It’s that time of year again — time to present the fourth annual CarGurus Top Rated Dealer Awards in the US.
The awards recognize a select group of car dealers with the highest average ratings from shoppers who have submitted reviews through the CarGurus platform. Each of the dealers receiving the award provides exceptional customer service as expressed in their customers’ online reviews.
Your data is your most important sales resource
Closing a sale at your dealership is led by knowing your buyer, from preferences to budget, and more. Having those same data points for online shoppers is key to driving leads to your dealership.
Getting to know a potential car buyer in your dealership is easy. Talking, asking, listening, advising—it’s the car salesperson’s mantra.
Getting to know your online shoppers, though, can be an entirely different proposition.
- You can’t really talk to them one-on-one
- You can only ask limited questions
- Listening and advising isn’t as dynamic as a face-to-face conversation in a dealership
This may appear to paint a bleak picture for online lead generation and conversion, but it overlooks a simple yet powerful tool that also happens to be free of charge: Google Analytics.
Some absolutely amazing, creative, and engaging emails come from dealerships, but sometimes it’s purely by chance or curiosity that recipients open the messages. It’s often overlooked, but the subject line is the single most important piece of your email messages. People are bombarded with countless emails and most times, the only thing standing between your email and the “delete” button is the subject line.
According to a HubSpot study, automotive industry emails have an open rate of only 35%. Despite being slightly higher than open rates across all industries, which average 32%, it still means that 65% of your emails are never opened.
While we’re happy to be the number one online auto marketplace, we’re still working hard to give our dealers more and better tools. We recently launched a few updates to our dealer dashboard that should make it easier for dealers to get the most out of our platform.
The modern car buying journey provides dealers with many opportunities to connect with and influence shoppers. The secret to reaching these potential customers is investing in sites that have serious shoppers at every stage of the journey.
Not all sites are created equal though. Recently, we announced that CarGurus is the most visited and most used car shopping site in the US by many key metrics:
In today’s digital world, reviews are everywhere. Sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor, and even auto shopping sites like CarGurus give people an easy way to share their buying experiences—good and bad—with fellow shoppers. For consumers, reviews provide the transparency they need to make informed buying decisions.
But reviews aren’t just about customer satisfaction. Your dealership can leverage them as a powerful marketing tool to drive customers to your dealership. In order to use them to your advantage though, you need to start paying attention—and responding—to them.
Since we launched our SEM Plus product in March, dealers have been giving us great feedback — and asking a lot of great questions about how they can do better. Our Andrew Grochal headed up the development of the product, and in this article in Dealer Marketing Magazine, he outlines several of the key areas that can cause trouble for dealers trying to run their own campaigns. Check it out:
Dealers need to understand how to use SEO effectively to drive sales
Most car dealers are probably aware of the Google research that shows almost 80% of the touchpoints on the consumer purchase journey happen online. Given how critical digital sources are to that journey, auto dealers need to ensure they are leveraging all the tools available to them to establish a strong online presence that contributes to their bottom line.
One of the most effective ways to drive online lead generation is through the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
For 12 years, CarGurus has been building a better way for car shoppers to find the right car at the right price from the right dealer. We’ve always believed that our emphasis on transparency, technology, data, and dealer partnerships gave us the advantage over other automotive marketplaces.
Now, our dealers and shoppers have combined to make us number one among competitive car shopping sites in key audience metrics. According to comScore, CarGurus comes out on top: