“Today, the fight to convince automotive shoppers to buy from you is won and lost on the digital battlefield.”
This is a statement frequently made by Mike Hills, General Manager at Acton Toyota of Littleton, one of the most successful and progressive Toyota dealerships in the country.
We hope and trust all of you out there reading are in full agreement with Mike’s belief. If not, please realize the only time Mike made a mistake was when he incorrectly thought he had made a mistake, but in reality, hadn’t. We’d also refer you to a recent study from DMEautomotive to convince you Mike’s right on the money.
The DMEautomotive study reveals that overall car buyers only visit 2.2 dealerships to make a purchase. This study confirms similar research from McKinsey which found car buyers visit just 1.6% dealerships before buying– plummeting from 5 just a decade ago. That’s right. In just 10 years the average number of dealership visits for a car purchase decreased by well over 50%.
Ultimately, if you’re not differentiating your store and your brand from your competition online you stand little chance of persuading a shopper to buy from you. And, please always remember- If you’re not a brand, you’re simply a commodity.
So, what’s the best way, then, to knock car shoppers flat with a great first impression of your dealership and Why Buy? The answer is video.
A recent eMarketer poll finds that shoppers themselves are very receptive, enthusiastic really, to branded videos. In fact, 59% of US adult internet users say they watched branded videos when they visited a brand’s website. 40% of respondents even favored watching such content over reading the same information.
Click on the Why Buy logos below to view two highly successful videos for our clients, Acton Toyota of Littleton and Stadium Toyota in Tampa, FL.
Once you have a great Why Buy page supported by good customer testimonials you need to ensure both have a strong presence throughout your entire website, especially on your most highly visited pages.
All too often, both a dealership Why Buy message and customer testimonials are buried under the “About Us” tab where there’s little, to no traffic, on any given month. Doing this severely limits the likelihood you’ll successfully communicate your unique competitive advantage and persuade site visitors that you’re the right place to buy a car. Therefore, your Why Buy Message and customer testimonials demand prominent placement on your site’s most highly trafficked pages.
Perhaps the most effective and highly visible area to promote your Why Buy message and customer testimonials is on your VDPs. After experimenting and testing multiple locations for a Why Buy message on the VDP, we had the greatest success with placing the message in the area directly above the vehicle photographs.
A quick tip with customer testimonials. We’ve found by placing department specific testimonials on their respective pages, we were able to deliver the most relevant endorsement at the right time. For instance, if a customer is visiting your Service Department landing page, wouldn’t they be more inclined to choose your dealership for vehicle maintenance if they’re reading how exceptional your staff and facility is?
And, once that online car shopper decides to finally visit your dealership it’s essential you again reinforce your Why Buy message with prominent in-store signage and point of sale material. The moment that car shopper walks through your showroom doors it’s another opportunity for your dealership to make a great first impression. Make it really count and leave them little to no reason not to buy from you.
Having a coordinated and consistent Why Buy message across all marketing channels (traditional and digital) including in-store, builds trust, the critical element needed to make a sale. Do you have this in place?