Dealership Websites Should Stop “Chatting” and Start Communicating
The chat feature on auto dealership websites has become extremely important in recent years. Before the development of this web tool, there was no way for a dealership to engage with prospects that visited their site, which created a troubling situation when you consider that these visitors are usually toward the end of the buying cycle. Now that the chat feature is a prominent part of the digital marketing toolbox for car dealers, many industry professionals are thinking about best practices for dealership websites that use chat platforms. There are several things to know if you want to use chat tools to truly communicate with your prospects and maximize the value of your website.
Chat Features Are Becoming More Effective
Initial generations of dealership web chat programs carried a relatively low adoption rate, primarily because of their inefficiency at interpreting what a site visitor was looking at or interested in. In recent years, these platforms have become much more sophisticated, making them more useful for automotive marketers. Over two-thirds of dealers surveyed in 2012 by chat vendor Contact At Once! reported closing at least two sales each month with customers who first engaged their dealership with online chat. Half of those dealers report that they sell six or more cars a month to customers who initiate communication with online chat. It is clear that chat is helping dealerships engage prospects, but even when knowing this information, some marketers in the industry are unsure about best practices for dealership websites using chat platforms.
Important Elements Of Chat For Dealers
Based on modern trends in the automotive industry, it is crucial for auto dealers to use chat properly to engage their potential buyers. Some of the best practices for dealership websites that want to use chat efficiently include:• Track each unique visitor: modern chat platforms can not only analyze every page a visitor browses, they can use the URLs to build a unique profile on each visitor to give you helpful intelligence on their buying needs and habits.• Engage shoppers through every channel: today’s chat programs should go beyond their platform to also engage page visitors using social media sharing or by changing elements of what they see on a website as they are browsing, to align the inventory that you display with the customer’s profile.• Determine how many times a visitor has been to the site: this is helpful in deciding how far along in the sales cycle a prospect is, and also contributes to your ability to build a unique profile of their needs.
Brad Title sums up the importance of new chat platforms in an article for Dealer Marketing Magazine by telling readers that new chat technology can relentlessly gather information and then use that data to engage prospects in real time. As you analyze chat features on your website to help you improve your online marketing ROI, you also need to be aware of other best practices for dealership websites that want to keep their visitors. The number one question related to online marketing for car dealers is: what are you doing to get and keep customers on your website?
Online Marketing For Dealers Summed Up
Car dealers are in a transitional period when it comes to engaging prospects. Mashable reports that 83% of car shoppers research cars online before buying and 81% are less likely to buy from an aggressive salesperson. Title’s Dealer Marketing Magazine piece says that car shoppers only visit 1.4 dealerships, on average before they buy. These are all reasons why it is important that your chat tools, display ads, and website content are all working in sync to bring you as much business as possible. Speed Shift Media’s expert team will advise you how to use chat and other features of your dealership website to stop talking at your prospects and start talking with them.