An analysis of thousands of dealer website visitors found true engagement drives sales and consumers are reluctant to complete lead-capture forms. Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox
INDIANAPOLIS — New research on active online car shoppers offers compelling evidence that dealers should focus on engaging and guiding consumers, rather than seeking to drive them into a lead funnel trap.
The insights are part of “Engage: No More Lead Traps! How to Improve the Online Experience to Increase Sales,” a new book from PERQ. An analysis of thousands of dealer website visitors showed that when a shopper goes through multiple interactive online experiences, he/she is three times as likely to purchase as someone who fills out just one static lead form.
What’s more, those one-and-done static form users exit the dealer website as rapidly as 40 seconds after completing the form, said Scott Hill, executive chairman and co-founder of PERQ, who co-authored the book.
“Dealership websites should not be simple lead traps,” Hill said. “And if your website is built that way, you’re losing out. Car buyers actually want to engage on dealer websites because that’s where the transaction gets complicated, and it’s where they have the questions that will actually matter to the sale. And they want answers to their questions without being forced to speak to a salesperson.”
In addition to the connection between engagement and closing rate, PERQ data shows a strong customer desire for an enterprise-level and interactive user experience. In fact, the research in the book found a 12% boost in lead conversion when originated from interactive, rather than static, lead forms. Key results from dealerships who implemented this engaged model include:
- Up to 300% increase in click-to-lead conversions
- Up to 200% increase in website engagement
- Up to 200% increase in visitor-to-lead volume
- 10% to 50% increase in lead-to-close volume
- 5% to 15% average gross profit increase (per lead sold)
“Most dealers would never allow their showroom experience to be like the website experience,” said Russ Chandler, co-author and product marketing manager at PERQ. “Their expectation is that the sales team will engage, inform and provide a critical value to the car shopper. It’s the same online, except your website is doing the initial relationship-building. Our data shows that customers expect that kind of approach at the online retail level. It’s not about lead traps. It’s about selling cars and building customer loyalty.”
To download a copy of the book, click here.