How to Choose An Automotive Digital Retailer

How to Choose An Automotive Digital Retailer

According to Google, 92 percent of car buyers research online before making a purchase. You need to make it as easy as possible for online shoppers to make the leap from researcher to customer if you want more sales. You’ll need a digital retailing tool.

What are digital retailing tools? They are online programs shoppers can use to help them:

  • Schedule a test drive
  • Pre-qualify for financing
  • Calculate loan payments
  • Value their trade-in, and
  • Ask questions about a car

In short, a digital retailing tool will simplify the buying process and generate more qualified leads for your sales team.

Not all digital retailers are created equal, though. Some are much more effective than others.

How can you know which tool is right for your car dealership? We recommend considering these three factors:

1. The Features

When shopping for digital retailing tools, it is vital to consider the features every option provides. At a minimum, you should expect each system to offer:

  • A trade-in valuation tool
  • A payment calculator, and
  • A loan pre-qualification form

However, depending on the nature of your dealership’s customer base, you may also need your digital retailing tool to provide features like a tutorial video or CRM compatibility.

Of course, it’s also important to ensure the features offered by the digital retailing tools are easy to use. If they are clunky or confusing, you may want to explore other options.

2. The Look and Feel

You don’t want your digital retailing tool to seem out of place on your car dealership’s website. As such, you should ensure the option you select fits the look and feel of your site.

We recommend paying particularly close attention to design and color customizability. If your digital retailing tool uses different colors than the rest of your site, your customers may not trust it.

It’s also a good idea to check if the call-to-action buttons are editable. Customized phrases tend to achieve better results than generic directions.

3. The Provider’s Reputation

It is crucial to think about the reputation of the company that makes the digital retailing tools. Are they new to the automotive industry? Or have they been helping dealerships like yours generate leads for years?

Do they have a reputation for being overly sales-focused? Or do they have a dedicated support team you can call if you have questions about the system?

If a provider seems inexperienced or unsupportive, they’re probably not the right partner for you.

Why FastLane Leads is the Perfect Digital Retailing Tool for Your Dealership

The search for the perfect digital retailing tool for your dealership does not have to be difficult. In fact, you’ve already found what you’re looking for! 

FastLane Leads from fusionZONE is one of the best digital retailing tools on the market today. It offers tons of innovative features designed to help you generate and manage leads, such as:

  • A trade-in valuation tool powered by Kelley Blue Book
  • A financing pre-qualification portal and a payment calculator
  • The ability to integrate with both search results pages and vehicle display pages
  • A detailed tutorial video, and
  • CRM compatibility

FastLane Leads also fits in seamlessly with the look and feel of your car dealership’s website. It even gives you the power to customize your call-to-action buttons to make them more appealing to your customers.

Of course, the fusionZONE team didn’t develop FastLane Leads overnight. We’ve been creating award-winning sales conversion tools for more than a decade. We know what it takes to develop a highly-effective digital retailing system.

fusionZONE also understands how important it is to support our dealer partners. That is why we have a dedicated support line our clients can call any time they have a question about FastLane Leads or any of our other products. When you need us, we will be there.

With so much to love about fusionZONE and the FastLane Leads digital retailing system, it is no surprise we have a 4.9-star rating on Google.

fusionZONE Google Business Profile

Ready to Get Started with FastLane Leads? Contact fusionZONE Today! 

Is your dealership ready to begin generating leads and driving sales with FastLane Leads? If so, please do not hesitate to call fusionZONE at (424) 232-0728. Our friendly representatives will be more than happy to schedule a demo and answer all your questions. We look forward to hearing from you! 

commercial transportation business

Do you want to take your commercial transportation business to the next level? If so, you will need to advertise!

But what are the best ways to promote a truck or tractor dealership? The experienced marketers at fusionZONE are here to provide you with all the info you need to know!

The Best Ways to Market Your Commercial Transportation Business

At fusionZONE, we recommend using the following techniques to promote your dealership:

Add Your Logo to Your Vehicles

Whether you sell heavy equipment or trucks, your products spend quite a lot of time on the road. You can turn that mileage into marketing exposure by adding your dealership branding to your vehicles.

