Consumers are showing increased interest in new vehicle technologies, and with the widespread access of the internet, they’re going online to research this information. In fact, in the past six months, recorded traffic on new vehicle technology pages has shot up by 127%.
Despite this increase in traffic, only 1% of visitors will actually fill in a form and leave contact details. Typically, marketing departments armed with this information would try to overcome the challenge by tweaking SEO and upping acquisition budgets for online advertising.
Getting visitors on the site is just the beginning, however. Consumers have high expectations and demand a great user experience (UX). The digital experience you give them will define how the relationship will continue in the future.
Digitally speaking, the user experience is the visitor’s journey and actions through your website. A successful user experience is one where a user can effortlessly navigate through your website with no roadblocks, while extracting from it what they want and simultaneously fulfilling tasks you intended for them to do.
The perfect user experience will leave little or no gap between your website’s intentions and the visitor’s actions.
For the automotive industry’s digital strategy, there are two primary tasks at hand: (1) to get consumers to fill in a form and leave their details for more information, a test drive, or other goals, and (2) to ensure that visitors are so satisfied with the online experience that they locate their closest dealership and physically go to it.
Given the fact that only 1% of visitors complete forms, automotive websites—as they are currently designed—are not reaching their full potential.
Visitors to automotive websites behave differently than visitors on other retail sites. Most are already well acquainted with vehicle brands, and want to learn about new technologies.
The experience that consumers get from auto websites, as opposed to retail e-commerce sites, marks the beginning of the customer journey. The car sale will not take place online: The site is for content consumption and research, which, if positive, will end up with a visit to the dealership, perhaps a few test drives, and finally, the purchase of the car.
In our recent study done exclusively for the automotive industry, two main ways to optimize the user experience were identified.
1. Grab undecided users’ attention
Automotive visitors have very specific ideas of what they’re looking for. If they don’t see the results they are expecting to find on the first page, they will leave the site.
One out of every two visitors will leave the website on the first page, within a few seconds. That’s a 50% bounce rate, right from the start.
The takeaway: You must give your visitors an effortless browsing experience immediately when they land on your site.
Note that 65% of research for automotive information is still done from desktops. This means that most people are researching for new car models while sitting at home or work, in front of a desk.
What would make navigation easy for them? Structure your site so that they can navigate easily, progressing from the home page to the product pages, until they reach the contact form.
You need to know your customer, and learn more about your own user journey to build an experience that will match your goals. Make sure you understand your visitor’s mouse movements, page interactions, and scrolling efforts.
All of this information should be analyzed to determine which changes will drive more conversions. You may even identify potential quick wins, such as reorganizing content, changing and editing the navigation menu, and updating the timing of your pop-up form.
2. Convert interest into engagement with content
Within seconds, users begin scanning the page for the content they are looking for. Our study shows that the more users have to scroll, the more likely they will leave the page.
One way to keep users engaged is with visuals. Users who interact with the visuals are 134% more likely to submit a form.
The study also showed that a visitor who reads more than 30 pages on your website will be 35% more likely to visit the dealership. When visitors manage to find the right content, they will continue to interact on the site, and eventually leave the contact details sales staff needs to follow up.
This is where you should be paying attention to the page interactions of your visitors. Focus not only on what they are clicking, but how they are browsing, and what they are doing before and after the click.
Check to make sure the relevant content is recognizable. The visitor should not have to guess what is important, or where to go next.
Perhaps the location and order of the information can be optimized to make it easier to consume, and more effective to your dealership’s goals. Every click counts in driving a higher conversion rate.
Most visitors will set their own pace for providing their information. Your job is to give them a great user experience with the right content and seamless navigation. This will make them want to continue to engage with your brand, and eventually wind up on the dealership floor.
By analyzing the digital behavior of your visitors, you’ll be able to create the ideal customer journey along the car-buying path. This will engage customers online and offline, and establish a loyal and long-term connection to your dealership and brand.
Passionate about numbers and statistics, Jonathan Cherki founded ContentSquare in 2012,and has since served as the CEO, growing the company exponentially and promoting the importance of UX to optimize the customer journey. He believes knowledge is power, and his mission is to change the way companies work by creating a data-driven culture for everyone.
Latest posts by Jonathan Cherki
- 2 Ways to Create a Great User Experience for Your Website Visitors - August 4, 2017