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Ever since Google released their influential Zero Moment of Truth study, companies have been rushing to address and improve their online presence. The fact of the matter is that currently companies are spending a great deal of money on advertising to drive customers to their website. However, while website traffic is desirable, it doesn’t necessary convert visitors to shoppers.
Quite frequently, companies don’t have an effective way to convert their website visitors to actual buyers. Depending on the type of website, the rate of conversions will differ quite dramatically. Even ecommerce sites often fail to convert. According to experts, ecommerce sites that convert at 6%-9% are highly successful.2
Automotive is the perfect example of an industry where web conversions can be very low. In fact, according to statistics, 98% of visitors do not convert. This problem occurs with everything from the manufacturer at the national and regional levels to dealers, dealer groups and dealer advertising marketing associations at the city and metro levels. While these groups may diligently spend a lot of money advertising in both traditional and digital media to drive customers to their websites, conversions are not always made.
One of the issues impacting automotive dealerships is that their products are so similar from one company to another. This is largely a byproduct of the distribution chain. The product mix will be very similar from one retailer to another.
It is interesting to note the purchase funnel of an automotive buyer and how it has dramatically changed due to the internet. Back in 2007, Google released a statement that the car buying process takes place in about one month or less. In fact, Google’s research showed that 30% of buyers search less than a week before making an actual purchase.3 And that number is increasing. Google released an Automotive Shopping Behavior Study in 2011, pointing out that the shopping window has “compressed.” While in 2009, 34% of shoppers made their decision in less than one month, by 2010, that number had increased to 58%.
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