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The thought that is constantly on my mind lately. Does every dealership nowadays need a website? In fact, dealerships were functioning greatly without all this digital stuff: SEO, traffic, lead generation etc Nevertheless, cars were selling, customers were coming to showrooms. We should spend our time and money to study how to attract customers to the site, put our Inventory on site, showcase our vehicles and so on and so forth. Isn't it better for dealerships to focus on business? Just sell cars? I have friends who are asking themselves the same questions but still paying money for digital marketing. So let me ask, is it really reasonable and necessary to have a dealer website? What's your opinion?
Today a most definite yes for a website. Personally I have not used the yellow pages for anything for I dare say of least over ten years. I use the internet. I always look to see if there is a website even if found with yelp and or etc.
Dealerships make money not with car sales alone.That is the same as tires with a tire & service center. It is a low gross leader. Their services include body/paint, maintenance, and repair services, which are high gross dollars with profit.
Look at dealers today becoming as competitive with advertised services such as oil services for all vehicles competing with the quick oil change business. Most dealerships seek tire business now where in the not far off past it was only offered as convenience.
At their websites, of least the ones I have perused, it is a gallery of pictures, then a link system connecting with building the car of your dreams through the manufacturer's site. It is not their site with activity for the new car other than images.
Used car sales is big business especially with fleets on the grand scale with National Accounts. They compete with Budget Rental Car and many more today. They advertise their used cars, so to be competitive the dealership must do the same.
Most people shop online and then purchase. They know what they want, they know what the inventory is even if the inventory are services offered, and they buy pretty much what they researched. Personally I even check supermarkets pricing online while I create my grocery list. I know many who shop the sales online and never look at the print ads.
Yes. Because: why throw away customers you can easily get?
I think it depends on who is your market, and potential market. I live in a small town and there are businesses there that just serve the local community, e.g. hairdresser, butcher, hardware store, and an online presence would be superfluous. We all know who the owners are and give them our business, because we know them, and because they live among us, and because their products or services are low priced. But there are some other low to high cost product businesses that need to advertise across a wider area, e.g. travel agency, florist, computer sales. I think car dealership would come into this latter category - because its an expensive item, and people might come some distance to save a significant sum.
Well, you see psycheskinner, I don't throw away customers that I can get like this. Eventually I do have a dealer website. I'm just not sure it is worthy, because it's not so easy to get them into showroom, even if they visited the site.
I agree with Colin Neville in a way that people can know about your business through website, but we can use TV ads, big boards etc
Good point, Colin. It really matters where you have your business. Also to my mind, it depends on the website you have. If you have only 2-3 pages just because everyone has it and you don't update it, your prospects will see that the website is a dead end, what's the point than? Your dealer website is the digital analog of your dealership. If it is dull, than no one wants to visit your dealership. So, try to really put some efforts and you'll see the result, I'm sure, trust me.
TV ads and big boards used traditionally and there is nothing wrong to use them, but it's just not enough these days. Besides, such ads are much more expensive than just creating a website that will work for you 24/7.
Dominic Longwood, constantly updating the website is challenging. Besides, hiring designers, developers, SEO specialists is not cheap either. Find them, than explain them what do you want, after that they work some time, and only than (if you are ok with their work, believe me, never ok after the first time changes) you can update the site. Pretty long process,right?
I see what you mean, tsmog. Apparently not to lose the customers who used to look online for goods and services, every business has to have the website. Thanks for your answer, it made me reconsider some stuff.
There is always an opportunity to find the company or DMS provider, that helps you. Range of features that allows you to concentrate on your goals, on selling cars. Just like you wanted. Of course, you have to make some research to find the one, but it pays off in the end.
Absolutely agree with Dominic Longwood. Personally I have the AUTOXLOO DMS provider that almost made my dreams come true No kidding, they help me a lot. But don't want to push you. Think about all the options you have.
Thank you, all, guys. As I mentioned already, your answers helped me a lot. You can't even imagine what discussions we had with my friends. To be totally honest. I even used some of your arguments.
rachel rose10, maybe I'll try this Autoxloo thing.
You definitely should! If you'd like some help or some advice, I will gladly consult you
Absolutely. Every business should have a website. The internet continues to grow daily and the need for online real estate is always there. In return, you also need a SEO or know SEO yourself. You could list cars, feedback, reviews, special and you can always find a freelancer to build your website for a decent price. You could use Wordpress for the cost of a domain and host. There's a lot you can do.
It's an interesting question. I can only answer as a Brit who buys a car every 1-2 years.
To summarise, business is already doing well. You're probably advertising on car sites like Autotrader.
Is SEO necessary? I don't know if people do searches like "used car Kingston". Certainly, I have never ever done that. I just go straight to Autotrader. If your car isn't on Autotrader, it won't be seen. I don't use local newspapers as the ads in there are often just a massive list of cars by dealer in price order. I'd be tempted not to bother with SEO, SM marketing, PPC etc.
Do you need a website? I'd say you do as it makes you look more established especially if you don't have a grotty portacabin. You can make yourself stand out more as someone who is established and trustworthy. This website would be linked from Autotrader.
Hmmm.Do you really think that SEO, SMM etc are not necessary? Everyone keeps telling that SEO is SO important.
I didn't say it wasn't necessary. I said it wasn't necessary for your business. For my business, it's very, very important.
I'm sure someone will come on to say it IS important even for your business and we could argue for a millenia. The only way you will know whether it is important or not is by investigating how your customers and potential customers go about looking for a car in your area.
I think that SEO is necessary and important. Perhaps I am one of those who keeps telling. Want to be on top Google searches? Have a strong SEO program: improve brand awareness, your reputation, service absorption rates, increase not only the total amount of leads, but the quality of the leads themselves. SEO allows to advertise your brand. Of course, a lot of people use Autotrader to find the right car and many successful companies like Autoxloo cooperates with it. And what if it is small dealership in a small town? They don't have tons of cars, don't want to pay fee for posting their cars, but still want people to know about their existence. That's where SEO helps.
As darrensurrey said, we can argue about it for a millenia. It is the company's choice to pay attention to SEO or not. Make a list of for and against.
Thanks, guys. You answered my question. Dealer does need a website. But, of course, new questions will arise. Hopefully, my new DMS partner Autoxloo will help to find answer. See, rachel rose10, I follow your advice and I like what I saw.
They definitely do need a website, especially in today's time where everyone will expect it.
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