How to make your website stand out to shoppers exploring online landscape

Orlando Kia North in Longwood, FL, offers 360-degree tours of new and some used vehicles.

Is your dealership’s website fit to be tried by online shoppers?

If your website provides for the five basic shopper/buyer activities described in the last installment of “The Net Effect,” you may be ready to take it to the next level – if you haven’t already.

So don’t stop short and expect your website to stand out to shoppers exploring the online landscape.

“Nearly all consumers (98 percent) want the ability to do at least some piece of the car shopping/buying process online, suggesting that dealers should incorporate at least some aspect of digital retailing into their offerings,” said Cox Automotive in a report on a survey of 2,175 recent new- and used-car buyers.

IL-BLOG_70630-11 (The Net Effect Logo)_WordPressFollowing are the automotive shopping/buying activities specific to dealerships that at least half of consumers want to do online and the percentage that want that option, according to Cox:

  1. Take a 360-degree tour of vehicles they are considering, 86 percent.
  2. Reserve a vehicle for a test drive, 59 percent.
  3. Negotiate the purchase price, 57 percent
  4. Use a chat box to talk with a salesperson, 55 percent.
  5. Learn about finance and insurance products, 52 percent.
  6. Apply for financing, 52 percent.

Providing some or all of them could help you capture more shoppers early in their process.

One example of how a strong online presence can affect results is in the sale of F&I products, representing more than one-third of the average dealership’s gross profit, Edmunds has reported, and which more than half of consumers told Cox they would like to learn about online.

“Since one in three buyers are not already aware of F&I products prior to going to the dealership, dealers should offer F&I educational resources on the dealership website and provide opportunities for consumers to learn more about F&I on their own during the sales process.”

Bottom line, according to Cox: “Purchase of F&I products is much higher among consumers who are already aware of the products before going to the dealership.”

Think about what that sort of effect that could have on other aspects of your business.

The next installment of our series, “The Net Effect,” will offer some practical steps your dealership could take to improve your website and your chances of getting those results.

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