It is best to put the logo on or near the vehicle’s rear bumper. This placement will ensure it is visible to other motorists without obstructing or annoying the operator.

Some of your buyers might be willing to put a larger, more noticeable branding on their vehicle in exchange for a discount on their purchase. Suggest this idea during the negotiation process to see if they are interested.

Build an Optimized Website

When people search online for a truck or tractor dealer in your city, will they find your business? If not, you need to create an SEO-friendly website for your equipment dealership as soon as possible.

Generally speaking, your website should contain the following elements:

  • Content focused around keywords like “truck dealer,” “tractor dealer” or “heavy equipment for sale”
  • Easy-to-use menus and navigation tools
  • A responsive design that works well on mobile devices
  • Product listings with a real-time connection to your dealership’s inventory
  • A callback widget, like FastRing, that can connect you to buyers while they are still on your website
  • A deal builder, like FastLane Leads, that allows shoppers to find financing and value their trade-in online, and
  • A page detailing all your company’s latest deals and promotions

With these elements in place, your website will attract hundreds, or even thousands, of visitors every month. Many of them will become clients.

Launch a Google Ads Campaign

PPC (pay-per-click) marketing via Google Ads is one of the most effective ways a truck or tractor dealer can sell heavy equipment online.

This popular advertising method offers the following benefits:

  • Rapid Results: Google Ads campaigns can begin generating leads and driving sales for your company in as little as two days.
  • Detailed Data: Google Ads provides you with tons of data you can use to guide your marketing strategies.
  • Easy Targeting: Google Ads makes it easy to ensure your PPC ads only show for users who are likely to purchase your equipment.

According to Google, businesses generate an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they invest in PPC advertising. Campaigns created and managed by marketing experts can make even more!

Put simply, if you want to sell heavy equipment online, you can’t go wrong with PPC marketing.

Promote Your Business on Social Media

About 40 percent of consumers say they often use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to discover new brands, services, and products. If you are not using these apps to market your commercial transportation business, you are likely missing out on a lot of sales.

You can promote your dealership on social media using these tactics:

  • Post videos showcasing the key features of your products.
  • Share content created by your followers or your employees.
  • Go live to answer common questions shoppers have about your dealership and its tractors and/or trucks.
  • Host competitions and giveaways for your followers.
  • Share articles that discuss the latest news from the commercial transportation industry.

When marketing your business on social media, remember to be friendly, courteous, and upbeat. If you can execute this strategy correctly, you’ll soon begin to see an uptick in web traffic.

Need Help Promoting Your Commercial Transportation Business? Contact the Experts at fusionZONE Today!

Are you a tractor or truck dealer who needs help marketing their business? If so, please do not hesitate to reach out to the team at fusionZONE! Our experienced marketers will be more than happy to build you a new website, create your Google Ads campaigns, and manage your social media accounts. Our graphics department can even help you design a logo to put on your vehicles!

Contact us to speak with a member of our team. We look forward to working with you!

Do you run a construction equipment dealership? If so, it is vital for you to understand where the market is heading in 2022 and beyond. Fortunately, the fusionZONE team is here to provide you with an overview of some key industry trends. Let’s dive in!

Overall Equipment Market Growth

The worldwide construction equipment market shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Analysts at Mordor Intelligence valued the industry at $161 billion in 2020. They expect it to reach $228 billion by 2026.

The increasing focus on infrastructure throughout the globe is the primary driver of this growth. However, the development of advanced automation in the manufacturing and construction processes will aid with the upward push.

Industrial Sector to Lead Growth

Analysts generally segment the construction equipment market into three categories. They are:

  1. Commercial
  2. Industrial
  3. Residential

Most observers expect the commercial and residential segments to enjoy slow but steady growth in the coming years. The industrial sector, on the other hand, is set to explode.

Experts believe foreign direct investments in international manufacturing plants and rising global industrialization will drive the progressive growth in the industrial sector.

Cranes Likely to be the Largest Segment

Analysts at Mordor Intelligence expect cranes to be the largest segment in the construction equipment market in 2022 and beyond. The demand will come from commercial and residential building developments across North America and massive infrastructure projects in Europe and Africa.

