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Help me build a better online conversion rate

Feb 23, 2015
14
1
First Name
Nick
Hello,

I am a new member to the board, but I have been looking and researching on here for months on end. I have looked into so many online providers from ecarlist, dealer specialties, vinsoultions and autofusion.

I have read about special analytic tracking, hot maps and the importance of VDPs and CRMs. I just do not know where to begin for my next step, how to track leads and have a better way to connect and close online customers.

I have been selling cars for 6 years, and recently adding a second location and need to be hitting higher numbers. I feel we buy the right inventory for the area and have a cheap recon system. We have many finance options and can close any deal that walks in the door.

I use dealercenter for my DMS and carsforsale for my website. We have a high end package with autotrader, package with cars.com, run monthly ads on facebook, and post to criagslist. I need to be selling 35 cars a month every month. We have the sales staff and recon team to get this done, just not enough hard leads.

We currently sell around 20-25 per month right now with 30-40 in inventory. My average VDP for this month on autotrader is 240 per vehicle. What do you guys think I can do to better my presence and turn these VDP into actual real customers. What direction do you think I should go for website and increasing conversion?

I will attach activity from autotrader. Take a look at my inventory here, www.buyultimaterides.com

By the way, I love this board!

UPDATE: Now using DealerFire for our website.

Thanks in advance, Nick

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Bill Simmons

3rd Base Coach
Sep 30, 2010
231
190
First Name
Bill
With a SRP/VDP conversion rate of 3.6%, you're crushing it! Great job. I feel some of the leads you're looking for are already walking through the door since you're showing 134 map views. A better website would be a recommendation. One that you can control the content on, for example, offering strong "Why Buy Here" message. As an independent used car dealer competing against new car franchises in your area, you've got to let them know online who you are, how you do business, and why they should consider buying from you. Hope this helps.
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,853
1,384
Awards
2
First Name
Jeff
Nick, welcome aboard. Thanks for finally joining us. You're asking a huge open ended question here...

@Bill Simmons has already offered some good advise. I'm curious to what your current monthly lead count is? By source?

What is your current lead to show and lead to purchase rate?

Are your surveying your customers post purchase?
 
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Reactions: nickb
Feb 23, 2015
14
1
First Name
Nick
I understand my post is a long winded approach asking many questions. Overwhelmed with all the information on here, I am trying to dial in a great online presence. So I can capture as many customers as possible. We do not keep track of every lead count. Recently we started asking post sale lead source. Close to 30% of our closed deals come from Autotrader.
 
Feb 23, 2015
14
1
First Name
Nick
With a SRP/VDP conversion rate of 3.6%, you're crushing it! Great job. I feel some of the leads you're looking for are already walking through the door since you're showing 134 map views. A better website would be a recommendation. One that you can control the content on, for example, offering strong "Why Buy Here" message. As an independent used car dealer competing against new car franchises in your area, you've got to let them know online who you are, how you do business, and why they should consider buying from you. Hope this helps.

I didn't know that was a going conversion rate! Thanks. I do understand our site needs an actual about us. Explaining our inspection and recon process, some information about our team and other things. Maybe my issue is the amount of vehicles I have on hand. I thought I was missing something here.
 

Tom Gregg

Boss
Feb 24, 2015
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3
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Tom
@Bill Simmons is right, 3.6% is great. A dealer doing well is averaging a 3% conversion rate on AutoTrader. I also agree that the website needs some attention and a better provider would yield you great results. With the amount of inventory you have and sales you are trying to achieve, I would consider a service like LotLinx or Automotive Internet Media that deep links your listings on many websites, which pushes traffic back to your website VDP's (as long as it is optimized properly and encouraging visitors to visit your store).

As @Jeff Kershner asked the stats of the store, it is critical to track these metrics if you want to improve them. If you don't know the numbers it is very challenging to improve upon them.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,065
1,575
First Name
Joe
Nick,

Bill Simmons totally nailed it. Car shoppers make 2 decisions, which car AND what store. Technology doesn't sell cars, YOU DO. Find technology that'll help you tell your story ("Why buy this truck and why buy from me").
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,065
1,575
First Name
Joe
Nick,

Here is a "shopper story" to help you visualize a common shopper's path to your store.

Ralph is a 38 yr old out of Oak Lawn IL and Ralph's just got a job promotion. Ralph's looking at Chicago area for a bad ass Raptor... He does a 50 mile search and 3 are found. Your Raptor pops out because it has the lowest miles. Ralph thinks:

"wow, everything looks right, but why does it have so few miles? Who would tradein a Raptor like that? Is it a lemon? Who are these Ultimate Rides Guys? They're 45 minutes away, so I just can't drive by and see it. I'll check out their website to see what I can see..."


http://www.buyultimaterides.com/2014_Ford_F150_Morris_IL_251944591.veh

Ralph sees...
upload_2015-2-25_8-21-5.png

After Ralph looks at all the pics again, he thinks:

"who are these guys? They don't many cars for sale. Why does it only have 4k miles, is something wrong? What does 'no scratches to mention' mean? 12% financing is NUTS, I'll need to find my own financing,...."

IMO, if you want insights into what questions are on your shoppers minds, listen to your incoming calls. You'll find common questions that the web site isn't answering.

HTH
Joe​
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,065
1,575
First Name
Joe
p.s. Car shoppers take weeks & months to decide. On average, they'll touch 23 different car sites before buying.

If you're running a survey-at-delivery, when it comes to lead source, allow your shoppers to "choose all that apply".
 
Feb 23, 2015
14
1
First Name
Nick
Hi @JoePistell , I appreciate your reply and I will take this into consideration. I like the little story about Ralph and it makes sense. I actually bought that Raptor with 143 miles on it and used it as my demo for 60 days. You can click through to a carfax that would show clean lemon free vehicle. I do truly miss the autoink and a real vin decode option that we had with ecarlist, we tried to take that money and put it into 3rd party while using CFS for basic back end management. I never really liked the layout CFS had for 'about us' or 'testimonials' page, but I am trying to make what I have work. I will be updating the generic % loan rate and creating an about us page to explain our process and introduce our team.

@Jeff Kershner @Tom Gregg What would you suggest for an efficient way to track these leads coming from multiple sources?