Published 04 Apr 2019
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Your customers shouldn’t learn anything new when they visit your dealership which they haven’t already seen, read or experienced on your website, other than the personal experience, and your vehicles being as good as you said they would be.
Not only is your website the face of your business, it’s also the beginning of the experience with your dealership for prospective buyers who have come to land on it, to learn a little more about it and the cars they may be interested in.
A good website plays an important part of the process in the customer journey that influences the probability of selling a vehicle. With research suggesting that it only takes 0.05 seconds for a user to form an opinion about your website that determines whether he or she will stay or leave, it’s crucial for your online presence to make a great first impression.
Ideally, you want them to spend as much time on your website as possible to hopefully convert them through to making an enquiry or visiting your dealership.
With more than 60 per cent of searches being made on mobile devices, your customers’ experiences with your site on their smartphones is an important component to consider. It’s critical to ensure the user’s mobile experience is simple, easy and informative, so be sure to have a fully responsive website that’s mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
With such a large percentage of vehicle browsing done online, your website is there to act as a credible reference to your business for clients who are checking you out from other listing sites, or have visited your site organically from their own research or because of a referral from a friend.
Your website should also act as a hub that everything points towards across all forms of advertising through to customer-relationship management components. Whichever online mediums your customer interacts with your business on, they all need to transition the client to your site.
A good website should do as much of the sales process as possible, as if you are face to face with the visitor.
It’s the opportunity to deliver an experience to your customers, 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.
Delivering a good online experience increases the probability of them choosing your dealership as one of those they will visit. Giving them a bad, uninformed or un-mobile friendly experience is actually providing them with reasons why not to do business with you.
It’s really not all that different from the pre-internet days when customers would walk or drive from dealership to dealership in search of vehicles 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 with 24/7 access, without the need to be persuaded by any smooth-talking or instant rapport-building salesperson, or dealership environment they trust.
Therefore, it’s got to be conveyed online as best as you can in a short space of time. This doesn’t apply just to your website, it applies across everything you do and all advertising material 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, build trust and familiarity with your customers in the space they’re doing all of their homework.
Once they arrive at your dealership, they have already chosen which two dealerships they’re visiting, so getting it right online ensures you will be one of those. Websites are a low-cost investment for the value they can offer your business and your prospective customers.
It is the online face of your dealership, it is open 24/7 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 their dealerships and advertising, yet overlook what they should be doing 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 site 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.
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.