The attention of the (online) customer

How do you get the attention of the (online) customer? And I deliberately put ‘online’ in parentheses. After all, aren’t we all an online customer? Many researchers from reputable parties will tell you in the coming months: the online car buyer is coming.

Difference Between Theory and Practice

Now, I don’t believe people who say online sales of new and used cars haven’t started yet. It HAS already started. And it’s important to recognize that the consumer handles the online ‘purchase’ differently than the PowerPoint would have you believe. Payment is not made directly via iDEAL, and yes, there is also a physical transfer, just like with the postman with a Bol.com package.

How do you get the attention of the online customer? With used and new cars, it is important to advertise the car ‘normally’ through your typical channels: your own website, and of course the various portals. There are many choices available. The three vertical portals, ViaBOVAG, Autotrack and Autoscout, are all looking for the same in-market shopper.

The attention of the (online) customer 1

Difference Between Vertical and Horizontal Platforms

Advertising on one of these channels is often enough to cover all three portals. A vertical platform is a platform in which the experience is fully focused on offering cars, motorcycles, and trucks. A horizontal platform is a website where consumers can buy everything from clothes and furniture to cars. Marktplaats is the only horizontal platform.

A consumer will often first look at Marktplaats, and then go deeper and deeper. The horizontal platform is often not in competition with a vertical for the same customer. You cover almost the entire market with the two resources.

The horizontal is often not in competition with a vertical for the same customer. You cover almost the entire market with the two resources.

Search engines

Then, there are the search engines such as Google, but you can also qualify Accelerator as such. I see a lot of statistics from Google, illustrating that dealers are trying to get leads on their own website through Ads. This is quite expensive: a CPL via Google is often €50 or more.

You will find the consumer who wants to do a lot of research on Gas Pedal is presented with the inventory of the many portals in the Netherlands. Due to the CPC method, the investment and the ROI is in many cases is a lot more favorable than that of Google, which works with an auction.

The attention of the (online) customer 2

So where do I get the attention now?

If you want to do it right, place your stock on at least 1 vertical, 1 horizontal and 1 search engine. In addition, make sure that your inventory is correctly priced, that there is sufficient information about the car, and that the photos are in the correct order.

The photo sequence often determines the way in which the consumer examines the car more closely. See also this article about the order from Carvana, one of the largest online car sellers in the US.

If you want to do it right, place your stock on at least 1 vertical, 1 horizontal and 1 search engine.

The SRP page

On the SRP page of the portals, and by that we mean the Search Results Page, you will see the results of your automotive search. Most visitors still search by brand/model/year of manufacturer/mileage/price and perhaps a number of other filters. The results are listed in the SRP. During this search, it is therefore important to get the attention of the customer. In the Marktplaats data, you sometimes see that a very bad photo gets more traction than a good photo. You’ll also notice that most of the main photos are taken in the front left, while the information about the car is on the right. It’s a bit crooked, so we expect that if we point to the right, while everyone else is looking to the left.

We do this differently in our own Ligier store. The main photo is front left, so the front faces right, pointing to all the information. Studies on how people look, read and scan websites also show this is a better marketing solution. If you use a photo with people, for example, they look at the product information and not away from it.

The attention of the (online) customer ads

VDP page

If people eventually click on your ad, the first six photos are crucial. Don’t show ten photos of the outside first and then show the interior but show the whole story of the car and you as a company in the first six photos. Take a look at our ads at the Ligier Store for good examples.

The attention of the customer is important. If you get that attention, you will also see that the opportunity for more leads, more calls, and more clicks to the website increases. If you only advertise on verticals and do not differentiate yourself on search engines and horizontals with a different customer profile, you have reduced your chance of grabbing the customer’s full attention.

If you get that attention, you will also see that the opportunity for more leads, more calls and more clicks to the website increases.

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