When one goes to the grocery store, it is common knowledge that milk is generally placed as far away from the entrance as possible. This was designed to require customers to see other options along their walk back to the milk section, a commonly purchased staple, and select other items to buy as well. However, when you arrive at the refrigerated cases of milk, you don’t see completely irrelevant items such as rat traps and watermelon alongside it. When a shopper has reached that destination deep-within the bowels of the store, surrounding it with wildly dissimilar products is fruitless (pun intended).
One of the primary goals of a car dealer’s website is to funnel a visitor down to the search results page (SRP) or vehicle detail page (VDP) of an in-stock unit and convert that shopper to a lead or opportunity. The VDP is the destination and web providers place it past a few other aisles of clicks to reach in hopes that those filtering themselves down improve the quality of the conversion. Yet, when the shopper reaches the average VDP, they’re met with a slew of call-to-actions (CTAs) that often confuse the customer into not submitting a lead. (And yes, I realize that in 2018, the goal of a “lead” may seem antiquated, but every dealer I know would still rather capture a customer’s contact info rather than trusting they get their questions answered on their site and hope they walk into the showroom).
A study about CTAs on SRP and VDPs released by Vast a while back found that shoppers down-funnel on a website do not seek irrelevant information once on those pages. The top 3 CTAs were found to be related to Price, Vehicle Information (read: availability), and Contacting the Dealership. For example, the offer to “Check Price” or “Get a Quote” ranked as the most important CTA on a SRP or VDP, receiving the most lead form submissions. However, three CTAs were deemed irrelevant and those were Save/Add to Wishlist, Request Financing, and Value Your Trade. As I peruse countless SRP and VDPs for clients, we see 8-10 call to actions at a minimum on the average VDP. Much like ordering from the 28-page menu at a Cheesecake Factory, when you give someone too many options, it makes deciding what to choose difficult.
Web providers are including far too many clickable lead-conversion opportunities in the call-to-actions within their SRPs and VDPs. When a website visitor is that far down-funnel, the last thing we should be doing is overwhelming them with irrelevant CTAs. If someone has drilled down enough to research an exact, in-stock unit, apparently understanding their trade value isn’t of concern from those particular pages. Let me say that I completely see the need for a trade evaluator tool or payment/lease calculator within dealership websites, but the data suggests they don’t need to have a presence on your inventory pages.
Placing dissimilar products next to each other shows we don’t understand the interest of our shoppers. It makes lead-generation a “by all means necessary” tactic. Cluttering the aisles of our websites with unrelated or extraneous call-to-actions will only hurt your conversion ratio (and the online experience for the shopper). Next time you go to the Cheesecake Factory, open up the menu and try to make a decision in under 60 seconds (a time longer than the average customer spends on a VDP). Next time you shop at the grocery store, take notice that you can’t pick up a box of rat traps while looking at watermelon. You make these other purchase decisions on your way back to the milk as you filter yourself closer to the back aisle, but you don’t see everything under the sun stockpiled there to overwhelm you.
Try going shopping on your own SRPs and VDPs. Leave only the most valuable CTAs, and remove the immaterial clutter. Only then will people find what they need.