Don’t Need Live Chat on Your Dealership’s Website? Think Again.

Dec 8, 2014 | Website Conversion

Dealers are moving away from 3rd party leads and are driving traffic to their own websites, but according to NADA data, 95% of a dealership website’s visitors will not convert because they are not able to engage with the site and access the information they need. Can your dealership close the information gap?

Dealers Don't Need Live Chat On Your Dealership's Website - Think Again

Shoppers on your site want MORE

To help identify what consumers truly want from dealer websites, Accenture conducted a study of 13,000 drivers in 11 countries. They found that 82% of US respondents believe interactivity on the digital side is a MUST for the automotive industry and that 70% of US drivers welcome the ability to chat with a dealer online in order to unearth more information.

A Polk analysis also found that 1 in 3 chat users purchase a vehicle after engaging in live chat on a dealer’s website.

Consumers have made it clear that they want better online support, advice and personalization when buying a car, with consistent handoffs to the dealer when they are ready to visit the showroom.”

— Lee Won-Joon, Managing Director of Products at Accenture

Live chat on your dealership’s website ranks as high as talking on the phone

According to a study conducted by LogMeIn, Inc., “there is a significant population of website visitors who prefer live chat as a contact method.” Can you blame them? Compared to calling, chatting cuts wait times, eliminates annoying numeric navigation, and allows users to multi-task easily.

In fact, the study’s respondents ranked chat conversations nearly as high as phone conversations (20% compared to 22%) when choosing their preferred method of communication.

They also found that shoppers who welcome chat are generally male, aged 31-50, have considerably higher household incomes, and shop more frequently than those who do not.

Reasons For Live Chat Preference On Auto Websites

Auto dealers know it works

Dealers report that 76% of their shoppers preferred chat over filling out a form, and 94% say that having live chat on their dealership’s website has helped them bring online shoppers into their store.

CarChat24, named the “Top Rated” chat provider by DrivingSales in 2013, guarantees an extra 40-60% in conversions, and their case study featuring Reno Toyota shows a conversion increase of 130% after implementation.

In addition, dealers who use Gubagoo’s managed chat solution have experienced consistently high chat-to-lead conversion rates.

It took us a little while to get our heads around how to leverage live chat on your dealership’s website. We realized that chats must be viewed as somewhere between an email lead and phone-up. Chatters are in a different phase of the sales process and taking them very seriously helped us to start closing more sales from chat.”

— Rob Campbell, eCommerce Director at Harnish Auto Family

Other industries know it, too

Beyond the auto industry, increased sales, bigger savings, and higher CSI from live chat continue to capture the attention of large marketing and business analytics companies.

Forbes magazine reported that despite Wells Fargo’s mixed results a few years earlier, the bank’s second attempt to implement live chat software on its site has generated higher customer satisfaction and generated a double-digit increase in shopper conversions. Plus, Kissmetrics found that live chat gives “immediate access to customers’ pain points.”

Auto Website Visitors Likelihood To Initiate Live Chat

With live chat, a user find an item, inquire about specific sales, make sure promotions provide the discount that they’re looking for, and compare products of interest. If you don’t already have live chat implemented on your website, you’re missing out on chances for higher website conversions, better customer engagement, and higher customer satisfaction.

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.


Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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