The Secrets to Growing Your Website’s Leads, Calls & Sales: Website Conversions & the Connected Consumer


Everywhere you turn in business today someone is squawking about ‘Millennial Buyers’ – as if Millennials were somehow that different or more important than the generations that preceded them. Certainly, 20-year-olds are different from 60-year-olds in many ways, but when it comes to website conversions, we need to agree that Millennial studies are stupid.

Say it with me: Millennial Studies are Stupid!

The reason these studies are stupid is two-fold: 1) Millennials comprise an extremely diverse group that ranges in age from 16-36 (in 2016); and 2) For car dealers looking to generate sales from their websites, it’s not about age, it’s connectivity and information.

I watched recently while a Millennial “Expert” explained to a roomful of car dealers that “the millennial buyer wants all the information so that they can make an informed decision before buying a car at your dealership.”

Really? Wow, that’s downright shocking!

Hint: Since the first dealership sold the first car, everyone wanted all the information so that they can make an informed decision before buying from you. Millennials are no different. The difference is that today the information is available to the Connected Consumer. Instead of focusing on Millennials with your conversion strategies, you need to be focused on all Connected Consumers.

Everybody is online; and everybody expects the exact same thing when they’re about to buy a car. (DrivingSales has a great study that shows 99% of all consumers expect a hassle when they start shopping for a car. I’m going to go ahead and round that up to 100% for the purposes of this post.)

Connected Consumers Don’t Submit Leads!

There is a growing belief in automotive that today’s consumers don’t submit leads. My apologies, but for the dealers I work with, this is simply not true. In fact, for most of them, the percentage of overall sales from e-leads has grown slightly year over year. Dealers who choose to downplay the importance of sales leads from the Web do so at their own peril (and their competitors’ joy).

However, when looking at your website’s conversion design, dealers need to be focused on both the consumers willing to submit a lead or pick up a phone and those who will just show up and buy based on what they found on your site.

According to two great studies (one from DrivingSales and one from Autotrader) about 61% of buyers today make their very first contact with your dealership when they walk on your lot. Only 39 % pick up the phone, start a chat, send a text, or submit an e-lead before they buy a vehicle from you. This is important for dealers to understand if you want to design your sites to maximize all conversions, including converting someone to a walk-in buyer.

Information is a Balancing Act

Designing your sites with too much information and many of the 39% won’t submit an e-lead or pick up the phone (they won’t need to; they’ll just leverage what you’ve provided when they buy from your competition). Design your sites with too little information and many of the 61% will never bother to visit your lot (they’ll visit and buy from the dealership that provided them what they needed).

What constitutes too much or too little information? Sorry, but not only is every market situation different, but all markets are constantly evolving. It’s important for dealers to track and measure any changes made to their websites to ensure they’re not scaring away connected consumers. (I’ll reveal some best practices for maximizing the 39% in Part 4 of this series.)

Next up in the series: Maximizing Conversions with The 39% 

(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…)

About TheManager:

Steve Stauning, creator of The Appointment Culture and an expert in Digital Marketing and Website Conversion. He is also an extremely popular keynote speaker, writer, and industry consultant. Learn more about Steve at