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Achieving Objectives Series: Increasing eCommerce Uptake

Achieving Objectives Series: Increasing eCommerce Uptake

Article published: 04 June 2021

eCommerce is here to stay, with customers paying deposits to reserve a car, applying for finance, and even paying cash to buy vehicles outright. The technology is ready too – with products like AutoTransact ensuring dealers are at the cutting edge. However, not everyone is ready to buy – and in today’s edition of the “Achieving Objectives” series we’re looking at some ways you can boost your eCommerce uptake.

Knowing the right vehicle reservation fee to charge

It’s important to find a balance with what you charge to reserve a vehicle. Too low and you run the risk that it’s too “easy” to reserve, and the conversion rate to sale begins to drop (and on some platforms dealers will worry about unsavoury competitor activity, though our platform accounts for this and prevents it). Too high and people simply won’t pay.

AutoTransact can facilitate set fees or a percentage of vehicle price, and can also offer different reservation fees on different vehicles. Typically we find that £99 is the “sweet spot” that gets the most reservations, but we have dealers offering premium and luxury cars that find that much higher amounts are more appropriate.

Two ways to make your customers feel more confident about buying a car from you online:

Social proof & reassurance

In order to be willing to hand over money on a vehicle, a customer will need to feel that they can trust you as a business. There are a few things you can do on your website to support this, as well as the long-term aim of building a strong reputation in the local community.

Firstly, you can look at integrating reviews – these show your customers that you can be trusted. Ideally you’d also have a strategy for gathering more positive reviews!

Secondly, you could consider more “social” content – you could pull in your “friendly and approachable” social media posts onto a wall on your site, perhaps, or put effort into sharing “Meet the team” content about who customers can expect to interact with - and why they’re awesome at what they do.

Complete & detailed car info

The same applies to the details you give customers on a car – if you don’t tell them enough they won’t feel ready to hand over money without seeing it.

Ideally you should be including as many as possible of the following:

  • In depth spec
  • Benefits / best bits
  • Full range of interior & exterior images
  • Video
  • 360 degree spins
  • Vehicle reviews (something like Car & Driving would be useful here)

Using eCommerce foreshadowing to prepare people for the car buying process

Foreshadowing on a dealer website is when you make sure to mention what a customer can expect, and what their options are, before they actually need it. So rather than saving all your context on the checkout process for the vehicle details page, you “foreshadow” it with information about the process and the benefits on the homepage and the list page.

If customers arrive on the VDP aware of what they would need to pay and what their online checkout options are, they should be more likely to commit and enter the checkout journey.


Deal “stacking” and integrated valuations

Finally, giving customers a seamless “journey” when looking to buy a car on your website is a great idea.

As part of this, we recommend that you consider integrating finance tools (such as our Codeweavers API integration) and valuations onto your vehicle details page, which then pass into your checkout solution. This then allows a customer to play around with their options (what finance deal they want, how much their PX might be worth) before they take the leap of committing to entering the checkout environment.

The best bit is that with AutoTransact, the finance they choose and their PX will automatically pass-through to the checkout so they don’t have to do any double keying. Ideal!

Hopefully this article has given you some great ideas for how to increase the eCommerce uptake on your motor trade website. If you want to know more about AutoTransact and how it could help you (even if you don’t have a Bluesky website!) then give us a shout via the form below.

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