Your dealership spends a lot of time and energy converting leads. And with good reason: leads are key in lifting your sales. So you have chat and prequal and offers and specials– everything a potential customer could want. But a lot of dealers focus on converting leads and ignore the 95% of people on their site who won’t convert. They don’t make an effort to feature content that is interesting and engaging to shoppers. Worse, they clog their pages with distracting forms in an attempt to maximize every opportunity– and actually drive away customers looking for content and valuable information.

Because here’s something dealers need to know: people are looking for content on your site. Just because they aren’t converting doesn’t mean they aren’t good potential customers. Content seekers are a rich untapped resource for your business– shoppers who arrive at a dealership site with interest, and the potential for loyalty. They too will increase your sales.

But only if they can find what they’re looking for.

Content is the key to engaging today’s shoppers

Shoppers today do hours upon hours of research online. By the time they convert and come to your dealership, they have selected you as one– maybe the only– dealership they will visit. Because 40% of buyers visit one dealership, your dealership needs to be a site where they can find that information and do that research, leading to the buyer to walk through your doors. If they can’t find value, they will close your site, look elsewhere, and likely choose another dealership.

So what kind of content are shoppers looking for?

Information that helps them with their buying process, that is clear, engaging, and relevant, and that doesn’t ask for anything in return– yet. For example:

  1. Outstanding VDPs. Fill your VDPs with photos and videos. Explain features and specs. Don’t hide prices. Make sure everything is synced with your in-store inventory so your online shoppers feel like they are actually at your showroom– and when they arrive at your showroom, they should find exactly what they saw online.
  2. Comparisons. Everyone loves to comparison shop. Create guides that explain the differences between your similar models, or even between yours and the competition. Customers are looking for competing models anyway, and this is a chance to highlight your cars’ best features. Make sure to optimize these comparisons and show them to your shoppers at just the right time.
  3. Tips and guides to car shopping. Provide lists and guides for shoppers just getting started. Include a questionnaire or quiz for people to help them prioritize and figure out what they’re looking for. Then, based on their answers, offer them vehicles you have in stock right now.
  4. Financing information. Make it easy for shoppers to find a trade-in valuation so they can figure out their budget. Allow them to start the prequal process online– helping people avoid paperwork will score you points.
  5. How-to videos. How to get the most out of a test drive. How to winter-proof your car. How to change a tire. Anything car shoppers and car owners care about– you can show them how to do it. These videos don’t have to relate to making a sale at all, but if your dealership is the one that offers this expertise, customers will return.

Allow people to get the information they need while getting to know your brand, before committing to anything. Make your dealership website a one-stop for car shoppers, and your dealership will do what other dealerships are not:

  1. Reach early-stage buyers. If you can reach all stages of shoppers– not just later stage leads who are ready to buy– you will edge out your competition. Building relationships with customers early in their process encourages loyalty and builds future sales.
  2. Raise engagement for all shoppers. Even late stage shoppers– or service customers, or previous customers– need something from your site. If you provide quality content onsite for all stages of the buying cycle, customers will turn you again and again.
  3. Build loyalty and establish your dealership as a resource. Why should shoppers turn to someone else when your site offers everything they need? This is the kind of convenience that creates loyal shoppers who will recommend you to their friends.
  4. Demonstrate values customers care about:

–  Honesty. A lot of people are wary of dealers. Expertise that demands nothing in return shows that you are trustworthy.
–  Transparency. By allowing customers to find what they need with ease, you show you are there for your customers.
–  Accessibility. When it’s easy to find information, and when it’s easy to find you, people turn to you more.
–  Flexibility. There are always going to be people who prefer that in-person or over-the-phone way of getting information. That’s great. You are there for them, and you are there for your digital shoppers Having options shows people their choices can be accommodated and they don’t have to fit into the same box as everyone else.

The bottom line? Not every shopper, in fact most shoppers, are not coming to your dealership website to convert. They’re coming to learn, do research, and decide whether or not to walk into your dealership for their next vehicle. Implement high-engagement for more leads and more sales and track this success to optimize your website for every kind of shopper.


Ilana Zur, Head of Business Development at AutoLeadStar. Ilana will be speaking at the 2017 CBT Conference.

AutoLeadStar

Learn more about Ilana in her speaker profile page.

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