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Effective Website Merchandising Strategies That Win Customers

December 7, 2016 By: Alyson Stephan

effectivestrategies_11-16When it comes to automotive websites, the ultimate goal is to create a competitive and interactive car buying experience that transforms the dot com into dollar signs. You recognize the important role effective web merchandising can play, especially when it comes to your dealership’s bottom line; but with so many suggestions, tips, and tricks out there, it can be overwhelming. Here are three of the most effective web merchandising strategies proven to win with customers.

Strategy #1: Merchandise Your Search Results

What it can do:

According to Tony Haile, the CEO of Chartbeat, the average viewer spends approximately 15 seconds on a single webpage. This produces one single piece of concrete evidence: consumers want information, fast. Giving a customer the tools to get the information they want within the least amount of time will increase user experience which will keep eyes on your site. The more time a customer spends on your website, the more likely they are to buy from you.

How to do it:

Take a good hard look at your search features. Examine the categories of information that you are offering. Move the most important categories to the top of your search list. For automotive websites this usually means: year, model, price range. Examine the subcategories of information that you are offering under each category. Eliminate repeated or excess information.

Strategy #2: Clean & Clear

What it can do:

Speed is not the only thing customers are looking to encounter on the web to keep them happy. Simplicity also plays a huge role in user experience. Too much information in too many sizes and colors can confuse your customers. According to Angelica Valentine of Big Commerce, when customers are confused, they give up and leave. Clearing your site of unnecessary clutter will ensure a pleasant, user focused experience.

How to do it:

Try navigating your site as a consumer, not a producer. Click through your website page by page starting with the homepage. Set an easily achievable goal for your experience, like finding a specific car model; something your customer would come to your website to find. Keep track of how long it takes you to find this information. If it takes too long or if you find yourself confused at any point during your search, your site is in need of some serious TLC.

Stream Tip: Branch out and ask an extended audience to review your site. It is important to gain feedback from another source, especially if you are interacting with your site constantly. Fresh eyes bring fresh finds!

Strategy #3: Above the Fold, Gets the Gold

How to do it:

What is the first thing to grab your attention when you get to a website? Simple answer: the information that loads onto the screen that you can see before having to scroll or click anywhere. The information being displayed above the fold is what will determine if a customer stays on your site.

How to do it:

Display the most important information first. It is as simple as that.

 

For more information about how effective merchandising can help you sell more cars, check out this Webinar: 7 Digital Merchandising Strategies to Help You Sell More Cars

Join Stream Companies At NADA January 26-29

Written by: Alyson Stephan Web Merchandising Team Lead at Stream Companies, an integrated advertising agency located in Malvern, PA.

Topics: Digital Marketing