Observers believe the motor grader, loader and backhoe, and telescopic handler segments will also perform well in the medium-term.

Shift to Low-Emissions Equipment

Analysts expect just about every industry in the world to shift toward low-emissions vehicles and equipment in the coming years. The construction equipment market will follow this trend.

By 2030, most construction equipment manufacturers will have reduced or eliminated their traditional hydraulic and mechanical models. They will instead focus on producing electric and hybrid alternatives.

Smarter Heavy Equipment

The construction equipment market isn’t just becoming greener. It is also getting smarter. Manufacturers in the industry already produce vehicles that offer tons of high-tech features like:

  • Augmented reality screens
  • 3D grading control systems
  • Telematics, and
  • Remote control systems

Market analysts do not expect the high-tech movement to stop any time soon. Indeed, many think the growing demand for advanced construction equipment will incentivize manufacturers to produce even smarter tools in the coming years.

How an Experienced Equipment Marketing Company Can Help You Take Advantage of Industry Trends

Do you want to take advantage of these market trends? If so, all you need to do is hire a knowledgeable equipment marketing company to assist you with the following projects:

Build a High-Converting Equipment Dealer Website

The market is set to grow quickly in the next few years. If you want your business to expand along with it, you need to make it as easy as possible for interested customers to buy or rent your equipment.

Your marketing company can help you achieve this goal by building you a high-converting equipment dealer website with a real-time connection to your inventory.

When your new website is complete, customers will be able to buy or rent your equipment online with just a few clicks. They won’t need to call your office to check inventory or pricing.

Once clients experience the ease and convenience of doing business with your dealership, they’ll never go anywhere else!

Optimize Your New Website for Search

The demand for cranes and electric construction equipment is set to grow rapidly in the coming years. Many of the companies who need these tools will search for them online.

If you want your company to grow, it is vital that the people who conduct these searches find your new equipment dealer website. We can make this happen by optimizing your site for search using the following techniques:

  • Selecting keywords and posting relevant content
  • Ensuring the website works well on mobile devices
  • Adding title tags and meta descriptions to each page
  • Ensuring the site loads quickly and is easy to use

When done well, search engine optimization can drive thousands of new visitors to your website each month.

Create and Manage a Google Ads Campaign

If you want to ensure you take full advantage of the upcoming growth in the industry, your equipment marketing company can also help you create and manage a Google Ads campaign.

Your marketing team can target your PPC ads at trending segments, such as low-emissions vehicles and high-tech equipment. They can then pivot your campaigns in the future if market forces change.

A well-managed Google Ads campaign can generate results in as little as 48 hours.

fusionZONE: Your Trusted Equipment Marketing Company

Are you ready to expand your business with the help of an equipment marketing company? If so, please don’t hesitate to reach out to fusionZONE. We’ve been helping dealerships like yours drive sales and generate leads online for years!

Contact us to speak with one of our representatives. We look forward to hearing from you!

What is Karmak?

If you work in the automotive or commercial transportation industries, you have likely heard of Karmak. However, you might not know what the company does or how it can help take your automotive/equipment dealership to the next level. We’re here to provide you with all the information you need to know.

Karmak: An Overview

Karmak is a business management solutions provider for the commercial transportation and automotive equipment industries. It helps businesses manage inventory, boost sales, and improve their accounting practices.

They were founded on December 31, 1981. Since then, the company has grown tremendously. Here are a few of the highlights of its 40 years in business:

  • 1982: Karmak signs an OEM agreement with Digital Equipment Corporation.
  • 1987: Inc names Karmak one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the United States.
  • 1997: Karmak acquires Rinfo, Inc. and its INFO5 dealer management system.
  • 2001: Karmak introduces Director Series, its first Windows-based parts and service management system.
  • 2003: Karmak launches ProfitMaster Sales.
  • 2007: Karmak introduces ProfitMaster Service.
  • 2011: Karmak launches Fusion, its flagship Windows-based solution for the heavy-duty industry.
  • 2012: Karmak introduces Deliver-It, a mobile app that provides a real-time view of the delivery process.
  • 2016: Karmak acquires ADAM Systems, a DMS for the automotive and powersports industries.
  • 2019: Karmak launches Unity, an API framework that helps clients leverage third-party programs.

