What does a pair of sunglasses have to do with the automotive industry?

Do you really need a car portal or platform? And how do you calculate the value?


Last week, I gave a presentation at Leaseplan with my friend Brian Pasch about online marketing in the automotive industry and how to deal with leads. Interesting subjects, of course, but it is even more interesting to be on the road with Brian for two days and to absorb his knowledge. In this way, I constantly get new and changing insights into a world that is constantly and rapidly moving. One of the topics we discussed for a long time is the role of the dealer website as a hub, as a central point in your online marketing efforts. There were actually two issues. Yes, your website can be that hub, provided you give the UX Experience that suits the current customer. The customer must then be able to do everything without a fuss from his phone. Then the dealer website is a real destination.

If this website is not built according to today’s specifications, then the role of the site is rather negative than positive. You have to realize that it is a continuous investment, and therefore costs, to keep your website ‘on par’. A dealer who charges an average of € 500,- per month for development and hosting, pays too little and will lose more ground every month compared to his competitors who spend more money. Keeping your website up-to-date is a matter of continuous innovation. This involves € 2.000,- per month, or more. The problem is that in addition to that site, you still have to use marketing to attract visitors.


If you have a website from the digital year 0, – that can be a website from 2013 – then your website is not the ‘go-to-destination’ that your customers should visit. Why not? Because most visitors are undoubtedly used to have a different and especially better visitor experience (UX Experience).
To sell your stock cars, you have to offer them online and you usually do this via Marktplaats, for example. Many marketers in the automotive industry believe that this is not necessaryand that a Google Adwords campaign to their own (old) website is more effective, for example. Wrong!

If you sell sunglasses, it is suddenly different. Imagine this. You design sunglasses and you want to sell them. Do you create a website via WordPress and then spend money on AdWords and marketing to attract visitors to your website to make the sale there? Or do you put your products on Marktplaats like everyone else to reach transaction-oriented visitors? I sell a lot more books through Bol.com than through my own website, even though I bring all my marketing (AdWords, Facebook) to my website. People search for books on Bol.com, not through Google.

It works exactly like that with cars. Ask 100 people where they are looking for a used car and 99 will do that online and 90 of them will look for a used car on Marktplaats. The market ultimately determines where you search and how you buy. As a dealer website you have to choose your position and find partners who can help you to sell more and faster, with more and better insights. Fixation on visitor numbers is the wrong KPI. The purpose of the platform must be to keep visitors on the platform….

Would it matter to you if you were selling sunglasses? The KPI is just the number of engaged eyeballs on your sunglasses? If the product is good enough, you will sell. Internet is not a panacea, but a tool. You just have to make sure that you put your product there where most qualified visitors come…

Orginal article

About Paul de Vries

Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marketplace) after selling Nieuweautokopen.nl to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW Academy and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ is Paul’s new book, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at: DCDW.nl.

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