Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
From my linked in article list. Would love to get feedback on it.
I recently visited a dealer website after doing some research on a vehicle. I clicked the link to the site after doing a Google search and was almost knocked over when I arrived. I felt a rush of things coming at me and was somewhat overwhelmed. Something occurred to me. This experience is the same experience a customer dreads when going to visit a dealership in person. Here is a quick synopsis of what I encountered.
Upon arriving at the web site I was smacked in the face by a pop up that asked me to fill in my information on a trade vehicle. Being able to enter an agreement with a customer on their trade is always good, but do you want to rush out there on initial visit and throw it right in their face? The customer may feel that this is the over aggressive sales person trying way too hard to sell something instead of consult with them. This may lead to higher bounce rates from the site.
After closing the window I then encountered some really mind blowing graphics. A car was driving around in the background and I was presented with stunningly artful offers galore. As a matter of fact, so much was going on that I felt I had no idea what I was looking for. Animations and bright graphics are cool, but do they convey the message you want them to without distracting from the point of the customer being there? Remember you are running a commerce site and not an art show. The customer visited your site to acquire a vehicle. Make it easy for them
After taking in the show I was distracted by a floating box with a very nice looking person and automated message asking if they could be of assistance. Cool, another thing to transfix on besides buying a vehicle. Managed chat services have become a big part of many dealer websites. They offer the dealer the opportunity to engage a customer with a live person online. These services have been shown to help capture and convert customers at a higher rate than those that do not. But beware. Having the managed chat service floating around the page or popping up after load is distracting and could put a customer off that doesn’t want to feel like they are on a dating site. It’s better to have it as a clickable option.
After moving through the site and checking out the inventory I returned to the home page to find another popup. This time there was a fancy looking certificate with all kinds of offers on it. Very cool looking but the kind of thing I would expect to see in the mail. After trying to close it, I was presented with a form to claim the offer. Now I probably missed the close button and accidentally clicked the box, but once again I was being enticed to try and fill out a form before a decision to look at a vehicle had been made. The sum total of these events may be too much for a customer to handle and start to foster some distrust of the dealer having the customer best interests in mind.
I may have been a bit demonstrative in my narrative but I think it highlights a point. How do we best sell a vehicle to a customer online? Capture and Close or Consult / Recommend. Or do we even need to do anything? Can a customer be led down a self-help sales funnel where they close themselves and just give us an order?
There is one thing to consider at all times though. Is my website helping or alienating customers?
What’s your opinion on these observations and site design?