Karmak now has over 250 employees. It provides first-in-class business management solutions and DMS services to more than 600 commercial transportation companies and equipment dealers across North America.

Karmak holds a wide range of strategic partnerships with companies like Mack, Daimler, Wabash National, Thermo King, Peterbilt, and fusionZONE.

How to Use Karmak to Take Your Company to the Next Level

Karmak can help to optimize and grow equipment dealerships like yours in a variety of different ways. For example, its Fusion Parts solution provides you with the tools you need to maintain tighter control over your inventory and make data-driven purchasing decisions.

Fusion Parts also comes with the Deliver-It application. This feature gives you the ability to monitor the efficiency of your company’s delivery drivers and their routes. It can even help you to reduce your liability by capturing delivery signatures and images.

The Fusion Sales solution helps to close more deals and increase revenue. It allows you to easily generate spec sheets with unlimited characteristics and track sales rates that are tied to individual units.

A Fusion Accounting suite gives you the ability to track vendors, compile invoice summaries, and reconcile your inventory with your books. All transactions are done in real-time, so your accounting team will always have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information.

The programs are easy to use and you should have little trouble fitting them into your existing workflow. Take advantage of their  knowledge center, support team, and e-learning hub to provide you with advice and guidance. It can even provide an on-site trainer to assist you with the onboarding process.

How fusionZONE Can Help Karmak Customers Drive More Sales

what is karmak

As a Karmak customer, you won’t just have access to its extensive suite of business management solutions. You will also be able to team up with the experienced developers at fusionZONE to build a high-converting website for your dealership.  Your Karmak DMS integrates seamlessly into fusionZONE’s websites. Your dealership will have a custom-built website with a real-time connection to your inventory!

This integration will give your dealership’s customers the ability to look for parts directly on your website, without needing to call to check inventory.

fusionZONE’s list of services doesn’t stop at web development. Our digital marketing team can also help you drive sales and generate leads for your equipment dealership by assisting you with:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Google Ads management
  • Video advertising, and
  • Reputation management

In short, we can help your equipment dealership thrive online.  Please do not hesitate to give us a call at (424) 232-0728 or complete the contact form. Our friendly team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Schedule An Appointment

Top 5 Automotive Website Design Tips

Top 5 Tips for Automotive Website Design

Could your automotive website use a major upgrade? Maybe the site design needs updating to a more modern and user-friendly layout, or it’s simply not helping your dealership reach its full potential.

Either way, there are plenty of automotive web design best practices to utilize when revamping your site to boost its appeal and performance.

Today, we’re covering the top tips for automotive websites, along with the common website design mistakes you should work to avoid.

Consider these automotive web design tips to enhance the user experience (UX) and attract more leads, conversions and sales!

1. Ensure Your Site Is Easy to Navigate

Your website’s navigation is one of the most critical factors regarding how visitors interact with your site and business online. If you’re looking to improve your automotive website’s UX, you could certainly start by taking a close look at its navigation.

Is your site’s menu easy and intuitive to navigate? Is it optimized for all shoppers? In other words, can visitors find what they’re looking for within the navigation menu, regardless of where they are in the purchase process?

Some visitors may know exactly what new car model they’re after and want to get to that model’s inventory quickly. Still, other shoppers may be in the initial stage of their search and seek a more broad view of your inventory, where they can narrow down their options gradually.

Regardless of how you organize links within the navigation, you’ll want to keep all potential customers in mind. Don’t forget to display your dealership’s finance application, service scheduler, specials and other popular pages prominently within the menu!

Keep the following automotive website navigation best practices in mind as you look to improve your site’s user experience:

  • Minimize menu clutter
  • Utilize dropdowns to formulate a navigation funnel
  • Make navigation titles clear and concise
  • Include a search bar
  • Ensure menu items are easy to read on mobile devices

2. Optimize the Space Above the Fold

Navigation is the main way visitors interact with your website; that’s why it’s always front and center. Likewise, you should ensure that your automotive dealership or service center’s top vehicles, pages and services are also quick to locate online.

