The statistics show that when a consumer begins the car purchasing process, they spend 59 percent of that time researching vehicles online. This is why it’s so important that every dealership have a robust online presence — from an attractive website that’s easy to navigate to an active presence on social media.
Consumers are going to use more than your website and manufacturer’s websites to do their research, however. They’re also going to look for vehicle specs, prices, and reviews on sites like AutoTrader. The company recently announced that they’re revamping their website. Rather than being a digital disruptor that competes with auto dealerships, it looks as though the new AutoTrader features will help boost business. Here are some of the things we’re looking forward to seeing as AutoTrader rolls out its changes.
The Best of the New AutoTrader Features? A Shiny New Homepage
By reworking its website, AutoTrader hopes to create a more dynamic and responsive online car buying experience. Its goal isn’t just for consumers to find vehicles on its site — it wants to help guide them through the entire process. Rather than acting as a workaround to help consumers avoid dealerships, the new AutoTrader features are designed to connect customers with a dealership.
The new features promise to help guide consumers through most of the car-buying process online in order to save them (and dealership staff) time when they arrive at the dealership in person. This is evidenced by looking at the AutoTrader homepage, where individuals can now see the special offers available from dealers and manufacturers, as well as previews of models that are soon to be released. A comparison tool helps them quickly see and understand the differences between different vehicles they may be considering. The homepage also directly connects to financial tools to help them with the purchasing process.
With the new wave of digital retailing comes the need to connect with customers using different types of devices. Part of the strategy behind the new AutoTrader features is to connect with individuals who don’t do their car-buying research while sitting at home in front of a computer.
This is why a focus on cross-device shopping was key in the site redesign. Now, customers who spend time researching from their tablets or smartphones can have the same seamless, convenient experience as people who connect to the regular website from a laptop or computer. This will bring more consumers to the site and, in turn, send more consumers to their local dealerships.
Deliver Customers Set on Closing Deals
By offering refined search tools, an easy way to compare vehicles, and true price confidence, AutoTrader hopes to deliver higher-quality leads to auto dealerships nationwide. The leads that will be funneled to stores will arrive with a solid foundation of knowledge about the kind of vehicle they want and be ready for a test drive. By the end of the year, AutoTrader hopes that consumers will be able to complete most of the car purchase process on its site, only arriving at the dealership to finish things up and close the deal.
As the car-buying process continues its shift from within the confines of dealerships and car lots and expands onto the internet, dealerships would do well to follow suit. This means keeping up their own online presence, but it also means embracing and utilizing factors such as the new AutoTrader features. Far from driving business away from dealerships, these features were designed to ensure that brick-and-mortar car dealerships can be part of the online vehicle sales revolution.
What do you think about the new AutoTrader features? Click on the social links below and share your thoughts on the subject!