TradePending TV

The Hidden Cost of Terrible Website Conversion


The agency Driver’s Seat just published website conversion stats on 250 dealers, and there are huge differences between the most popular website plugins. Spoiler alert: free is anything but free. 

The stats are the conversion rates from the “value my trade” landing page on an anonymized sample of 250 dealers, each with sales volumes between 50 and 500 vehicles per month.

Driver’s Seat looked at 7 of the most popular trade tools, plus dealers using a generic form, to see which solutions converted at the highest rate.

We’re obscuring the company names here, except for numero uno.

Our goal isn’t to bash, we love competition, and some of these tools offer different things than we do with varying degrees of trade-offs both ways. You can find the actual stats through Driver’s Seat or comment here.

Instead, the goal here is to highlight two things:

Point #1 – If you spend any money on marketing to drive people to your website, you can significantly increase your return on ad spend and lead volume by picking products that excel at turning those early stage visitors into leads

If your solution converts 50% less, that will mean 50% fewer leads and cars sold for that channel. So maybe you save a few bucks because you got a promotion for a couple months free, but that’s like chopping down a tree to catch a squirrel.

Point #2 – if you’re using a generic website form that’s “free”, you are converting 5-10 times fewer leads than a tool purpose-built for the job. You’re saving a few hundred bucks a month on software cost but here’s the hidden cost.

If 100 people start the process and 40 finish, and you turn 10% of those into 4 trade-ins acquired and 4 cars sold, that’s $10-15K gross.

But with a generic form, If 100 people start, 4 finish, and you acquire and sell none, free just cost you $10-15K.




What considerations should dealerships keep in mind when selecting website plugins to optimize conversion rates?

Variations in website conversion rates have notable implications for dealerships’ return on ad spend and lead volume. By selecting products that excel in converting early-stage website visitors into leads, dealerships can significantly increase their efficiency in converting marketing efforts into tangible outcomes. For instance, a solution with 50% lower conversion rates may result in 50% fewer leads and subsequently fewer cars sold through that channel. Thus, while some solutions may offer short-term cost savings, the long-term impact on lead generation and sales potential should be carefully considered.