531450795478{padding-bottom: 25px !important;}”]

Interactive Experiences Help Auto Buyers with Research

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Dealerships can create a website where auto buyers wants are willing to provide their information in return for something of value: helpful information. When dealers make their website interactive and connect the tools to provide a smooth and easy shopping process, dealers will notice more consumers providing their contact info with hesitation; thus, becoming a new lead.

 

 

To help move that shopper from the discovery phase all the way to the buy phase, dealerships can try out different types of interactive experiences to help attract consumers in all phases of the buying funnel:

 

Discovery Phase

  • Welcome Guide
  • New or Used Assessment
  • Special Offer Unlock
  • Get Pre-Qualified

 

Research Phase

  • Model Match Assessment
  • Estimate My Trade-In Value
  • Lease or Finance Assessment
  • Market Price Comparison Reporting
  • Incentive Qualifier
  • Check for Price Updates
  • Check for Special Offers

 

Buy Phase

  • Chat With Live Representative
  • Check Availability
  • Make An Offer
  • Get Trade Offer
  • Request More Info
  • Schedule Test Drive
  • Apply For Financing
  • Deal Arrangement/Structure

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Get Auto Buyers to Spend More Time on Site

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]By creating an enjoyable and interactive experience online, dealerships are not only building trust, but helping to improve engagement and time on their website. With the above interactive experiences, auto buyers have the tools they need to get valuable information that helps them with their research.

 

Here are some example assessment questions dealers can use to help buyers decide the make and model of the vehicle they want to purchase:

 

How big is your household?

Answer selection: Just me, Me and a lot of stuff, A couple, A small family, A big family

 

What do you use your vehicle for?

Answer selection: Kids to practice, Commute to work, Camping, Hauling heavy things, Drive around town

 

What’s most important to you?

Answer selection: Fuel economy, Performance, Space, Technology

 

What type of roads do you typically drive?

Answer selection: All kinds of roads, Neighborhoods, Highway/Interstate, Country roads, City Roads

 

How important is four-wheel and/or all-wheel drive?

Answer selection: Top priority, Pretty important, Slightly important, Don’t care

 

Once a visitor answers the questions, they receive a vehicle recommendation that would work for their needs. After getting a recommendation, an interactive experience can offer up suggestions for best next steps in order to help them further their research.

 

Your auto dealership website is now engaging visitors because they feel like they’re being helped just like they would be in your dealership’s showroom. All of the interactive experiences you can provide online helps to create two-way communication.

 

The key to success is to make sure all of the tools on your site are connected, so that it remembers visitor information and never asks for the same information twice. If a visitor tells you they’re interested in new vehicles, you shouldn’t show them used vehicles, for example.

 

As we’ve discussed before, today’s shopper expects a personalized experience. You can thank big brand retailers and even OEMs for quickly realizing that the research phase for buyers is so critical in helping to build brand identity. Building trust can ultimately turn into a sale.

 

Let’s face it: auto buyers want to help themselves and they don’t want to spend any more time in your dealership than they have to. As consumers interact with your newly optimized site, you’re helping them the same way you’d help them if they were looking at cars on your dealership lot. By leveraging connected interactive experiences, you’re now helping move auto shoppers through the buying funnel.[/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_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Additional Auto Resources

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