As technology evolves automotive website providers are able to take more of the car buying experience online, but purchasing a vehicle still requires more than just a click of a mouse. Consumers still need to come into the dealership to complete their purchase and take delivery of their vehicle, so the goal has always been to get the consumer to the showroom floor.
Early on it was about generating foot traffic by using billboards, or getting someone to call in after seeing a 30 second spot on TV. Now car dealerships seem to be hyper focused on website visitors, email conversion rates, and Facebook fans, so they might sometimes forget the importance of a phone prospect.
What we know from the National Automobile Dealership Association (NADA) is that 75% of all auto purchases initiate from a phone call, and other studies show that phone prospects are likely to purchase a vehicle within 2-5 days after that initial call, so why aren’t automotive website providers focused on getting car dealers more phone leads? The truth is that responsible car dealer website providers are focused on getting dealers more phone leads. At ClickMotive we see 10 phone call leads for every 2 email leads on traditional websites, and 10 phone call leads for every 1 email lead on mobile websites.
Our philosophy has always been to get our dealerships lower-funnel, higher converting visitors and leads, and consumers that are submitting email leads are likely to be higher in the purchase funnel than someone that is calling into the dealership. This information isn’t meant to discount the importance of an email lead. I believe that an email lead like a phone prospect is just a means to the end, which is to get the consumer to the dealership. Since most opportunities start with a phone call, car dealerships need to focus on making the most of their phone leads. Timely manager involvement with phone prospects, and continuous phone training could potentially help a dealership save half of their lost opportunities.