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Our recent consumer research study showed that dealership websites are one of the top three online sources used by car shoppers today. When they arrive to the dealer website, shoppers have already established the vehicle they want and are narrowing down which dealership they will be purchasing from.

Due in part to physical distancing measures put in place by government officials, Canadian car shoppers are currently looking for alternative methods to progress to the next phase of the buying journey from the comfort of their home. This means that, now more than ever, your dealership website should be equipped with the functionality, detailed information and remote services, that align to consumer expectations.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to maintain close relations with our dealer partners to understand the features they require to efficiently connect and serve shoppers remotely. Additionally, we are conducting various studies, to discover how Canadian car shopping and purchasing behaviour has changed, in order to provide our partners with the data and tools they need to build trust and help move metal off the lot.

We have compiled all of this information into a dealership website blueprint for success.  This checklist is aimed to act as a guide to help you take the necessary next steps to update and/or verify that your dealership website is in the best state given the current operational limitations. Walkthrough your website, from the perspective of a consumer, and make note of the areas that could be optimized to ensure success:

Update-to-date messaging about your business continuity/operations during COVID-19

    • Is your dealership open or closed for business?
    • What are your operating hours?
    • Are specific services available?

TAdvantage customers can create a custom banner to display an announcement across all pages of your website, including customized call-to-action, to share your COVID-19 business update. Reach out to your TRADER Representative to get started!

Easy to navigate and optimal user experience

    • Does your website contain too many disruptive pop-up windows or lightbox overlays?
    • Are navigational and button elements clearly mapped?
    • Do you have an abundance of call-to-action buttons on the VDP? Scale down to the essentials, as this can be confusing and distracting for shoppers!

Implement tools and services that build trust and help you close sales opportunities

– Test drive from home
– Vehicle reservation functionality (Reserve It! is now available for marketplace customers, coming soon for TAdvantage websites)
– Purchased vehicle drop-off

    • Do you offer them?
    • Do your website browsers know you have these available?

TAdvantage customers can now activate a new test drive at home form that is added on website VDPs. Reach out to your TRADER Representative to be one of the first on this new feature!

A digital retailing solution for consumers to start the purchase process online, with confidence and ease

    • Is it obvious what the next steps are in the purchase process?
    • Does your website include tools that provide transparency to consumers, such as incentives, leasing and payment calculators, special financing rates/programs?
    • Is there a trade-in valuation tool integrated into your digital retailing flow?

Optimized Google My Business page

    • Does it contain your up-to-date hours of operation?
    • Does the information align with what’s presented on your website?
    • Don’t forget to update this page as your operations change.

By working through this dealership website checklist, we hope it will help you nail down the areas most critical to focus on right now, to set yourself up for success with your website customers, so that you can capture them now and progress with a sale when the timing is right.