I’ve been getting a lot of dealers ask me which CANADIAN website vendor should they go with AND who is the best? This is such a complex answer that I don’t really know where to start…… so I decided to explore the used inventory.
SEO, CRM, Blogging platforms, and Lead Management systems are not included in this post. This is simply my favorite, the good old bread and butter of dealer leads……. The Used Car Inventory
I took 3 separate screenshots from 7 of Canada’s most popular Dealer Website Vendors. This way you can easily compare each vendors search results and display pages to decide what will work for your store.
Some things to consider when talking to your vendor about conversions (HOW MANY VISITORS SUBMIT AN INQUIRY ON A USED CAR):
- How long are the forms? This can prevent the visitor from filling out the form completely if it takes too long.
- How many different type of leads can your VDP generate? (Best Price, Test Drive, Credit Application, CarProof)
- How do these pages look on an IPAD?
- What does the mobile version of the site look like? Pull the Iphone and see for yourself.
Used Car Section is your money pages!
If you check your Google Analytics (you do have those right?) you will notice that used car inventory is always in the top 3 of the most popular pages. If you don’t believe me see for yourself. I’m guessing your Used/New Vehicle specials pages also attract a lot of attention.
Consumers have sooooo much access to new car review sites, OEM sites (gm.ca, ford.ca) that they are less likely to do a build and price or research their New Car on a dealership website. If they are in fact looking for a new car on your website there is a really good chance that they already have made a decision on what they want. The new car shopper is simply choosing who they want to buy that new car from (best price, available?, reputation, sales person) VS a used car shopper looking for an exact vehicle.
My firm belief is the SRP’s and VDP’s on a dealers New Car section are not as important as the Used Car section.
If they are browsing your dealership website for a used car you better hope that the SRP’s (Search Result Pages) and VDP’s (Vehicle Display Pages) are equipped to bring home the leads!
If your pages convert better than your competitors, you or going to get the first crack at the lead for that 2010 Imapala that can be found anywhere. Your website can actually make the used car you are selling more attractive than comparable models at the same price. Don’ t believe me? Ask a dealer that went from a poor performing website to a high quality site with great search and display pages. The leads will increase overnight!
Don’t judge a vendor by the homepage!
I’m going to tell you a little secret. It’s not hard for an automotive website vendor to make an amazing “custom” homepage. What dealers are not aware of, is that they will have limited ability to customize the Search Results and Display Pages. They might be able to change a button here or there, but for the most part what you see is what you get.
Get it out of your head right now that you are going to be able to choose a vendor and get them to change their SRP’s and VDP’s to match “That BMW dealer in California I saw at NADA”. The search pages and display pages are on platform that is shared with all of their customers. Same thing with the credit application (that is a whole other blog post!).
So here we go. I have provided you with 3 screenshots for each Canadian website vendor. Don’t judge a vendor by it’s cover (homepage), the pages that are going to translate into leads are the SRP’s and VDP’s.
Dealer Smart Solutions (DSS)
What is important to your dealership when it comes to displaying your used inventory on your dealership website? Is there anything that is working OR not working? Use the comment box below to be involved in the conversation.