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Digital consumer trends - don’t let car customers leave you behind online

Blue Sky Interactive’s experience supports these developments, with dealers saying that 50% of visitors to the websites they manage are clicking to see JudgeService review content.      


Video - making your dealership websites ‘sticky’

Video offers customers a better representation of their new or used vehicle choice. The benefit to dealers comes from SEO benefits and videos’ ability to keep visitors on websites for longer.

According to a recent study published by Google, the use of online video sites for car shopping rose 28% from 2012 to 2013 and is expected to rise throughout 2014.

The clear evidence is that today’s digital consumer is looking for short, information-rich content. They are reading less text and watching more video. Google’s study said 61% of vehicle shoppers research using online video, with one in four watching more than an hour of content before their vehicle purchase.

Andrew Howells, founder of CitNow, said: “Video increases trust and transparency with consumers and makes it easier for them to say ‘yes’. Based on current trends, coupled with the endless benefits, dealerships can no longer afford to ignore online video in their marketing, sales and customer service departments.”

Wessex Garages’ YouTube page, which has a wide range of content, had about 93,000 views in 2013 (up from 2,100 in 2012).

In January of this year, more than 41,000 used car videos were viewed – an increase of more than 100% compared with 2013.

In the aftersales area, the Wessex Vision service, which uses CitNow technology, enables technicians to provide customers with a video appraisal of their vehicle. To date, Wessex has produced nearly 1,000 videos of vehicle health checks.

“It’s all about giving customers the reassurance they need and to help them make a decision,” said Andrew Howells.

At Ridgeway, the 360 Interiors facility gives customers a full online tour of the chosen vehicle.

“An interactive web page with gyroscopic support enables mobile and tablet users to navigate through the interior with amazing detail,” said Deacon.

“With more time being spent on our website they are much more likely to enter the sales process.”

SMC uses GForces NetDirector which enables dealers to transmit marketing messages in real time. Sonia Hobbs, SMC marketing director, said: ”Integrating digital displays into our showroom has transformed our customers’ experience.”


Real-time service booking

The availability of real-time online service bookings is still evolving – to be really effective it has to be much more than an email followed by manual intervention.

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