To better understand how dealers utilize their websites, Dealer Spike conducted a national survey this past year and received the following statistics:
- Nearly 22% update their website to feature current inventory and pricing data as a research function for buyers.
- 24% actively invest in their websites as a core part of their prospecting and sales functions, with a heavy focus on e-commerce.
With more than half of dealers not investing in their websites as active sales channels, the recent surge in e-commerce is not resulting in as much dealership revenue as we know the powersports community could achieve.
While the holiday season contributed significantly to the 40% growth in online sales reported by Salesforce in November, e-commerce has been rising steadily throughout 2020 and will continue to serve as the primary method for shopping beyond the new year. Since the pandemic began in March, powersports dealers are seeing a 48% year-over-year increase in website visits and a 269% year-over-year increase in incoming leads. This raises the following question: Are dealers’ websites equipped to turn curious prospects into motivated buyers?
In addition to providing online shoppers with helpful information about your dealership, your website should also serve the following functions:
Initial Introduction to Your Brand
Your website is often the first interaction that online shoppers will have with your business, and it needs to make a sharp impression. Everything about your website, from layout and color scheme to imagery and messaging, should represent your dealership’s brand. Make sure your inventory, pricing, images, business hours, contact info and website copy are always up to date.
Impressive Online Showroom
Shoppers are less likely to browse listings that include grainy, blurry or stock photos. Treat your potential customers to a genuine shopping experience by uploading a variety of sleek, high-quality photos that show every angle and important detail of a unit. You can upgrade your showroom by posting 360-degree walkarounds of your units using a spin photography tool. 360-degree photography is becoming increasingly popular, with 56% of shoppers reporting they would purchase a product after viewing the full-spin image.
Customer Service Base
Customers count on businesses to offer easy online communication channels and rapid response times. In today’s world, nearly one-third of shoppers expect a live chat option—and that expectation doubles when they are shopping on a mobile device. By placing a prominent live chat button on your website, your sales team can engage more online leads in real-time conversations, where they can answer questions, address concerns and walk prospects through the online sales process.
Fully Equipped Sales Platform
More and more consumers are completing the full buying process online without visiting the dealership, so offering e-commerce services is a highly effective way to encourage shoppers to choose your business. Sell PG&A inventory directly on your website by keeping your inventory catalog up to date and providing a powerful search tool and secure payment system.
Your website can offer so much more to your dealership and your customers than just a nice brochure or a research tool—it should be the sales center of your online business. The more time customers spend interacting with your website, the higher priority your website will be awarded in search results, boosting your online presence and helping even more online shoppers discover your brand.