How Important is a Website?
The digital landscape is evolving and changing so fast now, it’s pretty hard to keep your bearings anymore. With all of the social media outlets, review sites, search marketing opportunities and everything else… it’s easy to get lost.
So where does your dealership’s trusty old website fall into this chaos?
Well, square in the middle. As your anchor.
Oftentimes, we get distracted by the next bright shiny flash in the pan opportunity to do something cool on the internet, and while sometimes that’s okay, we can’t forget our anchor.
All the cool review sites, social media methods, and search marketing opportunities are all avenues that should end up pointing people to your anchor – your website. Your digital dealership, if you will.
And what’s the purpose of your website? Make sales?
The purpose of your website is to identify visitors and generate leads. That’s it. Engaging in e-commerce as a powersports dealer is the best way I know of to generate a small fortune – but only if you start out with a big one.
Back in the day, when I was running dealerships, I wanted to be on the bleeding edge of technology. I wanted our dealerships involved in e-commerce, and I wanted us to make a killing at it. I was determined.
Before working in motorcycle dealerships, I headed up the eastern U.S. operations for the largest company in the world that sells products for homebuilt and experimental aircraft – and we did it through – you guessed it – e-commerce.
Turns out, the only thing that got killed was profits and my patience. The math was broken. And it hasn’t changed.
To be successful in e-commerce, your business model has to be purpose built for it. The standard brick and mortar business model simply isn’t, they are opposites.
Oh, and if you think it’s bad when you let a Parts Manager go, and then later stumble on the little “hidey hole” they all seem to have for mis-ordered, or never picked up parts that were ordered without deposits, just wait until you see the pile of parts you have lying around from e-commerce issues. It’ll give you a stroke.
So, if e-commerce is out, how do you leverage your website?
Good question. As I said earlier, the purpose of your site is to identify visitors and generate leads.
Let’s take a look at the second part of that description first.
Leads are typically generated when forms of one type or another are filled out.
Visitors see something and like it enough to act. It’s great when that happens, but even under ideal conditions, it only happens with 1-3% of visitors. Following up with these folks can make a big impact on sales, as many of you reading this already know.
That leaves a whopping 97% or more visitors who remain anonymous, leaving you to wonder if you could have done something more to get them to become a lead and buy.
That’s where the first part of the purpose of your website comes into play.
Using Google Analytics (and your site provider’s proprietary analytics) you can already see how many visitors your site had, and what they looked at while they were there. The problem is that you never get to put names or faces to those visitors, so that reporting is simply reflective of likely lost opportunities.
Frankly, that sucks.
That’s why we have developed a way to put faces and names to folks who visit your site – and let you know what they are looking at (interested in) while they are there so you can follow up and close the deal.
I’ll go ahead and answer your first two questions:
1. Yes, we can really do that.
2. Yes, we are the first and only ones who can.
This is huge. In our beta testing of the program, we had dealers who were able to follow up with website visitors in January in places where they were experiencing negative temperatures, CLOSING DEALS on units. Pretty amazing.
Sticking with our analogy of your website being your digital dealership, being able to identify visitors and reach out to them is the equivalent of being given the opportunity to greet folks who come into your brick and mortar dealership.
Greeting them gives you the chance to present and close. Knowing who they are on your website gives you the chance to greet and close those folks as well.
Your website is hugely important. It’s the anchor of your web presence, and the place where you generate leads that once worked, lead to profits. That said, there’s a new tool in the arsenal available to you that can greatly impact your ability to identify previously anonymous visitors – turning them into additional genuine leads… and profits.
Give us a call at 877-242-4472 so we can show you how it works. And if you’re in the market, ask us to show you the newest highest converting websites on the market as well.