Besides the “must haves” of online chat and instant retargeting parasites (which we’ve already discussed in detail) and the “should have” pop-ups, there are a few others that I highly recommend you add to your website sooner rather than later; as delaying their installation is just costing you sales.
Trade Appraisal Applications
Getting the most out of your online trade applications requires that you follow a few simple guidelines:
- Your trade appraisal applications should perform just as seamlessly in mobile as they do on the desktop version of your website.
- Your trade applications should highlight the unbiased third party aspect of the process. (No “home grown” forms from your website provider.)
- Be sure to give consumers multiple opportunities to complete trade form on your website. This means everything from including a great partner like Jumpstart’s Black Book in most of the navigation drop downs (where 95% of your home page clicks occur); and employing a great on-page trade appraisal application on your vehicle detail pages (VDPs).
- Your forms should be short (or appear short) and simple to complete. (For example, while I am a fan of KBB’s Instant Cash Offer, those forms HAVE NO BUSINESS on a dealer’s website as they are simply too long and drive away too many potential leads.)
What you place on your website as your primary credit application depends on your goals for that form. For example:
- If your goal is simply lead generation – and you don’t plan to make credit decisions based on what the consumer enters – then you should go with a simple, usually interactive (video) credit application provided by lots of industry vendors.
- If your goal is to gather a consumer’s complete, non-public information that will be pushed into another system (like Dealertrack) for the purpose of making a decision on their credit, then you should go with a full credit application; though you should expect fewer completed forms and generally lower average credit scores.
- If your goal is lead generation, but you also need a long form to send to certain prospects from time-to-time, you can easily do both and just make the link to the simple form public and share a private link to your long form, when needed.
We’ll discuss automated specials in greater detail in a future post, but dealers need to realize they need to have specials on their website, and the reality that (A) Their teams don’t have the time to create and maintain these; and/or (B) The “solution” that their website provider is offering likely generates no leads.
As you look at the current specials on your website and consider using an automated car dealer specials provider, consider these few, quick and dirty rules about effective specials:
- They should feel special.
- They should be plentiful; comprised of multiple Makes, Models and Body Styles.
- They need to be discoverable; consumers need to be able to find them. (Adding sliders is one way to ensure consumers find your specials.)
- The specials must convert visitors into buyers.
Chatbots & Messenger
We’ve written extensively about car dealer chatbots, and recently added a post detailing all the reasons to add Facebook Messenger to your website. Rather than rehash that here, I encourage you to follow the links in this paragraph (and to add Messenger to your website ASAP).
Credit estimators can and should coexist with credit applications on your website, as the former can provide high conversion rates for you while offering your visitors a quick way to check their credit worthiness without having to enter any non-public information.
Online Buying Applications
My current favorite parasite is the online buying application from AutoFi. Unlike its competitors, AutoFi (as of this writing) is the only solution we’ve found that provides everything both you and your customers need from these:
- To-the-penny calculations.
- Ability to login to my own bank.
- True credit decisions.
- Accurate trade appraisals within the tool.
- Ability to start online and finish in the dealership.
- Ability for the dealership to use fully in-store.
- Self-desking options.
- Ability to purchase F&I add ons.
The Problem for all Parasites
All parasites have a problem. That is, your website provider doesn’t like them. Some website vendors will be quick to tell you that you don’t need parasites; and some, like we learned about the CDK/GM website program in the last post in this series, will flat out forbid you from adding some parasites (even if these drive additional leads and sales for you).
Why? I suppose it’s because they want you to buy everything from them. And to that point, I actually agree. I would love it if your website provider included great versions of all the available parasites as part of their offering. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, not a one of them does.
We’ll look at the best places on your website to include parasites and other conversion opportunities in: Location Drives Conversion Percentage
(If you’re catching this series for the first time, you may want to begin with the first post in the series: Before You Change Even One Word on Your Website…)
Steve Stauning, creator of The Appointment Culture and an expert in Digital Marketing and Website Conversion, is the host of Undeniable Advantage Live!, a monthly live video webcast and customer service training provider hosted at UndeniableAdvantage.com. He is also an extremely popular keynote speaker, writer, and industry consultant. Learn more about Steve at SteveStauning.com.