The important calls to action or CTAs on your site should always be above the fold on any given page. This is another automotive web design best practice because it helps ensure that visitors won’t have to dig to find what they’re after.

In short, are you prominently displaying links like your new inventory, used car specials, credit application and contact information? If not, you might want to get started: it’s one simple way to improve automotive website UX.

3. Make It Mobile-Friendly

Car shoppers are increasingly starting their searches on mobile devices, which is why it’s more crucial than ever that your site is mobile-friendly. This doesn’t mean your website simply has to look good on an iPhone: it also needs to operate as seamlessly on a mobile screen as a desktop.

Mobile navigation is a major factor when designing a car dealership or service center website that converts mobile visitors into customers. If your site’s menu is too difficult to navigate on a mobile device, shoppers will likely become frustrated and bounce, leaving for another site and business.

With a responsive website and NAV 2.0 from fusionZONE, you can help ensure your automotive site is ready for mobile shoppers.

Our mobile-first approach to automotive web design and navigation means that you can spend less time optimizing your site and more time fielding online leads and converting them into sales. Contact our team to learn more!

4. Utilize Custom Images and Content

Looking beyond the overall website design, the way you use graphics and content on your site also matters.

Stock images and generic content not only look bad, but they also negatively affect consumer confidence. Plus, duplicate content and content not optimized for search engines can hold your website back in organic search.

Utilizing unique vehicle images over stock model graphics is always the way to go. The same goes for custom content tailored around your dealership.

Custom graphics and unique content can help:

  • Improve the look and feel of your website
  • Enhance your search engine optimization or SEO efforts
  • Differentiate your website and dealership from the competition
  • Build consumer confidence in your business
  • Help convert more visitors into customers

How do you ensure that your automotive website’s menu, links and content are easy to read and navigate? Let’s take a look.

5. Keep It Simple and Clean

Last on our list of automotive web design best practices is a clean and simple layout. From the navigation and calls to action above the fold to the graphics, content and lead forms throughout the rest of a page, you’ll want to provide an intuitive shopping experience at every turn.

You can create a clean and simple website design by utilizing white space, breaking up content into smaller, more digestible portions and using high-quality graphics to separate content sections and calls to action.

Often, less is more in the world of automotive web design. After all, the main goal of your website should be to cater to visitors and customers with detailed information about your business, products and services.

If your site is confusing to navigate or not mobile-friendly, you could lose more online shoppers than you’ll gain.

Don’t miss our blog post, 7 Tips to Improve Your Automotive Website’s User Experience, for even more ways to turn site visitors into customers.

Want even more automotive web design tips and common website design mistakes to avoid? Then reach out to the fusionZONE team.

We’ve been designing high-performance automotive websites for dealers and service centers for many years, and we will gladly assist with your site’s needs!

Tips to Improve Your Automotive Website’s User Experience

User experience is one of the most vital components to consider when designing a website. After all, the user is the reason why your website exists.

If you’re trying to attract potential customers to your business online, you’ll want to consider our top tips for improving your website’s user experience.

In this installment of the fusionZONE blog, we cover automotive web design best practices, but these seven tips can apply to websites in any industry.

Let’s get started with one of the most critical components of providing a pleasant user experience.

1. Keep It Simple

Developing a clean, simple and intuitive website design helps visitors reach their goals.

If your site’s design is overloaded with text, graphics, calls to action, menu items and pop-ups, you risk losing your audience even before they fully interact with your dealership online.

It’s not uncommon for website visitors to encounter too many options — and too much going on — when they arrive at a dealership’s homepage or landing page. When faced with a confusing or complex website layout, visitors tend to bounce from the site and start shopping elsewhere, somewhere they feel more comfortable and in control.

2. Keep It Consistent

Have you ever visited a website that feels like different designers and developers built its various pages? This phenomenon can lead to a less-than-stellar visitor experience, one where the site may even lose credibility through its inconsistency.

But consistent design goes far beyond merely a site’s design elements, such as its use of colors, fonts and graphics. Many elements go into a consistent website design, from the internal linking structure and website navigation bar design to page layouts and lead form designs.

