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Seriously, Even AutoNation Can't Get Their Specials Pages Right?

Discussion in 'Online Marketing & Best Practices' started by Stauning, Sep 21, 2016.

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  1. Stauning

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  3. Stauning

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  4. ChrisR

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    I have had Dealer.com's system to that to me many times. Either the entire widget won't load, or specific vehicle specials will be absent. Very frustrating.
     
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  5. Stauning

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    Makes the dealer look bad...
     
  6. ChrisR

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    Very much so. Especially when you're trying to show a customer current offers on a vehicle & the site says there is nothing available.
     
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  7. craigh

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  8. Stauning

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    Zoinks.. Nice catch.

    Too often I see dealers and even the big groups forget the goals of their websites. They know they need specials, but they forget "why" they need specials.

    The dealer website has two goals: 1) Attract Visitors; and 2) Convert those Visitors into Buyers. That's it.
     
  9. craigh

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    3 years ago I got into a fight with a client and tried to tell them to stop wasting so much time on their specials page and focus more on their inventory. I said, "Look. Let's just go to Google Analytics and check how this page is doing, ok?"

    Out of 350 visitors a day, 60 of them saw the specials page.

    The humble pie was very bitter that night.
     
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  10. Jeff Kershner

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    Some things never change. Here's an article I published back in 2006 - Four Ways to Improve Your Dealership Website

    Number 2 was keeping your Specials updated. Not much has changed since then. Even today, I bet if you randomly visit 10 dealer websites across a region, less than half would have New and Used Car Specials that were Make/Model vehicle specific.

    @Stauning@Stauning - In your article you share two simple rules dealers should follow for increasing conversion and sales with their specials page.
    1. Display actual vehicles (not just two or three aged units.)
    2. The specials must provide conversion opportunities. (A.K.A. They must drive leads and sales.)
    I agree with ya Steve. Display actual inventory that corresponds to the incentives, when possible. This alone will help increase conversion and pages viewed. Here at MBH, I have our agency design the creative for each New Vehicle Special into a single image. This image can then be re-purposed across other channels. With the DealerOn platform, I'm able to host the New Car Special creative/image while also attaching corresponding inventory.

    New_Car_Specials_Example_DealerOn_Example.jpg

    Also... shoppers want to see that you have Specials and that you're willing to discount. They want confirmation you're making deals while offering the incentives they're seeing from the manufacturers and other dealers as they shop across the web. Don't assume the shopper knows more than what they really know.

    AND THEN... there's a few manufactures that make it difficult and time consuming to design and advertise New Car Specials in an effective manner due to OEM compliance. To add on top of that, many dealer website providers offer weak New and Used Car presentations/pages. For many, it's nothing more than a filtered SRP. So I can wee why Steve works with an outside provider for Specials Pages alone.

    I know our agency isn't thrilled with me most months since I request to have creative designed for just about every New Vehicle model we have in stock. The days of Mercedes offering only 4 different models, is long and gone. They now offer over 15 different models and if we have one in stock and it matches the criteria, it gets a Special built. Of course in order to be compliant with MB, you're allowed to only advertise what they say you can advertise. PRICE DISCOUNTS are NOT allowed to be displayed. MB dealers are restricted mostly to Lease Payments and/or Special APR / Financial Services.

    When it comes to Pre-Owned Specials, we can have a bit more fun there...

    used_car_specials_mbh.png
     
    #9 Jeff Kershner, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  11. emiltsch

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    Great thread Steve and Jeff!

    Creating, distributing and managing vehicle incentives/offers has always been a huge problem for dealers. (And a limitation of website platforms)

    Everyone who's ever created specials for their store knows it's a pain and takes a lot of time to update. New OEM offers are delivered several days into the month; used car offers are often displayed simply because they're aged units. Those are special to the dealer, not the buyer.

    In-market car shoppers want specific information. New car buyers are looking APR's, discounts from MSRP, and lease offers/payments. Used car buyers are looking for APR's, payments, price as compared to market values and other value-driven items.
    • Automatic solutions can't solve this
    • Manual processes take too much time
    • Agency-driven solutions (even some in-house solutions) provide static images which provide zero search value and poor visibility to Google
    Plus, the bigger issues aren't being addressed: Distribution and relevancy. Your process needs to be a virtuous loop, consistently distributing relevant offers to all three of your marketing channels:
    • Earned (SEO/Organic)
    • Owned (Email campaigns)
    • Paid (PPC/SEM)
    Updating a specials page isn't a marketing process; it's barely a tactic at this point - a dead-end marketing effort.

    In our used car stores, we show as many of these key elements as possible via DealerTeamwork's Launch Control (Full disclosure: I'm also part of this company)

    [​IMG]


    New car stores can also create the most contextually relevant Adwords campaigns, powered by their offers.

    [​IMG]

    Leveraging the transactional data creates a significant competitive advantage - easier and faster than any other method.

    Jeff - this is a serious pain point within the entire process. This must take so long and cost so much more than necessary. One of the most important factors in marketing is speed.
     

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