Click, Compare, Decide: How Much Customers Research Cars Online

A great customer experience is everything.

Creating brand loyalty in today's computerized world requires excellence and speed at every step of the automotive customer lifecycle, from first contact to repurchasing. If your dealership can't keep pace, we can guide you through a digital transformation to streamline your operations.

We provide a comprehensive and tailored solutions suite that converts manual tasks and face-to-face interactions to the digital applications you need to create a fantastic customer journey.

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Customers no longer need to visit a car dealership in-person to get the information they want on potential vehicle trade-ins and purchases. Customers are performing more car research online than you might think: according to our recent National Consumer Survey, most shoppers spend around three to four hours researching cars online, with a large portion of shoppers spending upwards of ten hours! That’s a lot of screen time.

With this pool of potential customers browsing online, it’s crucial for auto dealerships to have an easy-to-use (and easy-to-find) website equipped with the tools customers need to research their favorite models, value their potential trade-in, and make the drive from their computer to your showroom.

Shoppers Want Online Car Valuations—Is Your Website Ready?

Unlock More Sales Potential with These Key Website Elements

If your website metrics aren’t where you’d like them to be, it might be time to revamp your website to meet customer demands.

1. Provide extensive info on your vehicle inventory

Your website should have a comprehensive inventory of all the vehicles you have for sale, both new and used, with transparent information about the make, model, year, mileage, features, and price. Create detailed landing pages on redesigned models, special editions, and side-by-side comparisons to help customers find valuable info without needing to leave your website.

2. Ensure user- and mobile-friendly design

No one wants to research cars online on a clunky website, no matter how valuable the info within. Be sure to keep yours simple with a clean design, easy-to-use navigation menus, and concise contact forms. Don’t forget to try the website features out on a smartphone, too, as many of your potential and current customers are viewing your site there.

3. Offer online financing and trade-in tools

Many car buyers want to be able to finance their purchase and trade in their current vehicle online. Your website should have online financing and trade-in tools that make it easy for customers to do both from the comfort of their home or office, helping increase customer satisfaction and the benefits your store offers over your competition.

4. Display clear contact information

Your website should make it easy for customers to contact you. This should include your phone number, email address, and physical address. You should also have a contact form on your website that customers can use to send you a message.

In addition to these website necessities, you can further improve your dealership’s website with these extras:

  • Customer reviews: Customer reviews are a powerful way to build trust and credibility with potential customers. Your website should include a section where customers can leave reviews about their experience with your dealership.
  • Blog: A blog is a great way to provide valuable information to potential customers and establish yourself as an expert in the automotive industry. You can use your blog to write about topics such as car-buying tips, vehicle maintenance, and industry news.
  • Social media integration: Your website should be integrated with your social media accounts. This will allow customers to easily find and follow you on social media and stay up-to-date on your latest news and promotions.

Offer More Car Valuations Online for More Leads and Sales

As your potential customers perform car research online, you can gain the upper hand over your competition by offering those shoppers the ability to get an instant vehicle trade-in value. The right tool can make it easy for customers to get a trusted, third-party appraisal and a highly competitive offer guaranteed by your dealership and your dealership alone. With this car valuation in-hand, your sales team can then guide them toward purchase in-person when they come to your store to discuss their offer.

If you’re interested in drawing in more website traffic, capturing more leads, and closing more deals, we can help. Affinitiv Trade-In Valet integrates right into your dealer website to provide guaranteed offers from a live appraisal desk, helping you source better trade-in vehicles and leads. Contact our team today for your live demo and see what Affinitiv Trade-In Valet can do for your store.


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