Auto Insights: Double your internet sales

One of the workshops at the NADA Conference was titled ‘Double your internet sales in 90 days’. This session intrigued us straight away. Amir Amirrezvani, Co Founder of DealerOn, a leading provider of responsive car dealer websites and interactive auto industry marketing solutions hosted this session.


Workshop Synopsis

According to Dataiums website data, in calendar year 2014 the average US dealer website received approximately 4000 unique visitors per month with a lead ratio of 1.69 per cent. It is unclear why this statistic is so low, but it is very clear that it translates to lost sales opportunities.

The fastest and most cost effective way for dealers to improve their internet sales generated is to focus on increasing both quality and quality of leads in conjunction with improving lead ratios.
This is best done by structured website testing, implementing principles of human psychology, and tapping into specific known human brain reactions.

Dealers improve internet sales techniques by learning from and adopting scientific techniques used by the most effective digital sales corporations such as Amazon, Nike and Best Buy.

Session Objectives:

  • Design, test and measure your website performance. 
  • Implement psychological principles to persuade your website visitors to buy from you.
  • Conduct A/B split testing on your website.

Ultimately, your website must be a major focus of your digital marketing programs and spending, to ensure success.

Implementation Process.

1. Calculate your conversion rate.

  • Micro, eg, page views, coupon prints.
  • Macro , eg , form submissions, phone calls.

The average dealer receives less than 2 per cent conversion, but best practice for a well optimised dealer website is 8 per cent.

Assuming a conversion of 15 per cent from lead to sale, this translates to an additional 36 vehicle sales per month.
i.e. 4000 @ 2% @ 15% = 12
4000 @ 8% @ 15% = 48

2. Use testing and psychology to improve conversion

  • Most dealers conduct less than 2 tests per month.
  • Best practice digital sales corporations conduct over 200 tests per month.

A/B testing is a methodology that allows users to test 2 or more versions of a web page scientifically to determine the best performing variation. The most challenging part of this process is determining what to test. Best practice digital sales corporations use psychology and neuroscience to create hypothesis for testing.

Low cost software is available to conduct this testing.

An example of an effective monthly A/B test is as follows:

  • Home Page
  • Inventory search
  • Inventory details

By testing this in different formats, over time you can ascertain the most effective format for your business

3. Use scarcity to persuade visitors to buy now.

Amazon, Expedia and eBay effectively use the principle of scarcity to increase lead conversion.

The 3 most effective ways for dealers to use scarcity to increase website lead conversion are as follows:

  • Create alerts on vehicle pages to indicate limited availability
  • Emphasise expiration dates on special offers.
  • Display how many views or enquiries you have had on certain vehicles.

If consumers sense that a stock item is in short supply or that there is competitive interest, they will more likely move into buy mode.

Other techniques to consider

  • Create some conditions
  • Don't have all offers expire at month end.
  • Use of bold, red and capital letters on key offer focus areas

All techniques should be A/B tested before final implementation.

4. Provide clarity to prevent distraction and increase website performance.

According to a study conducted by HubSpot , 76% of consumers said that the most important aspect of a website was making it easy to find what was wanted.
When a visitor comes to your site, the following questions need to be answered within 8 seconds

  • What is the site?
  • What can I do here?
  • Why should I do it?

A call to action is also critical (e.g., a common technique today is “add to Cart “) Simple techniques using an understanding of neuroscience principles, such as having the inventory search widget on the left, should also be considered.

5. Harness the power of social media and endorsement.

Consumers on average see 200 ads per day According to study;

  • 57 % of consumers believed most ads are somewhat exaggerated.
  • 76 % of Americans look at reviews when determining which local business to use.
  • 72 % of consumers trust on line reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Reviews should be on your web site where there is a call to action.

6. Leverage Neuro Marketing and Behavioural Targeting techniques to create highly persuasive landing pages.

The human brain relies on short cuts to efficiently process thousands of decisions daily. Neuro marketing identifies those short cuts and creates strategies to persuade consumers to make a buying decision. Amazon and Best Buy have taken advantage of a Neuro marketing study to make prices look lower by optimisation of the display of such pricing.

Other very effective pricing display techniques are pop up or coupons. 

With the rapid movement towards on line sales and communications in retail automotive, dealers need to focus on their overall approach to internet strategy and spend.

The advantage of the internet is that everything is measurable. As a starting point dealers should be reviewing their total BD and marketing spend, in all forms and attempting to measure the effectiveness of each aspect, before implementing any radical change.