< Back to Blog

70% of car buyers say they’re more likely to buy from a dealership if they can start the process online.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, auto dealerships relied heavily on the in-person experience, encouraging customers to visit showrooms to check out new models. Many dealerships still don’t take the importance of the digital experience seriously, despite the shift to e-commerce accelerating by roughly five to 10 years in 2020, according to the Post-Pandemic Retail Association.

Shoppers have come to expect a better online experience, making it essential for auto dealerships to move away from traditional marketing and start focusing on digital marketing if they want to ramp up their automotive lead generation efforts to use their online presence to drive in-store sales.

The Importance of your Website Experience for Automotive Lead Generation 

Most customers want to look up a dealership online before visiting in-person to determine if they’re likely to have a positive experience with the dealership. As a result, improving the website experience allows dealerships to engage customers right from their very first contact, improving sales conversions. It’s become important to ask, ‘What [online] consumer experience do I need to offer?’ to increase online automotive lead generation for your dealership. (HBR) 

In fact, market researcher Forrester discovered that buyers who use a dealer’s live chat tool before making a purchase have a 40% conversion rate, which far exceeds the typical in-store conversion rate. Replicating your showroom experience online, makes shoppers more likely to buy from you. According to the 2019 Car Buyer Journey Study, 70% of car buyers say they’re more likely to buy from a dealership if they can start the process online.  

Book a demo to see how Optimy turns your website visitors into car buyers. 

How to Optimize Your Website Experience For Automotive Lead Generation

1. Increase trust with reviews

Improving the digital experience also increases a shopper’s level of trust in your dealership. One way to position yourself as a trusted source is to highlight positive reviews and testimonials. This type of content shows potential buyers that other people have had positive experiences at your dealership. Reviews and testimonials help shoppers understand the value you provide, making it easier to generate more automotive leads. 

2. Respond quickly to online inquiries

With ongoing chip shortages, inventory is limited. This has caused a lot of dealerships with low inventory to go quiet, making it difficult for in-market car buyers to even get a response to their inquiries. Even if you are low in inventory now, responding to someone within 48 hours and giving them a positive experience with your brand means they will be willing to return once inventory does.  

Don’t forget, auto customers are loyal and often return to a dealership they had a positive interaction with. They will also recommend you to their friends and family.

3. Generate High-Quality Leads with a Live Chat Solution 

Live chat is one of the best tools for automotive lead generation, as it increases engagement and gives you more opportunities to interact with potential customers.

A Live Chat solution is so powerful that 73% of customers opt for live chat because it gives them a clear path to direct answers, helping you generate more leads and sell more cars. The pandemic underscored the need for an omnichannel retail strategy; creating opportunities for micro-interactions and conversational commerce through live text chats, audio and video conversations (Post-pandemic retail associate report, 2021). 

These conversations build trust, build your brand and create that customer experience on your website that previously dealership focused on delivering in their showroom.  

Optimy is a sales conversation platform that can help you generate automotive leads. Optimy allows dealerships to engage with 5x more of their website visitors, leaving less money on the table.  Engage customers with banners, buttons, nudges, and offers and if even staff your live chat with our expert Digital Concierge. Toggle between text and video chat, co-browse during your conversation and connect to product experts in real-time. Shoppers can build, price and negotiate just like they would during an in-person encounter. 

Increase your online lead generation for your dealership 

Offering a great online experience is the key to generating more automotive leads and translating that into tangible in-store sales. With Optimy live chat, automotive lead generation is easier than ever. Book a demo to see how Optimy turns your website visitors into car buyers.