New research has highlighted the importance of the car retailer website – with one-in-five customers enquiring about a car after browsing online. A survey of more than 2,500 customers, carried out by car dealer review provider JudgeService, reinforces the importance of websites in driving footfall to a vehicle retailer’s forecourt.

The survey found 22% of consumers made an enquiry about a car after visiting a retailer’s website, compared with 19% who came through alternative online sources, such as independent research sites, search engines and manufacturer websites. 16% chose to make an enquiry because it was their local retailer. The findings back up previous studies into the growing importance of digital technology when it comes to researching and buying new and used cars.

Download Car Care Plan’s latest FREE eBook for further information, advice and guidance: Digital technology for dealerships.

What are customers looking for on your website?

Among other findings in the JudgeService survey:

  • 13% said they chose to buy from a retailer as they had a good experience in the past – find out how to put customers at the heart of your business by downloading our free eBook.
  • 11% said they enquired about a car after being recommended by friends or family.
  • Only 2% of customers said they would respond to radio or newspaper adverts.

Other surveys have found similar results, with Auto Trader discovering that 71% of used car buyers visit a retailer’s website before making a purchase. Of those, 57% are checking stock, 41% are checking vehicle availability, and 53% are comparing prices.

To learn more about enhancing your website, read our blog: Essentials for a great dealership website.

How can you boost the retailer visit with digital technology?

Digital technology is not only essential for attracting potential customers, it also forms an important element of the dealership visit. According to a survey from, 63% of shoppers use their mobile device on the forecourt. They are checking independent research sites, comparing prices and looking for the best deals.

So how can your dealership enhance a consumer’s visit with digital technology? Here are our top 5 tips:

  1. Ensure your website is mobile friendly with easy access to vital information
  1. Keep your information up-to-date on your website and on independent car research websites
  1. Prepare and train your sales staff for customers armed with a wealth of digitally researched information about the vehicle and aftercare products
  1. Provide excellent customer service, as a bad experience can spread quickly online
  1. Provide financial aftercare products as they give your dealership an edge when customers are comparing your offering online.

For more tips on going the extra digital mile for your customers, read our blog: Enhance the dealership visit with digital technology.