How To Transition Website SRP Viewers To VDP Engagers

Now more than ever, the vehicle details page (VDP) is the dealership’s most powerful marketing and sales tool. In any given month, dealerships get far more visitors to their VDPs than their physical showrooms.

Consider the following facts about dealer website traffic on average:

  • About 30% of total traffic makes it to the VDP level
  • Less than 50% of the monthly traffic that views a search results page (SRP), moves to a VDP
  • Shoppers that view an SRP, view less than 3 pages per session
  • All visitors drill down to 2.75 pages per session and stick around for 1.5 minutes

These website analytics makes 2 things very clear:

  • Dealers must get more SRP viewers to drill down to VDPs
  • Dealers must inspire visitors to get deeply engaged at the VDP level

We can see how great the opportunity is by looking at the following dealership website traffic for the period 3/1/21 thru 5/31/21. While 42% of total new visitor traffic viewed an SRP, only 30% of this traffic drilled down to a VDP.

Think about this…

if this dealer could have boosted SRP/VDP conversion by 25% (12.55% + 25% = 37.55%), it would have had 15,138 more SRP/VDP viewers!

What is even more striking about this data is the difference in the average session duration between SRP/VDP viewers and SRP viewers… SRP/VDP viewers stayed on the site 5:97 minutes longer. They also view 6.28 pages more per session (they were engaged).

While most dealers allocate a significant percentage of their digital ad budget to driving shoppers to VDPs, few invest as much in specific strategies to drive a higher percentage of SRP viewers to VDPs or to keep shoppers engaged on VDPs once they get there.

Why is this so important?
There is a direct correlation between VDP engagement and car sales.
The more engagement, the higher the probability the visitor will become a customer.

SRP & VDP “Views” Versus “Engagement”

When online visitors engage with dealership website content, they are forming a personal connection with the dealership. That engagement gives them a feeling of a mutually-active relationship – they are looking for information and the dealership is delivering on that need.

We often hear the phrase “VDP engagement” misused in this business… if a visitor views a VDP, many still refer to this as VDP engagement and it is not. Engagement infers “interaction”. To illustrate the difference, imagine that an attractive individual walks into your dealership and you take notice. Would you feel as though you had interacted with that person? Likely not. Now, if you get up from your desk and go shake that person’s hand – that’s engagement! Engagement is personal – it fulfills some sort of need, and it has meaning.

How Do I Get More Shoppers To Move From SRPs To VDPs?

If you think about it, I’ve already answered this question… To get more shoppers to transition from SRPs to VDPs, you need to deliver on shoppers’ needs at the SRP level. When shoppers are scrolling the SRP, they are looking for something that compels them to want to see more – to drill down to a specific vehicle. Having high-quality photos are a given – and shoppers expect it without any thought. Many online shoppers have become immune to the standard get pre-approved, value your trade, calculate your payments, etc. action buttons.

Look at the SRP image below… Without having to drill down, shoppers can see that there are reconditioning records, an ebrochure, window sticker, and an inspection report available for this vehicle. And what does “View Portfolio” mean? It is enticing enough to make me want to click to find out – because it seems that the information might fulfill some of my research needs and because it appears to be interactive!

The point is that dealers need to deliver value and meet shoppers’ needs at the SRP level first – to maximize VDP traffic. Interactive content boosts shopper engagement and drives a higher percentage of SRP viewers to become VDP engagers.

There are plenty of options for eliciting interaction from shoppers at the SRP level, such as simple icons that demonstrate that the dealership provides ALL information about the vehicle upfront in an interactive and transparent fashion and SRP-placed banners that reinforce this messaging.

Interactive VDP Content Boosts Shopper Engagement

Today’s shoppers get bored quickly looking at long scrolling lists of vehicle specifications and grayed-out icons that fail to activate their senses. They want to interact with content – watch videos, open documents, view reports, and download files.

Interactive content boosts shopper engagement because it is “customer-centric” – meaning that its focus is on what the customer wants rather than a promotion. Content that creates a solution-oriented experience, such as educating shoppers about the dealership’s reputation makes them feel like they are not being “sold”.

You can deliver tremendous value in real-time by providing videos and documents that are personalized – that is, interactive information that is specifically about the vehicle and the dealership.

Actions Speak LOUDER Than Words!

The following reporting from a Mercedes-Benz dealership highlights the engagement opportunity for dealers. Sending digital portfolios that contained window stickers, reconditioning records, ebrochures, inspection reports and other videos, documents, and photos resulted in a 70% open rate. The response rate was 6.7x higher than the 118 other email templates in use. Not only were there significantly more replies from prospects, but there were more appointments shown and more cars sold.

VelocityEngage is the industry’s only digital portfolio solution – designed specifically for BDC agents, salespeople, and appointment setters. This incredible VDP engagement and digital sales presentation solution delivers a truly transparent shopping experience with tremendous value – and it is a win-win for both dealers and car buyers alike.

By Karla Guleserian, MSEC
Velocity Automotive Solutions

To learn more about how VelocityEngage empowers automotive salespeople to build trust with online shoppers through transparency, read this article.

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