Dealership MarketingIndustry News & Trends

Cobalt Study Reveals Car-Shoppers Shop at Least 8 Dealer Websites

Cobalt - modern car shopper ebook

According to new data from Cobalt’s car-buyer intelligence database, car-shoppers visit a minimum of eight dealer websites, with some visiting as many as twenty in a single day. With so much competition, what’s a dealer to do to win the sale?

Start by putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes. We’ve all fallen victim to “couch coma comparison shopping,” where you mindlessly click from website-to-website, browsing the endless array of options the Internet provides. How can you stop your click-happy customers from bypassing you completely?

Couch Coma Kryptonite: A Commanding Dealer Website

What is couch coma’s kryptonite? A strong and commanding competitive message. You have to stop consumers in their tracks with an irresistible dealer website that makes them want to stop their browsing and run down to buy from your dealership (after they’ve changed out of their boxers, hopefully.)

A differentiated site takes work, but it’s worth it. Additional data demonstrates that today’s car-shoppers are easy pickings for the differentiated dealer. Our new eBook found that 60% of consumers haven’t selected a make and model, and 64% of shoppers visiting your dealer website will purchase within 60 days.

Translation: these shoppers are in-market, undecided, and looking for something that’s going to catch their eye and put their mindless web surfing to rest. All you have to do is be the dealer that stands out from the pack.

That said, there is a right way and a wrong way to differentiate. Differentiating your website does not mean adding flaming rockets to the home page, or adding your favorite song to a Flash intro.  Even sharing biographical facts about yourself, such as the fact that you are a third-generation dealer, is not as impactful as differentiating yourself through your key value propositions i.e: largest inventory selection in your area, award-winning customer service, competitive pricing.

Don’t make it about you; make it about the consumer.

How to Differentiate your Dealership Website

  • Full-website SEO. Think beyond the homepage. Optimize for non-branded terms like parts and services to ensure you are showing up in every search. If consumers are shopping eight websites, you want to be one of them!
  • Flexible Modern Design. Don’t settle for a cookie-cutter website. With consumers shopping so many dealer websites, an eye-catching design, compelling content, and gadget-compatibility is a must.
  • Retargeting-As car-shoppers leave your site and go on to check out other dealer websites, stay top-of-mind with retargeting ads that entice them to return.

To find out more about real car-shopper behavior and how to differentiate your dealer website, download the full eBook “The Guide to the Modern Car-Shopper: Connecting the Dots from Their Screens to Your Lots.”

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    dealerrefresh
  • October 21, 2012
Jade, 
 
Thanks for sharing the eBook. I hope others download and read. There's some great information included.
 
One of my favorites inlcude:
 
Re-marketed customer are 3X more likely to click in your ad AND 4X more likely to convert than new customers. Staying in front of the consumer after their purchase is crucial. Dealers NEED to drop this nonsense thought that "the customer was going to buy from us any ways". I hear this ALL the time. I'm sure there was a time I said it myself. But with 18 sources of information influencing a customers decisions of their next vehicle purchase, that kind of thinking will place most dealerships in the grave. 
 
This was another interesting fact...
 
"75% of car shoppers visit a manufacturer websites, and most of those shoppers visit the OEM website and the dealer website in the same thirty minutes."
 
Question: what percentage of these (from OEM to Dealers) visits are happening through a link from the OEM website (perhaps find a dealership search/link)? I believe this is a very important stat for particular dealers, and for all dealers in general.
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    dealerrefresh
  • October 21, 2012
BTW - nice new Cobalt/ADP website is impressive. Nice work.
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    Steve Lawrence
  • October 21, 2012
I downloaded the ebook and went right through it. Amazing stats. This should be a wakeup to most dealers that think they are doing things right. They are not even close. Thanks Cobalt.
J
Thanks for the great feedback, everyone! Glad you are finding value in the study. @dealerrefresh I am looking into the answer to your question and will get back to you.
J
First, everyone,  thank you for reading the eBook (and for the website kudos! :)
 
 Jeff, as a response to your question- for this specific research project we didn’t dive into that specific detailed data set, although we do have the data and are currently working on breaking it down. We do agree that this is really interesting information- it shows a direct connection between the consumer, OEM site and dealer site. For the local shopper, it’s ONE experience, it’s not a separate online shopping activity. I will look into it further and see if we can break it down with more granularity.
J
First, everyone,  thank you for reading the eBook (and for the website kudos! :)
 
 Jeff, as a response to your question- for this specific research project we didn’t dive into that specific detailed data set, although we do have the data and are currently working on breaking it down. We do agree that this is really interesting information- it shows a direct connection between the consumer, OEM site and dealer site. For the local shopper, it’s ONE experience, it’s not a separate online shopping activity. I will look into it further and see if we can break it down with more granularity.
T
Thanks for posting. These data from major automotive vendors are always a great resource! @CarChat24
W
The information you shared in the post on car is very nice and useful to me as I was in search of it. I am also looking forward to it this time.
W