It’s imperative to maintain a consistent user flow throughout your automotive website. So no matter if a visitor is shopping the latest new car models on your lot or scheduling an appointment at your service center, they’ll encounter similar and familiar steps along the way to reaching their goal.

Creating a consistent design across your site helps visitors feel at home, which means more time on site, more interaction with your business and a better chance of converting site visits into leads and sales.

3. Use Design Elements to Separate Page Sections

Do you have a lot of quality content and information about your business on your site? That’s great, but you’ll want to make sure that visitors can digest the info easily.

One way to accomplish this is to utilize design elements to separate content into smaller sections. On your dealership homepage, you could start with a few calls to action with links to popular products and services, such as your new inventory, used inventory and schedule service page.

Below the fold, you can create another design element and section that highlights the latest car models available at your dealership, followed by separate sections detailing the reasons to buy and service at your business.

Maybe you even want to highlight each of your dealership’s departments, covering a mix of online and on-site services you offer.

Using design elements and white space to break down content into bite-sized sections is especially important on pages with extensive text and graphics.

4. Practice Responsive Design

Is your website mobile-friendly?

The best way to test this out is to visit your website on a mobile device, pretend that you are a first-time visitor, and navigate through the site with different objectives in mind. If you find that it’s more difficult or less intuitive than you initially thought, then it’s time to implement responsive design.

Responsive website designs render well on all devices and browsers. So whether a user is viewing your site on a smartphone, tablet or PC monitor the size of a television screen, the website navigation and content will display consistently.

Since smaller screens have far less visual real estate than a desktop computer’s display monitor, the user experience and site functionality can diminish if you don’t utilize responsive design.

For instance, many common website navigation mistakes on mobile devices can be attributed to simply not considering smaller screen sizes when developing the website.

5. Consider Page Speed

Page speed certainly matters to the user experience, and it matters in Google’s search rankings, too. Plugins, pop-ups and third-party apps can slow your page load speed to a crawl, so you’ll want to use these elements as sparingly as possible.

Many factors are at play when optimizing your site’s page speed for a pleasant user experience, but much of it boils down to our first point: keep it simple.

6. Utilize Intuitive Navigation

Your website’s menu is the chief way visitors navigate your site, so the type of website navigation you employ plays a big factor in the overall user experience.

What are some website navigation best practices? Or how do you know if there is good navigation on a website?

Well, going back to responsive design, you’ll first want to ensure that visitors across all devices and browsers can easily move through your site via the website navigation menu.

Current site navigation trends certainly favor a simpler approach to menu design, one that is free from clutter or unnecessary or duplicate links, and one that is highly responsive for mobile visitors.

7. Audit Your Menu & Content Regularly

The task of developing an excellent user experience is never done. That’s why performing routine audits of your site design is so important.

Having outdated content or graphics is never a good look to visitors, nor is having broken links on pages or in the navigation. Updating content, graphics, links and other elements is crucial, and so is auditing your website navigation menu.

Using the example of a test run, you can visit your website on various devices, browse the navigation menu and look for any areas of confusion or redundancy.

See how long it takes you to reach certain pages or goals on your website by simply using the navigation bar. If you struggle at all, assume that visitors and customers less familiar with your site and services will have a tougher time with the navigation.

If you’re looking for ways to improve website navigation or would like a second opinion on your dealer site’s navigation bar, reach out to fusionZONE. We specialize in developing high-performance websites for car dealerships, auto repair shops and dealers in the powersports and commercial vehicle industries.

The fusionZONE team has developed NAV 2.0, the future of website navigation. Contact us for a tour and test drive of our latest responsive, mobile-friendly navigation!

Coversion Rate Optimization

A 15-Minute Check Can Create More Opportunities and Sales!

Feeling like your web presence just isn’t clicking the way it used to? Not getting enough business? Worried about the competition?

Many of our customers come to us with the same questions. If you’re searching for answers, a fresh website is a great place to start.

Often, the solution is usually much simpler and is a better use of your time than a massive overhaul: your SRP and VDP probably just need to be revisited. With some minor changes, you could see a massive boost to your lead generation!

