Positive online reviews that provide employee-specific information drive website traffic and leads to car dealers, according to a recent study from DealerRater, the world’s premier car dealer review website, and Dataium, the largest aggregator of online automotive shopper behavior.
The study revealed that DealerRater users were 90 percent more likely to visit a dealer website and 5.3 times more likely to convert to a lead when that dealer had a positive overall rating of 3.5 stars or higher. Users reacted even stronger to review profiles that provided expanded information through DealerRater’s Certified Dealer Program. In particular, users were 12.1 times more likely to submit a lead to dealers that featured employee pages on their DealerRater review profiles. Employee pages, available to participants in DealerRater’s Certified Dealer Program, allow a dealer’s customers to write reviews for individual dealer employees and feature specific information on the individual employee, such as an employee bio, photo and video greeting.
“The study validates what we’ve advised dealers on for years. Dealer reviews have a clear impact on the behavior of today’s auto shoppers. And the fact that auto shoppers are more engaged with the employee pages available from Certified Dealer profiles reveals that consumers are looking for more transparency as they research dealers,” said Gary Tucker, chief executive officer of DealerRater. “When comparing multiple car dealerships, they’re looking for detailed reviews that provide a clear idea of what to expect from the car buying process.”
The study further illustrates the high value generated by DealerRater’s Certified Dealer Program, finding that participating dealers were able to attract, engage and convert more car shoppers into leads than non-certified dealers. DealerRater users were 50 percent more likely to visit a Certified Dealer website, as well as spend 80 percent more time on-site, than a non-certified dealer website. Moreover, Certified Dealers showed an 8.8 times higher lead conversion for new vehicles and a 10.8 times higher lead conversion for used vehicles than non-certified dealers.
“Online reviews have already helped consumers in the car buying process, but now we’re looking at the other side of the relationship by showing how dealers can benefit from reviews,” said Eric Brown, chief development officer of Dataium. “The numbers speak for themselves – dealers that provide great customer service are receiving positive online reviews that, in turn, attract and convert more shoppers.”
The findings were corroborated by John Osinga, IT/Web manager of London City Chrysler, a DealerRater Certified Dealer located in London, Ontario. “We have focused heavily on leveraging DealerRater reviews over the years and it has paid off,” said Osinga. “We are seeing more referral website traffic now than we ever have before thanks to our online reviews. In addition, visitors are spending more time and viewing more pages on our site.”
The study is based on Dataium’s comparative analysis of dealership website traffic and DealerRater review profiles for more than 1,000 dealers. Dealers interested in learning more about the study or how an online reputation can be leveraged to drive sales can visit www.dealerrater.com/dealer.aspx.
Dataium is the largest aggregator of online automotive shopping behavior. The company collects, analyzes, and indexes billions of online automotive shopping events from millions of active auto shoppers monthly, and supports cutting-edge data collection, analysis, proprietary research and reporting technology. For more information, visit www.dataium.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877.896.3282.
DealerRater was founded in 2002 as the first car dealer review website worldwide. DealerRater is the world’s #1 online resource for anyone seeking trusted third-party information on automobile dealerships. DealerRater features nearly 41,000 U.S. and Canadian car dealers, more than 1.4 million consumer reviews and over 1 million cars for sale. DealerRater attracts more than 10 million consumers every year who visit the site to search for car dealerships, read reviews, write their own descriptive reviews, and find car deals – all for free.