Published 12 Feb 2020
This article was originally published in the Autofile Magazine - December 2016 issue.
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It still confuses me as to how many businesses out there, of all shapes and sizes, have poor non-responsive websites.
What I mean by responsive is that the website responds to whatever device and screen size it is being viewed on. Whether it be a large TV, a desktop, a tablet or the most critical and important of all - a mobile phone.
Whatever statistical analysis you choose to take notice of, the most important thing to note is that a huge percentage of us are viewing websites on a mobile device. Therefore, if you have a website that is not easily viewable on a mobile device, you are going to lose a lot of potential customers.
Requiring your customer to frustratingly zoom in and out on your “designed for desktop” website is creating a negative experience with your business from the start. Remember, the old saying first impressions count!
Equally, there are responsive sites out there that whilst they display better on a mobile phone, they do not offer the functionality a mobile user is expecting. For example, 74 per cent of mobile users are looking for directions or opening hours, so it’s important these are easily found. Information should be linked to navigation apps like Google Maps and any phone numbers can be tapped on to initiate a call to you immediately.
You have to make sure doing business with you is easy. Your website is the center of your dealerships online presence, therefore it needs to deliver the experience your customers expect.
A website is not something you buy once and leave for 10+ years, (as many I have seen have done), instead you need to continue to invest every few years in updating your site, ensuring the experience it delivers matches your customer’s requirements - similar to how you probably invest in your customer’s relationships in other areas of your business.
Even more amazingly, there are some businesses out there that don’t have a website at all. This is a sign to your prospective customers that you don’t want to do business with them.
By having a website you are giving your business the opportunity to tell consumers why they should trust you and that you are an established dealership. As we know, most people will do their research online as they work through their car-buying journey.
A customer was recently overheard saying to a dealership sales person that they didn’t realise that the business was a dealership - they weren't going to come and view the car as they thought they were dealing with a private seller. The customer felt a lot more confident knowing she was dealing with a dealership. How many other customers have been lost due to perception and not having a website to convey credibility?
Using your website, you can continuously educate customers and increase credibility as a dealership they can trust.
Accessibility and Convenience
Your website is available to your prospective customers 24/7, all year. We know that the majority of car buyers do their research away from the dealership and in many cases outside your business hours, and from the comfort of their own home.
So, what is more convenient - driving around to look for different dealerships that might have a car you like, or sitting at home or in a cafe and browsing online for the car, and ultimately the dealership you’re looking for?
There are marketing strategies you can use to advertise and market your business to both new prospective customers and also existing or repeat customers a couple of years after their last purchase from you.
Whether it be Facebook, Google or any other form of advertising, it all links back to your website, so if you don’t have one it becomes very difficult to take advantage of all the mediums you have at your fingertips. Even email campaigns to existing customers need to be directed somewhere, if you want them to continue learning more about what you have to offer.
An effective website can be as good as opening another dealership, only better, it services the whole of New Zealand, is open around the clock and runs for a fraction of the cost.
Whilst it’s something you will need to reinvest in every few years, you do know exactly what it will cost you to build upfront and also what the low monthly hosting fees are. Ensure you get quotes from recognised website providers including those that specialise in the motor industry. I have seen many dealerships spend a lot more than necessary on expensive websites, when they could’ve been done at close to a quarter of the cost by a specialist provider.
Whether you have no website at all, or a non-responsive difficult website to navigate from a mobile device, the outcomes are very similar.
The team at Motorcentral specialise in building affordable dealer websites. For more details, call us on 0800-623-687 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Motorcentral blog is intended for educational purposes only. All writers opinions are their own and nothing published on this blog should be interpreted as a recommendation or advice in any way. Motorcentral is also not responsible for and does not verify accuracy of any of the information contained within this blog.
In the event third parties are referenced within this article, Motorcentral is not necessarily affiliated with those third parties.