August 8, 2022

Don’t Turn Buyers Away – Dealer Website Merchandising Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t Turn Buyers Away – Dealer Website Merchandising Mistakes to Avoid

As a car dealer, you know that your website is one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal. It’s where potential buyers go to learn more about the cars you have for sale, and it will heavily influence their purchase decision if they decide to buy from you. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your website is merchandised correctly — you don’t want to turn buyers away before they even have a chance to learn more about your dealership. Here are a few key things to remember when merchandising your website.

What is Dealer Website Merchandising?

Dealer website merchandising is the process of creating and maintaining a website that is designed to sell cars and drive service appointments. This includes everything from choosing the right car photos, to showcasing them on your homepage, to writing compelling product descriptions. It also includes making sure your site is easy to navigate and that potential buyers can find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily.

In short, dealer website merchandising is about creating a user-friendly, informative, and persuasive website that will convince potential buyers to purchase a car from you, while creating urgency and building value in your inventory

Now that we’ve gone over what dealer website merchandising is and why it’s so important, let’s have a look at some of the most common mistakes dealers make when trying to sell cars online.

Mistake #1 – Weak Calls-to-Action

Your website’s main goal is to sell cars, so it’s important to ensure your call-to-actions (CTAs) reflect that. Therefore, your CTAs should be clear, concise, and persuasive. They should tell potential buyers exactly what you want them to do, and they should be impossible to miss.

Common weak calls-to-action examples include “click here to learn more” or “browse our inventory.” These CTAs are too vague and don’t give potential buyers enough information about what they’re supposed to do next.

On the other hand, a strong CTA would be something like “schedule a test drive”, “what’s my car worth”, “shop by monthly payment”, or “apply for financing.” These CTAs are clear and direct, telling potential buyers exactly what they need to do if they’re interested in purchasing a car from you.

If your website’s CTAs are weak, it’s time to make some changes. Update your CTAs to be clear, concise, and persuasive, and you’ll see an increase in leads and sales.

Mistake #2 – Using Stock Photos

Regarding car photos, don’t settle for anything less than the best. That means using high-quality, professional photos of the actual cars you have for sale, not generic stock photos.

Stock photos might be easy to come by, and they might be free, but they’re not going to do your cars justice. Potential buyers want to see what your cars actually look like, so give them what they want. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your cars, and ensure those photos are prominently featured on your website.

Mistake #3 – Generic, Boring Vehicle Descriptions

Your website’s vehicle descriptions are important — they give potential buyers the information they need to make a purchasing decision. Unfortunately, many dealerships make the mistake of using generic, boring descriptions that don’t say much about the car.

A good vehicle description should be clear, concise, and informative. It should tell potential buyers about the car’s features, benefits, and specs. It should also be persuasive and convince potential buyers that your car is the best option for their needs.

If your vehicle descriptions are generic or boring, it’s time to spruce them up.

Boosting Your Dealer Website Leads by 300%

There are three effective ways to optimize your dealer website to support your lead generation strategies online.

Dealers should find a way to attract leads with their inventory listings. Creating differential value in online vehicle merchandise offered to consumers increases interest, is memorable in the consumers’ minds, and ultimately results in lead generation. Drawing in the customer is key and can be achieved with standout content and visuals on your vehicle listing and description page. If consumers can easily recall a particular model on your website, they are more likely to return to you than to a competitor. Badges by TradePending highlights what makes each vehicle unique, based upon local market data. By showcasing a vehicle’s local popularity, scarcity, or most in-demand attributes, buyers feel a new sense of urgency and value in each vehicle.

Using website conversion tools can be a useful and practical strategy to improve the number of leads you generate and their quality. Trade has a proven track record of supporting car dealerships to increase their leads by up to 300% and can help you too. This tool is effective in data analysis, providing dealerships with useful and relevant information on consumers and not just averages nationally. The integrated reporting gives up-to-date analytics with customizable reports to optimize your operations.

Lastly, high-quality imagery impacts consumers, but a video is what they will recall. Therefore, dealerships must prioritize video on their website because it is so effective in lead generation. It quickly conveys information about vehicle make and model, showcases the selling points of different cars, and gives consumers an almost real-time experience without being physically present.


The automotive industry is highly competitive, and dealerships must do everything they can to attract potential customers. This includes proper targeting, effective merchandising, and using the right tools to increase leads.

By avoiding common mistakes and implementing the tips above, you can give your dealership a competitive edge and generate more leads from your website.