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What Makes the ULTIMATE Dealership Website VDP?

I apologize to Dave Page and Dennis Galbraith for hijacking some discussion around an article Dennis wrote for their company blog titled “The Ultimate Vehicle Details Page”.

I came across the article while breezing though all the noise within my subscribed LinkedIn groups, as I do each morning.

The Ultimate VDP?
Is there really an Ultimate VDP?

Dennis hit hard on a very important topic – The VDP. What makes the ULTIMATE Dealership website VDP? Lets focus on dealership website only for now.

Dennis highlights many of the important features that should be included in a performing VDP. Let’s take a look…

  • Photos
  • Video
  • Pricing
  • History Report
  • Conditions Report
  • Text descriptions, vehicle features and optional package
  • Owners Manual
  • Online Brochure
  • Testimonials
  • Vehicle location (especially for groups
  • Vehicle awards and accolades
  • Alternative (like) vehicle selection
  • Legal disclaimers
  • Other stuff like interior and exterior 360-degree views, safety information, safety ratings, fuel performance ratings, environmental ratings and comparisons, and information about the store and its policies.

Lets not forget about the all mighty CALL TO ACTION.

Damn, that’s a lot of shit to have on one page isn’t it?  A page that is also supposed to convert into a lead. 

Dennis wraps the article up by saying, in so many words, dealers need to move their inventory fast… the ideal VDP is one that will fully merchandise your vehicle online.

I’m not totally sure what Dennis means by FULLY. I hear Fully, and I also hear FULL and maybe even FOOL.

What do I mean by that?  

Does every little detail on the VDP matter"?
Does every little detail on the VDP matter?

Referencing to my comments around our discussion (see screenshot), the VDP should be treated very much like a landing page, especially above the fold. Too many website services in our industry like to vomit all over the VDP with too much unnecessary information (or on the wrong area of the page), while including too many primary call to actions.

We only have ourselves, the industry, to blame for this mess. We have tried our damnedest to turn the VDP to become a “lead whore”, while thinking that every possible call-to-action is going to increase the chances of a lead capture.

Tell a dealer they’’ll get MORE LEADS and their eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning, never mind the experience for the consumer. 

Is it possible that we have placed too much focus on the lead form capture? While losing focus on what really matters – the experience. This experience ULTIMATELY drives the lead – phone call, form submission and even… the walk-in.

Nah, screw the walk-in. The Internet department can’t track that back to sale. 

Don’t take my words out of context. I’m NOT saying the VDP shouldn’t focus on form submission. I’m saying, that it should focus on the EXPERIENCE first. What influences your customer to engage, what persuades them to want to take action? Why does the forum submission have to be the only supporting performance metric we place value on?

So I ask you – What is the ULTIMATE Dealership website VDP?

…if there is one. 

Pay Attention to this BUT…

Tell us, Share it or Show Us – but don’t vomit on our post with your vendor-focused screenshots. If it’s not dealer and community focused we’ll delete it. Behave.