A dealer’s Website is designed to drive sales, but if it’s not presented correctly you could be driving customers away instead. In the current digital age, the “online dealership” is an integral part of the way a dealer does business. The best ones strike the perfect balance between collecting valuable information and providing a seamless browsing experience. Sadly, though, many dealership Websites miss the mark, leading to frustrated potential customers who ultimately opt to abandon their online search. In this post, we’ll explore the issues that hinder the online car-shopping experience from the customer’s point of view, and discuss what can be done to offset them.
The Online Customer Objectives
When a customer visits your Website, they typically have one of the following four objectives in mind: (1) Browse your current inventory; (2) Get an approximate trade-in value; (3) Get potential finance information; and (4) Schedule a service appointment. The fourth one is not applicable for the purposes of this blog, so we’ll focus here on the first three.
The Pitfalls of Overly Complicated Websites
Most of today’s dealership Websites make it difficult and frustrating for customers to achieve the objectives we listed above. Here are a few of the common issues we see, over and over again.
(1) Annoying pop-ups. Seeing a pop-up once is not bad, but if it continues to appear each time someone navigates their way to a new page, it quickly leads to irritation.
(2) Excessive information/Overwhelming Information Requests. Requiring too much personal information upfront – and online – can deter potential customers. People are reluctant to share sensitive data online and often aren’t willing to spend the time to enter in a large amount of personal data.
(3) Complex navigation. Overly complex Website navigation systems can make it more of a challenge than it should be for customers to quickly find out what they’re seeking.
(4) Button overload. Too many call-to-action buttons placed haphazardly on a dealer’s Website can leave a potential customer confused and irritated.
The Consequences of Customer Frustration
When your customers encounter these obstacles, their frustration level rises. They can leave your Website feeling like they’ve wasted their time and might even question its trustworthiness. And the worst part of this is, because this interaction occurs online, you’ll never get the chance to engage in person with these would-be potential buyers.
Remember, your dealership Website is your digital showroom, and it’s where many potential customers will form their first impressions of your business. By addressing the common issues that frustrate visitors and simplifying their online journey, you can enhance the user experience and don’t have to worry about driving customers away – the last thing you’d ever want to happen.
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