Dealer websites are key to a customer’s decision to visit a forecourt, with one-in-five crediting an impressive online offering as a determining factor.
The importance of a quality website was laid bare in the results of a survey of 2,500 dealership customers carried out by car dealer review provider JudgeService.
More than 20% (22%) of those surveyed made an enquiry about a car after visiting the dealer website, compared to 19% who came through alternative online sources and 16% who chose to enquire because it was their local dealer.
A further 13% of customers said they chose to buy from a dealer as they had a good experience in the past.
Dale Woodley, sales director at JudgeService, said: “These results show just how important it is for dealers to be making the most of their online presence – from having a strong, easy-to-use website to ensuring they are visible on online classifieds and other websites.
“Our stats show using more traditional media to attract customers now has little success, with only 2% of customers saying they would respond to radio and newspaper adverts.
“Websites are even more influential than the recommendations of friends and family, with only 11% of those surveyed saying they have made an enquiry about a car after being recommended by friends or family.”
Woodley added: “With dealer websites being the first point of contact for many customers, it’s important to ensure content is sticky, informative and up-to-date, the site is easy to use and optimised for mobile use and also that dealers feature reviews to make the car buying experience as easy as possible.”
JudgeService claims to be the UK’s only review service developed exclusively for the motor trade and shares survey feedback with dealers to allow them to identify opportunities to improve their customer service levels and address any customer issues immediately.
The results are also made public to help consumers make informed decisions about where to buy their next car, with Bristol Street, Drive, Jemca, Lookers, Pentagon, Perrys, RRG, Sandicliffe and Sinclair among the groups making use of the service.