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IHS Automotive Conversion Snapshot

Access a free weekly report that provides insights into how automotive shoppers use your dealer website.

How do you close the loop to improve conversions on your website?

The Conversion Snapshot is a free weekly report that provides insights into how automotive shoppers use your dealer website. This report goes beyond traditional website analytics to deliver actionable recommendations on how best to optimize consumer experience through the shopping corridor.

In many ways, online shopping behavior is similar whether online or in the showroom: potential customers first arrive, then research, select a vehicle, and finally, are called to act (either by purchasing a car from the dealer or submitting an online lead). Just as you carefully guide these visitors through your showroom process, it is important to similarly manage the online experience.

The Conversion Snapshot report segments the components of the shopping corridor and shows areas of improvement.

Step 1: Attract the right Audience

The first step of the shopping corridor is for a visitor to visit your website. Automotive dealers attract visitors by building brand awareness through different channels (print, online advertising, etc…). While each of these channels bring visitors to your website, they may not be attracting a high quality audience. This section describes the audience of your website at a high level, showing the general audience quality using the following metrics:

  • Bounce Rate: % of sessions with only one page view
  • Auto Shoppers: % of visitors who either searched for a vehicle in your inventory, viewed a vehicle detail page, or submitted a lead on a vehicle
  • LTV: % of visitors who submitted a lead on a vehicle
  • LTS: % of auto shoppers who submitted a lead on a vehicle

Each of these metrics is also compared to the national benchmark average.

Step 2: Drive shoppers to the right behavior

Now that you have attracted visitors to your website, the next step is deciding where to send them. Traditionally, the standard progression for automotive shoppers is from homepage, to search page, to vehicle detail page, and then, for a small number of visitors, to a lead submission form. Some visitors, however, bypass this flow and start on a search page or vehicle detail page, for example. This may be for a variety of reasons, including preference or the influence of online advertising or email campaigns

This section segments your traffic by their first page visit on your website. This information allows you to see, for example, if visitors who are deep-linked to a vehicle detail are more likely to submit leads than visitors who visit the home page first. The data gleaned from this segmentation can allow you to determine where to send your advertising traffic.

  • Bounce Rate: % of sessions with only one page view
  • % Searched: % of visitors who went on to search in the same session
  • % Viewed VDP: % of visitors who went on to view a vehicle detail page in the same session
  • % Submitted Lead: % of visitors who went on to submit a lead on a vehicle in the same session

Each of these metrics is also compared to the national benchmark average.

Step 3: Offer the right inventory

For all of its value in increasing reach and delivering content to new audiences, the internet hasn’t yet changed the fundamentals of automotive retail: dealers must still have the right vehicles at the right prices to stay competitive.

This section shows what vehicles your visitors are searching for on your website and how many of your visitors are able to find those vehicles. In other words: are visitors able to find the vehicles they are searching for?

This section shows the three top search terms that resulted in the highest percentage of visitors subsequently clicking on a vehicle detail page and the bottom three search terms that resulted in the smallest percentage of visitors who subsequently proceeded to a vehicle detail page. The principle behind this section is to provide some examples of vehicles that you may have sufficient inventory (top three) and vehicles that you may have insufficient inventory or do not have the right configurations (bottom three).

Step 4: Ask for the lead

The final step of the shopping corridor is for the visitor to submit a lead. Traditionally, visitors submit leads on vehicle detail pages after finding their desired vehicle, but dealers typically have lead forms in multiple locations on the website with varying degrees of success. This section shows your lead conversion ratios across the different sections of your website. This allows you to see which pages on your website are converting compared to your competitors.

  • Visitors: Count of unique visitors who viewed the page
  • Lead Count: unique visitors who submitted a lead on the page
  • LTV: Lead Count/Visitors
  • Benchmark LTV: LTV nationally across the network

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