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Trade valuation for car dealer websites

Dealers, don’t think conversion makes up for abandonment

Sales funnel theory tells us that abandonment and conversion are both parts of the funnel. You bring leads in top-of-funnel, nurture them and hopefully, convert them into a sales opportunity. And abandonment occurs along the way as you prospects move from top-of-funnel to a conversion. And we’ve been led to believe that abandonment is ok as long as you’re getting conversion.

Or at least, that’s how some software vendors want you to think.

Many, if not most, car dealers use third party components on their website to capture more leads. A popular example of this is a trade valuation service.

The leading one in this industry follows a very “old school” approach. It walks the user through a number of forms and then before displaying the trade valuation, they ask for contact information. Their theory is this: If the user completes the form, it’s a hot lead. If they abandon, don’t worry, it wasn’t a serious lead to begin with.


Really old school thinking.

In the day and age where it is about building engagement with your users, no amount of abandonment should be considered as part of success criteria.

What do you think happens to a visitor when they abandon the trade valuation because they don’t want to provide their contact information just yet? News flash: They’re not just abandoning the trade valuation widget, they’re abandoning your website! Hey-ho hey ho, off to another dealer’s site they go.

So while the big name value your trade guys proudly boast of a 2% conversion, ask yourself what happened to the other 98% that bounced off of your site?

So what’s the answer?

While we may be a little biased here, almost all web experts will agree that user engagement is becoming the number one way that businesses will build lasting relationships with their customers. With that in mind, we don’t believe you should lead with conversion. Instead, use engagement as your criteria. Ultimately, high engagement will yield far higher conversions. I’d far rather have a site where almost all my visitors engage with me resulting in a far more robust pipeline of conversions, than live with 98% abandonment.

It’s also time to rethink what your trade valuation service is costing your dealership. Sure, we know about CPL as a metric. But have you considered how much money you spend to drive traffic to your website (SEO, PPC … all very expensive) only to have the 98% who go to a value your trade widget abandon? I hope that 2% conversion was worth it…

We love talking about engagement and conversion. Share your thoughts with us.

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