Today’s shoppers expect a personalized experience. They respond to websites that address their individual interests, and are repelled by those that do not. In fact, 74% of customers express frustration at being shown website content not specifically relevant to their needs, demonstrating the new standard of personalization that has taken hold across industries.
With 88% of customers starting their car shopping journey online, and 40% visiting only one dealership before purchasing, creating a personalized shopping experience is essential for dealership websites to reach customers and grow their sales.
What is personalization?
In the showroom, personalization is intuitive and natural. When a customer walks in, you ask them what they are looking for and guide them accordingly. When a return customer calls, you greet them by name and follow up on the previous conversation. When a customer is frustrated, you can address it on the spot.
Without face-to-face interaction, personalization is dramatically more dif cult. How can a dealership understand customers’ interests and answer their questions before speaking to them?
And yet, personalization is possible on dealership websites. Content, messages, and offers can be targeted to specifc website visitors based on factors such as location, device, and behavior onsite. Optimal times to reach out can be predicted. It is possible to give customers valuable, customized service even without ever meeting them.
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Personalization is already happening, but not on dealership websites
Most dealerships already employ personalization in their digital marketing strategy by targeting and retargeting online ads and PPC. Ads are carefully placed online to reach the best possible audience, just as they are scheduled with precision on television, in print, and anywhere else they appear.
And yet, when it comes to dealership websites, content and lead forms frequently populate the screen at random, without being targeted to customers who will actually want to see them. This frustrates customers who see irrelevant content, and it wastes the dealership’s valuable ad dollars already spent bringing traffic to the site.
Personalization for the Dealership Website
Like a salesperson who asks the right questions, or hangs back and observes visitors’ behavior to understand their interests before approaching, a website with personalization technology can respond to individual customers in real time. It takes overlays, onsite messages, and offers, and shows them to the right people at the right time.
Real-time data about each site visitor, as well as predictive analytics, enable this high level of personalization for dealership websites.
Smart Targeting: The Key to Personalized Dealership Websites
Smart targeting refers to advanced machine learning systems that can “observe” people in real time– and then respond in helpful ways. These systems collect data, analyze it, use it to make predictions, deliver relevant content to site visitors, and measure their own success. They create what we refer to as the Smart Targeting Feedback Loop, a technology that creates a truly personalized dealership website.
Smart Targeting Provides Personalization that Typical Analytics Cannot
A dealership using a service like Google Analytics receives aggregated data, which is information combined from all site users. This data is crucial for gaining insight into how individual pages and campaigns are performing. However, because it does not track the behavior of individual users, this type of analytics does not allow dealerships to enable smart targeting for a personalized shopping experience. For personalization to be successful, a much more comprehensive data-tracking and analysis system is required in parallel to a system like Google Analytics.
Free White Paper – Creating a Personalized Dealership Website
A positive, customized experience drives an increase in leads – and ultimately brings in more sales. The process of data collection, analysis, and continual improvement is no small feat, but with the right people and technology, this level of smart targeting is achievable.