In this article, we’re going to share our secret sauce for generating high-quality leads. These are easy to do yourself without bringing in support teams.

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a way of increasing the number of users who perform an intended action on a website, which can be buying a product, signing up for a service, or clicking ‘add to cart’.

Why Should You Care About CRO?

Because that’s how you sell more cars! Your operational management team’s goal is crafting your floor team into a conveyor belt that turns customers into sales. Why wouldn’t you want your website to operate on the same principle?

There is a ton that goes into a successful website and CRO is among the most important items. CRO is about the long game. You’ll find it well worth your effort.

How Do You Calculate Conversion Rates?

Conversion rate can be calculated by using this formula:

(leads generated ÷ website traffic) * 100 = Your conversion rate %!

So if your website gets an average of 200 leads and 5000 sessions (using Google Analytics as a tracker) per month, your conversion rate would be:

(200 ÷ 5000) * 100 = 4% Conversion Rate

 

What Counts as a Conversion?

This is the part that we believe some people overlook. In our humble opinion, you should only be reviewing anything that can be converted into a sale.

This means calls, website chats, and lead generation forms (inventory, finance, trade-ins, service requests, etc.) that lead to sales.

This does not mean form starts (but not finished!) or landing page views.

Landing page views and form engagement are incredibly important to building an audience profile, but they do not count as conversions.

How Do You Track Your Conversions?

There are several tools available to you that you can use to track your conversion, such as

  • Google Analytics
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Your website CMS

Ask your website provider how they track conversions and if you need assistance setting them up. They might already be tracking them as far as you know!

If you are using a 3rd-party provider for your financing applications, get in touch with your support representative and they will most likely know how to connect all of your conversion tracking tools to your analytics platform of choice.

What is a Good Conversion Rate?

Now that you understand what CRO is and how to track it, what do you do if you find out your results are poor? Do you need to change everything up or make minor adjustments?

The answer is the most important response in all of web design. Ready?

It depends.

That’s not very helpful, we know! Let’s dive in and get to a more actionable solution.

The commonly accepted average conversion rate for web leads in the automotive vertical is around 1.5%.

This number will fluctuate. Don’t panic if you’re at 1.51% and a new study comes out that says the floor is 1.75%.

Why? Ultimately, this number is useless for you. This may be surprising due to all the sales pitches from digital marketing companies. But it’s the truth.

The reason why it’s not very useful is because your conversion rate depends on several factors completely out of your control. These can be:

  • Location: Rural vs. Urban
  • Region of the Country: (the southeast of the U.S. is far more hospitable to a Get Best Price button than the northeast)
  • OEM: A Honda dealer will receive more leads than most Acura dealers. If you can afford an NSX, you probably aren’t likely to put in a lead online.

If you’re a Chevrolet dealer near Atlanta, GA, you would not be as shocked to learn that your website operates on a 10% conversion rate on web leads. If you said that you’re an Acura dealer in the northeast and you are pulling a 6%, we’d be more impressed.

Keep this in mind!

 

Your Website is Your Digital Showroom

Here are some tricks and strategies to help you improve your website conversions.

SRPs and VDPs: Keep It Simple!

First things first, a clean, simple website will usually outperform one that is a visual nightmare. If things start to look busy to you, the website owner, they are likely twice as confusing for a customer. Good UI/UX (user interface/user experience) is crucial!

In short: simplicity wins.

 

Call to Action

Automotive Dealer Inventory Calls to Actions

 

Your call-to-action (or CTA) should be readable and clickable on both mobile and desktop. These are the most important items on your site besides your inventory!

On your SRPs, keep your calls to action minimal. Remember, this is the first time a customer is viewing this inventory. Reduce your CTAs to the absolute minimum.

Customers can become paralyzed by choice and will ultimately decide to move on. If you keep your CTAs simple, it’s easier for a customer to focus on finding a vehicle with the right price and less on all myriad of options and considerations they could be making.

CTAs should also create a sense of urgency.  “Check Availability” is one of the least performing CTAs you could possibly use. Most customers know that if they see the vehicle on the site, you most likely have one in stock. And if you don’t, they definitely know you can get them one.

