One of the biggest website trends of the last 12 months for car dealers has been the addition of car valuation lead generators. “Value my car” leads can now account for more than 50% of enquiries on a typical website, which suggests the facility is tapping into a key area of concern for car buyers.
Where part exchange forms never quite hit the mark, a valuation facility allows cost-concerned customers to test the waters – and the fact that valuations can stand separate to your new or used car stock can help to gather contact data for warmer, but overall “less likely to convert” website visitors too.
How are valuations offered to car buyers?
There are generally two approaches to online car value products and forms.
The first is a module or plugin that uses real industry data (such as CAP data, or Autotrader’s) to return a “live” valuation of the customer’s car to them, whilst also generating a lead. With the ability to show values for different car conditions, and also apply franchise-dependant uplifts or downgrades to costs, it’s a sophisticated piece of kit.
The second approach is technologically simpler – a multi-step form that gathers details about the customer’s car, and then emails this through to the dealer. The dealer then follows up on this “enquiry” by getting in contact with the visitor and initiating the conversation. It’s less sophisticated, and often this option invoices more manual data entry for the customer in order to gather enough information for the dealer to be able to quote.
So, which type of car valuation product converts better?
One of our large car dealer clients switches between the two valuation methods. At the start of the month they run CAP-powered valuations, which return leads that they pay for at £3 each. Once the number of leads reaches a certain threshold they then switch to a form, in order to maintain a certain budget level.
This gives us a unique chance to compare the two approaches in one consistent environment – so which converts best?
Put simply, the convenient, user-friendly set up of a CAP Valuation significantly out performs a standard valuation form. CAP valuations results in 22% of visitors submitting the enquiry, whilst only 10% complete on the form enquiry. That’s a 218% improvement for the CAP powered valuations
But why do CAP Valuations convert so much better?
Firstly, they offer an immediate benefit to the customer.
That benefit is a life figure, with different values for different car conditions. If this is communicated at the beginning then the customer knows that there is something in it for them, making them more likely to convert.
Secondly, it’s simpler to complete.
Because the product pulls on a large and accurate data source, customers don’t need to enter as much information in order to be given an indication of value. The shorter and simpler the form, the less likely people are to drop off before completing it.
Of course, this is in comparison to a form that collects a lot of details in order to give dealers the ability to go straight back with a cost. A simpler initial form may well boost this rate, but it conversion figures suggest this still wouldn’t boost conversion above the CAP valuation level. In short, the “live valuation” incentive is a very powerful converter.
What do you need to do in order to offer customers valuations online?
Firstly if you are going to offer valuations, train your staff accordingly.
How you handle these leads will influence whether they end up resulting in a sale or a useful car acquisition. Mishandled, you may end up paying for leads that never get treated appropriately.
Once you have a strategy in mind, simply speak to your Account Manager or use the form below to ask us for recommendations on the best implementations for your website.