Published 18 Sep 2019
This article was originally published in the Autofile Magazine - Oct 2018 issue.
10 second summary
READ TIME APPROX 5 MINUTES
Your website is not only the face of your business but also the beginning of the experience prospective customers have with your dealership, to learn about you and the vehicles you sell.
Once a prospect arrives on your website, you want them to spend as much time there as possible and convert them through to making an enquiry or visiting your dealership.
When a customer makes the decision to visit your dealership, they shouldn't learn anything new that they didn’t already see, read or experience on your site, other than the personal experience and vehicles being as good as you said they would be.
The other component is the experience you provide your prospective customer on their mobile. There are endless statistics out there that prove majority of customers visit websites on a mobile device. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure this experience is simple, informative and responsive.
A responsive website across desktop, tablet and mobile.
In this day and age when such a large percentage of vehicle browsing is done online, your website is there to act as a credible reference to your business for those customers who are checking you out from other listing sites such as Trade Me and Need A Car, or have visited your website organically from their own research or referral from a friend.
Your website should act as a hub that everything points towards. Whether it be forms of advertising with Google and Facebook through to customer-relationship management components.
Whichever source your customers interact with your business online from, it's important it brings them back to your website.
Your website has to do as much of the face-to-face sales process as possible.
It is the opportunity to deliver an experience to your clients, present to them vehicles that suit their needs and create an easy path for them to engage with your dealership, make an enquiry, book a test drive, apply for finance or simply see where you are and call in for a visit.
It’s really not all that different from the pre-internet past when they would walk or drive from dealership to dealership in search of a vehicle they liked, or they came across a highly effective salesperson they couldn’t help but buy a car from.
The only difference today is they have the tools to view thousands of cars and hundreds of dealerships in a matter of minutes or hours, in some cases 24/7, without the need to be persuaded by any smooth-talking or instant rapport-building salesperson or dealership environment they instantly trust.
Therefore, it’s got to be conveyed online as best you can in a short space of time, and not just your website. It needs to be consistent across everything you do, no matter where they may engage with your business or see some advertising you are presenting.
I cannot stress enough how much the human element needs to be presented online more than what it is today in many businesses. Show your face, talk to a camera, and build trust and familiarity with your customers in the space they are doing all of their homework.
Once they get to your dealership, they have already chosen which two they are visiting, so getting this right online ensures you will be one of those.
Websites are a low-cost investment for the value they can offer your business and prospective buyers. It’s the online face of your dealership, it’s open all hours and is there for many years to come with renovations and upgrades along the way.
Businesses are quick to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on physical yards and advertising, yet overlook what they need to do online.
Websites will continue to play an even bigger role for businesses as technology continues to evolve. The team at Motorcentral continues to develop and deliver websites with features and functionality that are viewed by many as unparalleled in value in New Zealand.
Our team understands dealerships, their customers and the needs of both. Regardless of who your website is built by, just ensure it portrays your dealership, your people and your vehicles online in a way that’s consistent with the experience on the ground.
If you want to learn more about Motorcentral’s websites, which are compatible with most dealer management systems, phone our team on 0800 623 687 or email 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.