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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Websites - What does the customer want?

Chapter IV - What not to do when looking into your website to figure out “is it working”?

As you will see down the line, a study confirms that we car sales people just obsess too much about it. What I mean is we constantly search for the “holy grail” in making a website flashy, pretty, and interactive with the latest gadget out there in the industry.

I get it – we possibly think we need to impress our potential new customers who have finally found our website – us picturing them glaring at their screen with Ohhhhs and Ahhhs coming out of their mouth. But sorry to disappoint you – we need to wake you up a little bit more roughly, like my grandma used to do when my brothers and I slept in too long, and poured a nice cold and refreshing glass of water in our faces.

The majority of customers reaching a desired website location wants just one thing: 


An entire 76% of questioned consumers by HubSpot in the second quarter of this year saw this as the most important factor for them to remain on the site and possibly purchase from the chosen vendor’s website.

Arguments from GMs and GSMs (and yes, even Internet Managers) such as “My website needs to look nice and pretty,” doesn’t fly and it is a presumption that we dealers just know it all. I heard it when I started back in a dealership, and I hear it still today as I am giving speeches or trainings on industry events. “My website looks too plain” or “why don’t I have anything moving in my website, like a running banner…?” – After seeing the results of the HubSpot study, it is very easy to give a response – because it won’t help!

Only 10% of consumers “want to see a pretty websites” and just 9% “love to experience a cutting edge interactive” website. Bummer…!!!

When I came back into the dealer world, the first thing I did was take down the “walking in lady telling me on the website how to appraise my current car”… I think she is just annoying and when getting into my backend looking at the websites duration time, the numbers pretty much told me “your conversion sucks.”

Looking again on the sites and pages duration time just 4 weeks later– surprise, surprise – the time my customers spent with me on the website had increased 38% and the numbers of pages visited tripled. Since I had these results with a minor adjustment (taking down the virtual spokesperson), I also saved some money on not paying any longer for this service.





I also love to de-clutter my websites. I go for clean, structured design with a natural feel of where to go next, well placed call to action buttons, and links inside the pages which will always lead back to the most profitable centers of my website – the service department, the used car inventory, used car specials, new car specials and the new car inventory.  

When having a smart linkage strategy, the success of page conversion and form submissions will naturally appear.

Tarry Shebesta
Our experience is that once a consumer settles on a particular car, they begin to search for the best way to pay for it. Most are not stroking a check for the purchase price. Connecting real payments with real credit is the key to engaging the consumer and converting more of a website's existing traffic. Give them what they want and need to do business online. -Tarry Shebesta
That could be definitively a way to approach consumers as well. Thank you for your comment Tarry. All the best!

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