Automotive retailers understand the importance of a well-designed, search-engine-optimized website for converting internet users to leads to sold customers. Developing websites optimized for User Experience (UX) means providing your audience with a seamless experience via the interaction on the website. Often, websites are designed to optimize aesthetics that are visually appealing to any viewer or to promote what the business wants the viewer to see first. In the automotive industry, websites typically prioritize inventory available for sale and incentives to drive a sense of urgency. Filters and search options related to car features remain prominent alongside catchy banners. Designing for UX entails taking visitors’ perspectives and anticipating their shopping needs, whether they are conscious of it or not. UX proves to be a valuable perspective in design for your store to communicate optimally and convert more traffic to buyers. As user experience grows in importance for a car dealership’s website performance, website providers need to be constantly attuned to how metrics indicate how best to cater to different user experiences. What works for a franchise dealer may not work for the BHPH dealer. Alternatively, what the BHPH dealer can offer a potential franchise client may get lost due to poor messaging and UX. Not every car shopper is the same. Therefore, not every web design should be the same for every car dealership.

Increased Website Traffic and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Ranking

Google incorporates UX in its algorithm for search engine results. User experience is a crucial factor that can significantly impact website traffic and SEO ranking. Have you checked your Google Search Console to view your page experience and core web vitals from Google’s perspective? It matters. A website that provides a positive user experience, such as easy navigation, fast loading times, and high-quality content, is more likely to attract and retain visitors. This, in turn, increases the chances of visitors sharing the website with others, leading to more traffic. Dealerships need to understand the way their target audience shops to achieve a website design catered to their shopping priorities. If a dealer offer in-house financing, are customers looking for a filter that shows certain makes a models? An in-house finance shopper is likely looking to filter by down payment or monthly payment over make and model. Websites prioritizing user experience are more likely to rank higher in search results, as search engines aim to provide users with the most suitable and useful results. Therefore, focusing on improving user experience can have a significant impact on both website traffic and SEO ranking.

Increased User Engagement

When faced with an intuitive UX, users are more likely to engage with the product or service. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as reducing the amount of time it takes to complete tasks, ensuring that the product is aesthetically pleasing, providing clear and concise instructions, and having an engaging website design. For automotive retailers, website designers should consider the shopping experience for different types of buyers. The new car shopper experience will differ from the used car shopper. The used car shopper with good credit will differ from the used car shopper with bad credit. The parent shopping for a car for their child will be different from the first-time car buyers shopping for themselves. With such a tremendous variety in car shopper experiences and so many factors that play into the purchase beyond the type of car, it is a wonder that website templates for automotive retailers remain, in large part, generic and highly focused on cars rather than customer value propositions. When users feel their needs will be met once inside the dealership, they are more likely to interact on the website and visit the store. 

Improved User Trust & Brand Loyalty

The overall website experience can form the audience’s perception of your brand. New and used car dealerships often fail to treat themselves as a brand. Franchise dealers may rely too heavily on Tier 1 advertising and marketing directives, and independents may neglect their unique values and focus too much on leveling up to their competition. The devil is in the details. Find your unique value and focus on that. Your website can be instrumental in conveying your brand image and creating a great first impression on potential customers. A positive user experience can create a sense of trust and confidence in your dealership’s brand.

Conversely, a negative user experience can erode trust and lead to users seeking alternative options. By focusing on UX and providing users with enjoyable experiences, dealerships can differentiate themselves from competitors and build strong customer relationships. Additionally, positive user experiences can lead to positive reviews, further strengthening the brand’s reputation and customer base. 

Better User Retention

Highly engaged UX creates a good impression on users, making them more likely to continue using or exploring a product or service. Remember one thing: it is also essential that you always look at the website data, along with engagement rate and heat map, to see where your customers stop during their shopping journeys and where they tend to interact more often than other sessions.  Also, website design improvement needs to be taken into account regularly. Sometimes, changing some banners, product showcases or changing the order of vehicles displayed may help improve the overall experience. In short, a customer-centric UX can help create a loyal user base and win your customers back fast.

Higher Conversion Rate

Users expect a smooth and enjoyable experience when they land on a website. A well-designed UX can help users easily navigate the website, find what they want, and complete their desired actions seamlessly. It is important to know your target customer, the value to you add to each customer segment, and how your UX caters to helping each potential customer navigate your website. A positive user experience can lead to higher user satisfaction and engagement, which in turn can increase the likelihood of conversions. Additionally, a good UX can build trust and credibility with users, which can be instrumental in converting them into loyal customers. On the other hand, poor UX can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction, leading to users abandoning the product or service. By focusing on UX design, used car dealerships can create a user-friendly environment that encourages users to act and boost conversion rates.

User experience (UX) is critical to your dealership’s success. It encompasses every aspect of a user’s interaction with a company, from the initial interaction to the final purchase. Dealerships focusing on improving conversion rates often focus on spending more money to increase the reach needed to achieve a rate of conversion. Rather than focusing on dictating outcomes, website UX can be the differentiating factor that increases sales and lead to traffic conversion ratios. It is an area often overlooked by dealerships, and for good reason. The technicalities involved with building a website for dealers are mind-numbing. However, the experience for your customer should be different from what is shown. Focusing on UX as a competitive advantage ensures your longevity in the used car space.