If you’re adding a third or more CTAs, ask yourself: “Is this absolutely necessary to have right here on this page?” If it’s not, dump it. Your customers will appreciate it.

Price is a larger determining factor for a customer’s inclination to submit a lead. “Get Our Best Price” is still one of the best lead-submission generating lines around.

If you have digital retailing tools, focus more on utility. “Get Financed” or “Start Checkout” do not really cut it in our experience. You’re more likely to pique someone’s interest with “Build Your Deal” (as they aren’t feeling the pressure to finish right here, right now).

Images

Another important piece is ensuring your vehicles have images of the vehicle. The vehicle could do well to swap out the stock photo for an actual image. Seeing the vehicle is one of the largest deciding factors to whether or not someone submits a lead!

Pricing

It may seem obvious, but you could have a website designed by Amazon themselves and if your truck is $3,000 more expensive on your site than a competitor’s down the road, customer are not likely to give you their information. They’re calling the other listing.

Make sure your pricing is competitive. We recommend tweaking the following:

  1. Showing discounts before or after the Best Price lead is submitted.
  2. Deciding whether to use Best Price at all.
  3. When compliant, using a red strikethrough to indicate a greater price beyond the Best Price.

If you change your pricing, be sure to change your CTA verbiage as well to match. You do not want to claim there is a better price beyond a CTA only to show nothing!

Forms

This one also seems relatively simple, but it’s missed all the time. Make your customers do the least amount of work possible. That means lowering how many forms you require them to submit or filling out the least amount of information on them. This applies to your service forms, credit applications, SRP/VDP Best price forms; all of them. If you don’t like filling them out yourself, your customers won’t like them either.

Requiring a name, address, phone number, and email address is often too much. If you’re struggling to generate incoming leads, only require name, address, and your preference between email or phone number. Another possibility is to let your customers choose which of the two they prefer. Requiring both can be overkill.

Think Outside the SRP

Reviews also play a huge part into a customer’s likelihood that they submit a lead.

There are two factors that goes into this: average rating and number of reviews. If you have a 5.0 rating on Google, that’s great! If there are only two reviews, that’s less great.

Think of everyone’s favorite ecommerce site: Amazon.

Amazon Shopping Review Features

 

Obviously, you shouldn’t copy everything from Amazon. We created a three-part feature on that mindset, after-all.  But there are some features that are worth mentioning.

Amazon lets you sort through their inventory from highest to lowest reviews.

Anecdotally, most people who use Amazon swear by shopping with this filter. It’s human nature to not to be first to take the plunge on a brand-new

Ask yourself: why would a customer take a chance on your dealership if you’re sporting a 3.0 average and only 20 reviews? Quality and quantity count.

Customer service very much translates into the digital world. Keep this in mind and get happy customers to leave you glowing reviews online.

Videos – More Important Than Ever

A massive change from 2020 to 2021 is the necessity to have video content on your website. Due to COVID-19, shoppers became accustomed to shopping online at a rate that has never been seen before.

No longer will your text descriptions and feature lists suffice!

Now, you’ll need to showcase your inventory with video walkarounds and feature overviews so that customers can have the showroom experience right from the comfort of their couch.

Our recommendations for improving your video walkarounds can be found in this article made by fusionZONE Automotive. The key points you should take from it are:

  1.  Schedule your videos in advance
  2. Take your time and be thorough / be detailed
  3. Have a way for your customers to follow-up for more information

Don’t feel pressured to make a video for every vehicle on your lot tomorrow. Do them in chunks, week by week, and make it a habit Before you know it, it’ll be a natural part of your process and you’ll reap the benefits of a higher time on site and more conversions!

Test, Test, and Test Some More

One of the best pieces of advices is to take it slow and change only a few small things at a time. A/B split-testing can help save you a lot of headaches in the future! Believe us, it’s the worst feeling changing a website’s layout only to find it performs worse than before and getting a third of the leads. For example, you could change one vehicle’s layout, then see if it’s working over the course of a month, then apply it to the rest.

We hope you find these tips and tricks useful! For more exclusive strategies on how to boost your online presence, subscribe to our newsletter! We’ll send the latest issues directly to you so you can stay ahead of the curve.

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