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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Aaron Schinke

Aaron Schinke Vice President of Product Development and Marketing

Exclusive Blog Posts

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Are Your SRP's (Inventory Pages) Costing You Sales?

It’s no secret that VDP views have been almost unanimously accepted as a core KPI for dealership websites and even third party services. While there are many, many factors that go into why a VDP 

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view happens, it is without a doubt a buying signal and an important one at that.  If this is the case, you’d probably like for your website to be set up to get more customers to your VDPs. But is it? The answer may surprise you.

 

The answer is: Probably not. The ideal visitor flow is pretty obvious when it comes to an ecommerce website and can be seen on all of the best sites from other industries.  It is generally as follows:

 

Step 1: Attract visitor to the site. Whether it’s via SEO or content or PPC or any other channel, you need eyeballs.

 

Step 2: Guide visitor to inventory. Again, whether it’s from a link within the landing page or through the main navigation, the hope is to get people to look at your inventory.

 

Step 3: Push/Pull visitor to product (vehicle) pages. Ideally you’ll have the right inventory to get people to click through to the product page and fall in love with a piece (or pieces) of your inventory.

 

In automotive, what you’ll find is that many entities –  third party lead providers, your website provider, or even your own dealership –  are hijacking the process just before that crucial third step. See it in action:

 

 

 

 

See ALL of those calls to action leading people away from VDPs and even worse, off of your site? Ultimately all of these CTA’s pull people away from the optimal, designed shopping process.

 

Of course, the rebuttal will be that if you can get a lead at the inventory search level, you may as well take it, and a lead is more valuable than a VDP view. But if you look at the research, the findings actually point to a correlation between VDP views and SALES – not leads.

 

The question becomes: Is the relentless push for more leads actually limiting your opportunity for sales?

 
Blake Lemmons
Absolutely this is true. You see it everywhere. Too many services are pushing all sorts of lead types, sending shoppers here and there rather than keeping them where they need to be. Dealers need to get back to basic web design concepts. Use third party services for CRM, DMS, data management, whatever, but have real designers develop the sites they need to actually get shopper engagement. Service providers are coming up with all sorts of new "tools" that really don't benefit anyone but the service provider. If a shopper goes onto a dealership lot, there's no way a dealer would have a big sign up telling them if they want more info on this or that to visit the store down the street, so why would they think it is a good idea on their own website. The logic does't make sense. One can say well we have stats about this and stats about that, but anyone can come up with stats about anything, doesn't mean it is good. Show the shoppers what they need in order to buy or inquire about the vehicle, nothing more. Shoppers are not asking for all this other stuff, so why show it to them.
Dave Page
I'm surprised you didn't at least use a screen shot of one of your own dealers. http://www.toyotaofnaperville.com/used-cars-naperville-il
Aaron Schinke
For sure! I tried to keep all parties unidentified including the dealers themselves. As I said in the article its not only the web providers and 3rd party lead providers to blame, but also the dealers themselves demanding these things be added! P.S. DealerFire and Toyota of Naperville thank you for the link! ;)
Dave Page
For starters, there is no better place to convert a visitor than on the VDP of a website (assuming you have all the data on the page such as the installed options of the vehicle for example.) The question then is, why all the different ways to ask for a customers information? If you are asking me, I am going to rely on the DATA. Our DATA tells me that different forms appeal to different people, and some consistently out perform others. For example, one of the WORST performing lead forms on all dealer websites is "Schedule a Test Drive" which usually sits in the number one position. Two of the best lead forms are "Get ePrice" usually placed in the pricing fields, or "Confirm Availability" usually placed where the pictures are. These two lead forms convert the highest because they are discreet questions the visitor is asking themselves in their own mind. Would a customer ask themselves, should I schedule a test drive today? Of course not! Would they ask, I wonder what the payment on that car would be? -Bingo- payment lead form. Layout VDP- Personally I have driven 5 different makes of vehicles in the last 10 years. It wouldn't matter to me what the layout is, assuming the layout takes into account (regardless of the manufacturer) the important points customers are looking for before they decide to submit their information. In no particular order - Real Pictures, Price/Payments, Available Rebates, Installed Options . What more information do I need as a consumer to make a decision? Dealers who think their customers are special because they drive a Lexus or Mercedes versus a Toyota or a Chevrolet would be dead wrong from a navigational or VDP standpoint on a website. Their actions and expectations are the same. At the end of the day, ALL customers are looking for a few pieces of information to help bring them to a decision which makes a sale.
Blake Lemmons
@Dave: Completely agree with you. You are correct, design/layout/add-ons is user specific. Toyota shoppers vary from mercedes shoppers. And the above mentioned link is an excellent example, in my opinion, of overkill.

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