Perhaps not every potential buyer who arrives at your dealership — or, more specifically, your store website — knows exactly what vehicle they want along with all of its attributes from the amount of horsepower to placement of cup holders and power outlets.
New data from thousands of consumer profiles studied by PERQ — experts in online consumer engagement and behavior — uncovered further evidence that the majority of visitors to dealership websites are hot new prospects who need to be guided into conversion.
The research also offered key insights into the features consumers value as they make their vehicle purchase decisions.
PERQ highlighted that its new study, Car Buyer Insights Report 2018, defies the conventional wisdom that most dealership website visitors are existing customers. The reality? They are not as 74 percent are brand new and 68 percent are still looking for information to educate them about the purchase, representing prime opportunities for conversion.
But according to the data, while 77 percent are at the beginning or middle of their purchasing process, they want to transact sooner rather than later, so an efficient, engaging website experience that guides them down the purchase funnel is critical.
“We are constantly monitoring consumer website behavior and the data continues to confirm how important it is that dealerships approach their website as fertile ground for new sales, rather than as a static receptacle for returning customers,” said Andy Medley, chief executive officer and co-founder of PERQ.
“The data shows that most website visitors are new to the dealership, not ready-to-buy, and expect to be in control of their shopping experience as they narrow down their choices,” Medley continued.
Here is another example of trends highlighted in the study:
Besides safety, what else is important to you when buying a vehicle?
— Interior space: 36 percent
— Performance: 31 percent
— Fuel economy: 28 percent
— Technology: 6 percent
PERQ’s takeaway: “Your website should be responsive to how a visitor engages with interactive experiences on your website. If they’re looking for more interior space and the assessment gives them a result of mini-vans, they should have the option to immediately go to the mini-van VDP or retake the assessment even if they’re not happy with the results.”
PERQ went on to mention its research also offers key insights on consumer preferences that can help dealership websites better interact with these visitors, such as data on the number of vehicle they want to test drive (nearly a third want to test drive more than one), and what they are looking for in a drivetrain — an astonishing 59 percent said four-wheel or all-wheel drive is a priority.
“It’s critical for dealerships to expect their website to act as one of their best sales team members,” Medley said. “If they don’t, they are missing a massive opportunity, and letting all those dollars spent driving traffic turn into vapor.”
The PERQ research results can be downloaded here.