Optimize Your Listings for Filters to Boost VDP Views

Posted by CarGurus Admin on October 19, 2015

Today’s consumer is overwhelmed with choices. The average supermarket has 47,000 unique products on offer – that’s a lot of options to consider!

On the web, where millions of products are available for sale, determining what to buy is even harder. To streamline the shopping process, e-commerce sites pioneered advanced filtering options that help shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for. As auto shopping moved to the web, dealer sites and third-party sites like CarGurus introduced filters, as well.iStock_000062302712_Large_Cars.jpg

Shopping filters have fundamentally changed the way people find products online – but few sites are providing shoppers with the filtering options they want.

Only 16 percent of the biggest e-commerce websites provide a good filtering experience, according to research company Baymard Institute.

Because it’s so hard to get filters right, optimizing for filters can provide your store with a major competitive advantage. Here are three ways you can leverage website filters to get your inventory in front of more shoppers:

1. Sweat the details

Sound like a “block and tackle” suggestion? We see errors in a surprising number of online vehicle listings. Errors aren’t just bad for branding – they may prevent your inventory from appearing in shoppers’ searches.

Our tip: Check all of your listings for accuracy. Familiarize yourself with the filtering options on your own site and your partners’ sites. Even better, determine what items your shoppers are filtering for most frequently. 

CarGurus’ analysis shows that shoppers are interested in vehicles’ prices, colors and option configuration, in that order. At a minimum, make sure these items are accurate on your VDPs.

2. Offer price transparency

Maybe you’ve seen VDPs that instruct shoppers to “call for price”. Perhaps you’re even guilty of uploading these VDPs to your site or partner sites. We’ve learned that more than 80 percent of shoppers simply ignore “call for price” listings in favor of those that actually include prices.

Our tip: In addition to providing pricing details on your vehicles, consider how your vehicles are priced relative to your market. Remember, auto intenders are more interested in accurate pricing information than any other vehicle detail. That means they will perform significant research around pricing – in fact, 77 percent of CarGurus users say they wouldn’t buy a car without third-party price validation.

3. Sell with unique content

Using manufacturer-provided product copy is one of the most common mistakes in the e-commerce world. What’s wrong with using stock product descriptions? Not only are they not optimized to sell, they’re bad for SEO: search engines penalize sites that feature non-unique content.

Our tip: It may be true that OEMs provide compelling descriptions of their vehicles, but you should seek to produce unique write-ups within your VDPs. Point out what sets a particular vehicle apart, or even highlight third-party awards a model may have won.


Interested in learning more about CarGurus? Call us at (855) 509-1863 or request information from our sales team.