Did you know that 89% of commercial buyers shop online for their next vehicle? That means it's crucial to know how they search for vehicles online and how to make it easier for them to find the right work truck or van on your website. If your buyers can’t find the vehicle they need quickly, they'll leave and visit another dealer's website.
But getting buyers to your dealership's website is only half the challenge. Understanding how your commercial buyers shop is critical to being able to keep them on your site long enough to find the right work vehicle—especially when you realize how different the shopping experience is between commercial and retail buyers.
The key to attracting commercial buyers and getting them to contact your dealership is to optimize your website in a way that makes it easy for them to find the work truck or van that meets their specific requirements. And once you deliver this experience to them, you have them!
What's important to a commercial buyer is much different from a retail buyer, which affects the way they shop online.
When a retail buyer shops for a vehicle online, they're faced with a lot of choices, from makes and models to colors and upholstery. While budget and lifestyle play an important role, their preferences in a new vehicle are largely based on emotion. Consumer research has identified how a dealer can optimize their site for retail buyers, and most dealerships do a good job of this.
When a commercial buyer searches for a work truck or van online, emotion is not the deciding factor. Their business defines what specifications they need in a vehicle, and without the right vehicle, they can't do their job or generate revenue.
Dealerships that understand these differences and deliver the specific requirements of the commercial buyer, in the most efficient manner, are the ones they go back to again and again. Is that your dealership?
There are very technical specifications for both the chassis and the upfit that the commercial buyer needs met. A buyer needs to know the make, model, drive train, cab type, fuel type, cab to axle, GVWR, body type, body length, body width, door width/height, inside dimensions, roof height and more to make the right decision.
When a dealer's site doesn't properly list the vehicle specifications, it can take a buyer a long time to figure out if the vehicle they're looking at is what they need. Without enough information, a commercial buyer will not make a purchase. They’ll continue shopping on another website, hoping to find a dealership that offers the right information they need to make a decision.
When a commercial buyer finally finds a work truck that fits their needs, they're ready to buy, even if it's from a dealership several hundred miles away.
Without optimizing your website for the commercial buyer, you could be losing a lot of potential leads to your competitors, whether they're next door or a state away.
In most cases, a retail buyer will keep shopping until they find the vehicle they want, or they find a great deal – whichever comes first. Time is not usually a factor – they have an idea in mind and will continue shopping until they feel comfortable with what they’ve found.
A commercial business depends on a work truck or van to generate revenue. Their vehicle is a tool, and without the right tools they can’t get their job done. If they can’t get the job done, they’re losing time and money. They don’t have the luxury to wait.
If a commercial buyer can find the right work truck or van on your website, they’re not going to waste their time comparison shopping or calling other dealerships—they’re going to contact you.
Here’s a quick exercise you can do to see if your dealership’s website is designed to help commercial buyers find the right vehicles.
First, go to your dealership’s homepage, then see if you can answer these questions:
If you said no, or have trouble answering any of these questions, your buyers are going to have trouble finding your vehicles. That means you’re not optimized for their shopping experience, your visitors are leaving your site, and you’re losing leads because of it.
Research has found that for every 100 people visiting a dealership’s website, an average of fewer than 2 potential buyers will contact the dealership. Dealers who have optimized their site for commercial buyers see an average of 4 or more potential buyers contacting them per 100 visitors, meaning they have doubled their opportunities to sell a commercial vehicle compared to other dealerships.
This translates into a HUGE opportunity to grow your commercial business.
Your dealership should update your commercial inventory page to make searching for the right vehicles easier, while giving your buyers more of the information they need to make a purchasing decision.
To fully optimize your site, here are a few of the key changes you should make:
Updating your website on your own and keeping the information on each new truck accurate can be expensive and time-consuming.
However, Work Truck Solutions can provide all of these updates on an ongoing basis with one low monthly fee, and OEM co-op support. We work with over 850 dealerships, continually refining our software to make our commercial inventory platform as effective and easy-to-use as possible.
Through our unique partnerships with major commercial vehicle and truck body manufacturers such as Knapheide, Reading, Supreme, Scelzi, Masterack and others, we directly upload the right chassis and body specifications to your vehicle detail pages. This effectively showcases your commercial inventory online, giving your buyers the information they need to make a decision right then.
The bottom line is this—dealerships using our solutions sell more trucks. So can you.