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Web experts reveal impact of crisis on car dealerships

1 year ago

Website experts at Modix have issued an executive summary of the impact coronavirus has had on car dealerships.

Looking at search volumes and traffic on car dealership websites, the firm has been able to give a unique insight into what the retail closures and lockdown have had on the industry.

Modix managing director Darren Sinclair said:

‘The impact of the pandemic has fundamentally forced consumers to change the way they shop, and with lockdown in place pretty much globally, dealers must now become more visible online than ever before.

Consumers are still browsing, and by improving the online shopping experience, dealers can increase consumer confidence and continue to drive reservations/sales in these challenging times.’

As is to be expected during this time, most retailers have seen a decline in web traffic. 

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The report states: ‘While last week we were able to see a steady volume of active shoppers online, we are now seeing a potential decline in unique sessions. 

‘It is significant to note that this past Monday (March 23) reported one of the lowest single-day volumes of the quarter, which is typically only observed on Sundays or holidays.’

Web leads have also declined as a result, with Modix reporting a five to eight per cent decrease in leads month on month.

And the firm has also noticed bounce rates increasing and website traffic shifting to high funnel behaviour.

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The report states:

‘Looking at the mix of shopper classifications over the past week, we have seen a 16 per cent increase in bounce shoppers – website visitors who leave without taking any action. 

‘This indicates that while traffic remains relatively steady, the percentage of traffic that is likely to purchase soon is potentially decreasing.

‘A potentially decreasing pool of ready-to-buy shoppers makes it more important than ever to optimise websites and enhance the customer experience to convert and digitally transact with those fewer website visitors who are looking to purchase soon.’

Luxury brands have been particularly hard hit by a decline in leads during this time, says Modix.

But what can dealers focus on during this critical time?

Modix says being ‘digitally visible’ to in-market shoppers is key, with strong advertising that gives consumers the details and vehicle images they need to make decisions online.

Shopping tools that allow customers to go deep into the sales process online are also critical – so think about adding these if you don’t already have them.

And make sure you are available to assist home buyers and walk them through the buying process remotely be that on the phone, via text or live chat.

James Baggott

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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