Best PracticesDealership Marketing

Increasing VDP Views with Dealer Reviews – On Cars.com

Seven (7) new reviews = three (3)X the VDP views.

Part of my usual morning routine includes catching up on the latest posts on my favorite in and out of industry blogs and news websites. One that’s been on my top list for several few years is the DealerAdvantage blog by Cars.com

If you’re a Cars.com dealership (or not), I would recommend adding DealerAdvantage to your reading list. They’re one of the few larger entities that not only do a great job at sharing data, case studies and relevant best practices for dealerships (inside and outside of Cars.com), but are also vocal and participate on the more important industry forums.

In one of their latest posts, Thomas Muellner shares a few important stats on shopper behavior around dealer reviews…

From September 2013 through February 2014, dealerships with seven or more new reviews received nearly three times as many vehicle detail page views compared to dealerships with no new reviews.

Cars.com started allowing consumers to review dealership experience just over 3 years ago, and within that short time, they have accumulated over 500,000 published reviews.

Related ArticleExclusive Interview with Cars.com on Dealer Ratings and Reviews

Cars.com has been able to conclude that with 7 or more new (fresh) reviews within a rolling 6 month time frame results in “nearly” 3X more VDP views when compared to dealers with little to no new reviews.

These ARE obtainable numbers for just about any dealership. Yet, as I perform a search for Nissan dealers within the DC/Baltimore metro area, it’s disappointing to see so few with any real volume of reviews.

Huge opportunity for Nissan dealers in the DC/Baltimore Metro area!
Huge opportunity for Nissan dealers in the DC/Baltimore Metro area!

A few questions for Cars.com and Tom…

 

  1. Since the star ratings are NOT displayed on the SRP, where exactly or at what point are consumers being influenced by the ratings to view more VDP’s?
  2. Are fresh positive reviews increasing trackable conversion points on the VDP? i.e. Contact forms, increased chats, etc?
  3. Are VDP’s from mobile searches (Car.com mobile website and apps) included in these stats?
  4. Is there a difference in the influence of reviews to VDP views (or conversions) between desktop vs mobile users?

It seems as if the dealership review pages receive some strong positioning in the SERPS for relevant searches – however, the current dealership review page , offers no links into the dealerships inventory on Cars.com BUT it does include a prominent link directly to the dealerships website. Any reasoning behind that?

Questions for Dealers:

Have you been obtaining reviews on Cars.com?

If YES, what increase in performance have you seen – If NO, what’s stopping you?