As a dealer in 2017, your website is the first place your buyers are meeting you.  Whether exploring the features of the vehicle they’ve had in mind for months or starting the research process by skimming your inventory, your customers are doing most of the work of car shopping online– so they are not walking into your showroom cold. This means your website is your digital showroom; it’s your chance to make a first impression, build credibility, and become a resource for all shoppers. It should reflect the values and customer experience you work hard to build in your brick and mortar store.

One of the biggest challenges for automotive websites is focusing visitors’ attention on one specific message. Even putting aside the fact that today’s consumers have very short attention spans, often there is just too much going on on the page. With floating chat boxes, multiple popups, and photo widgets, most dealership websites are losing visitor attention fast. Having simultaneous, competing overlays is a lot like having four or five salespeople all approach a visitor to your showroom at the same moment: instead of providing a positive shopping experience, this kind of practice is confusing and distracting.

Focus your website visitors and keep them on your website longer with these simple strategies:

Moments of Focus

A moment of focus on a website is when one clean, clear message is presented to the visitor with a black-out screen. This message centers around a compelling offer or piece of content that is non-distracting and easy to absorb. Moments of focus eliminate the fight for real estate on the page because they focus the visitor’s attention on one direct message. You can create moments of focus on your website and increase conversion rates with overlays that are visually appealing, branded to your dealership, and easy for an uninterested customer to dismiss. Such overlays should look and feel like an extension, rather than an interruption, of your website. That way, you can keep the user experience positive and seamless.

Smart Targeting

The days of showing the same popup to everyone are over.  With today’s consumers doing all their research on your website– about 11 hours each, to be exact– they will get frustrated seeing the same message every time they visit your site. Use technology that allows for smart targeting to respond to digital “body language” so that you can show each visitor exactly the offer that suits their needs. Again, think about your savvy salespeople. They can understand each shopper’s concerns and interests and present an offer accordingly– or, if the shopper is not yet ready to buy, they can adjust their conversation to keep the process moving in another way.

Your website should mimic this flow. For instance, if a visitor returns to your site and views the same VDP multiple times, your smart website should have the technological capability both to recognize this customer’s high level of interest in that vehicle, and to present a relevant, compelling offer to get that conversion. If a first time visitor is browsing your site and hasn’t spent much time on any VDP, you can show them a general offer– something exciting and appealing but not too specific– because they have not yet revealed their interests and may not be ready to buy.

Let smart targeting populate your website with the right message to the right visitor. The dynamic changes and personal touches will boost your lead haul.

Timing is Everything

Isn’t it annoying when you see a popup the moment you land on a website?  It’s much harder to grab a visitor’s attention when popups show up instantly, interrupting the shopper while they try to explore the content on your site and interact with your brand. In such a case, the shopper will most likely not even look at the message, instead shutting it down instantly with no consideration.

Map out your campaigns and your moments of focus with the right timing.  Use exit capture to convert leads you haven’t been able to reach on the site, but don’t rely on exit capture only– because if you have a lingering visitor on a VDP, for example, their interest may be highest when looking at the page, and you’ll want to present a compelling offer before they scroll up to exit.  Make sure your website is populated with different timing triggers to create the best and most relevant shopping experience.

Your website can be an engaging experience for your visitors if it speaks directly to their interests just as your salespeople would at your showroom. Make sure to equip your digital dealership with the tools to focus your customers in positive ways so that they stay with you as they move forward in their car shopping process.


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