Why Your Website Should be Consumer-Friendly, Not Dealer-Friendly
As humans, we have a tendency to think that other people like what we like, but that’s not always the case. Some of us play video games and watch cat videos, while our friends play football and watch trash TV. That’s okay, luckily everything isn’t quite so personal on the internet!
You’ve got a website, and it’s your website. You want it to display the things that are important to you and your dealership, and to help you to reach certain goals. Okay, so it’s your website. Fine. But ask yourself this: “Why do I have this website?” If you’re in automotive, your end goal is probably to sell cars, be a known presence, and garner attention for your inventory and various departments. In-house, this usually involves walking your customers around, showing them what they want to see, and negotiating a deal. The same should apply to your website: giving consumers what they want, and nailing a deal. Below are some of the top dealer-centric mistakes that can drive consumers away from your website, and how to avoid them.
Despite how awesome the nineties were, it’s doubtful that anyone in your dealership is dressing in bright orange hammer pants while selling cars. The same should go for your website. There is no good reason to have a homepage image for anything that looks more like a disco advertisement than a clever car ad. Clean art design that flows and is easy on the eyes will keep users around, and warm them to spending time on your website.
In case you haven’t noticed, we don’t loooove sliders. Last week’s blog post will give you the full scoop, but to keep it short and sweet: nobody cares about your second, third, or tenth slider. While having a horde of sliders seems like an easy way to bring attention to each different department, consumers aren’t waiting around to see them. Put a dominant and relevant hero image on your homepage, keep your page fast, and your visitors happy.
Third-Level Navigation (Dropdowns)
We’ve all been there: trying to get where we need to go on a website, and it refuses to let us. You hover over the first navigation point, great! The second, almost there! Then by the third level your hover isn’t quite perfect; everything slides back up and you’re stuck at square one. Most of us will try this once or twice, then get angry and go somewhere else to find what we need. It isn’t any different for visitors on your website. Save them the heartache by organizing everything they need in easy-to-navigate categories and a single tier of dropdowns.
Too Much, Too Soon
For most websites, the homepage is the most important page on the entire site, and the page that sees the most traffic. Your homepage should make it easy for visitors to find what they want, and be presented with applicable additions that they may also want, such as warranties and services. With that being said, it is a best practice to not overwhelm visitors with information from every single department, and lists of every single service that you provide all at once. Make sure that all information is accessible, but not obnoxious.
Popups can go either way, meaning that they're something that can be done well, or terribly. If you want to integrate a chat popup, or popup offer, there are a few key points to keep in mind. First, make sure that your chat popup isn’t intrusive. Keep this in one of the lower corners of your website so that visitors know that it’s available without getting annoyed. Work with your website and/or chat provider to ensure that the popups are optimized and compressed so that they don’t hinder your site’s speed or performance. Lastly, make sure that your chats aren’t a waste: if you can’t provide any real value, or a real communication experience, leave it out completely.
To sum it up, consumers have an overarching set of expectations when browsing the web. It is important to keep your website fast, current, easy to navigate, and looking sharp. Ensure that you have unique content, but don’t be so different that consumers are lost and/or can’t find what they need. It’s important to have digital marketing partners that you can trust, as they’re able to provide answers and insights into what ideas are flops, and what ideas will rock. Think of your experience as a digital consumer, and keep your experience in mind when looking at your own website.
Whitney Norrad is the collaborative partner and trusted liaison for dealer clients of FlexDealer. Account Manager duties aside, she enjoys cat gifs, making wine and convincing her spouse to buy more TMNT art for their home in St. Catharines.