Thought I would throw this question out there to see what the DealerRefresh community thinks – Do customers even look at hero banner sliders on homepages?

As you guys probably also experience, our manufacturer reps constantly hound us on making sure we have 5-10 sliders on the homepage promoting this month’s deals. In my opinion the majority of customers have banner ad blindness and breeze right past the homepage and into the search results.

I tested my theory using UTM codes and found less than 2% of visitors clicked on our banners, with 1% clicking on the first slide and then the remaining 5 slides receiving the fraction of a percent.

Personally someone seeing the offer and it making an impression on them to take action later is more important to me than a direct click on the banner so I used a hotjar heatmap to see where people’s cursors went because cursors can be an indicator of where someone’s eyes may be looking but the hero slider area was cold with most of the heat on the navigation and search bar.

The other thing to keep in mind is that a lot of website vendors disable the hero banner slider on mobile so ~60% of our traffic won’t even see the banners. If the website vendor does show the banner slider on mobile can customers even make out what the image says since it was created with the desktop user in mind?

So why do we spend all of this time creating hero banners and taking up valuable homepage real estate if it seems no one is clicking or looking at them?

I think this quote from http://shouldiuseacarousel.com/ sums it up well:

“Carousels are effective at being able to tell people in Marketing/Senior Management that their latest idea is on the Home Page. Use them to put content that users will ignore on your Home Page. Or, if you prefer, don’t use them. Ever.”

Of course it’s still important to promote these limited time sales but I think there are better ways and places of doing so. For example creating relevant banners that show up at the top of vehicle search results pages dynamically based on what vehicles they are searching for.

What do you guys think? 

Follow this conversation in the dealer forum.