The intent of a “Why Buy” message is to demonstrate why your business is special for anyone who visits the website. The premise is that you can stand out from the crowd with a unique message that can build value in a company before communication has started. In Theory, the need for a unique marketing offer is absolutely true, and a big reason for books like “Blue Ocean Strategy.”
There are two reasons why the majority of the ones utilized in the auto industry are useless.
- Use of common messaging that doesn’t stand out
- Hiding the messaging
The majority of “Why Buy” messages are on the home page and a separate “Why Buy” page that isn’t integrated into the natural progress of a person through the website. The home page use is typically one slide of many, and will have an interaction rate of less than 1%. Even 1% would be an incredible achievement when it is put in sliders because “Sliders Suck.”
The second option, and one that is commonly recommended, is the “Why Buy” landing page. We have optimized our fair share of these pages, which may get a little bit of traffic with a big marketing campaign. However, they are almost always not navigated to. Either someone lands on the page from a marketing medium, or they find it as a sitelink from a different search. The “Why Buy” message is never something commonly searched, so the ability for it to generate intentional organic traffic is extremely low.
If you have a true “Why Buy” or “Unique Selling Proposition,” then you need to make your website optimized to explain and demonstrate that value consistently.
Use Example #1
For example, if you offer a “Lifetime Warranty,” that messaging should be the whole design of the top of your home page with a message like “Shop Vehicles with Our Lifetime Warranty” that leads to the vehicles that qualify for the warranty. Then reinforce that message by including the messaging on that destination page, as well as an icon or logo on every vehicle in that filter. By demonstrating the value, communicating the meaning and frequent reinforcement you can build value in that offering in a way that is natural to navigate and explore. You aren’t hiding your “Why Buy” on a completely different page; you are making every interaction include some exposure to it.
Don’t stop here, though. You will want to continue that message into your Facebook and Google retargeting campaigns. With dynamic retargeting ads on Facebook, which we offer, you are keeping the vehicles they have viewed in their purview, but additional campaigns that build value in your “Unique Selling Proposition” (USP), can generate conversions beyond what is measured by any digital marketing.
Use Example #2
Depending on the marketing strategies you utilize, however, not everyone will start the journey on the homepage of the website. In fact, about half will really start their adventure there, depending on paid advertising campaign budgets. That results in over half of your potential customers not being addressed with the homepage messaging, and exploring a completely different website usage.
This is why the design of the Search Result Pages (SRPs) and Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs) are essential.
Starting with the SRP, you will want to offer your USP as a filter in your sidebar faceted navigation. Not all vehicles will qualify for your special offering, but you can make it easy to find the vehicles that qualify for your current offering right in the sidebar filters. The simplest way is to identify these vehicles in the DMS, and pass that information to your website provider. This leads to zero errors. You also have the option to filter it with your website company based on predictable characteristics – miles, year, etc. Building your USP right into the filters of your website, and placing that Call To Action (CTA) at the top of the filters, puts your messaging into the most natural position on the page.
The second step is the vehicle listings on the page.
When someone visits a webpage they take their bearings, and naturally determine how they are going to navigate the page. This typically means identifying the photo, title, and price on the page, and quickly scanning each as they scroll down to be as efficient as possible when shopping. Other websites in the industry slow this process down with the “quality of deal” determination. People will scan if the deal is good or not because they really don’t know if it is a good deal.
What you are looking to do is slow this process down with your USP. The Call To Action (CTA) of your Unique Selling Proposition should be quickly and efficiently identifiable. This makes it a value add to the shopping process. The icon should also have messaging on hover over to identify what the offer actually means. If someone clicks on the icon you can have it open a lightbox interstitial (pop up) that gives additional details and offers a call to action to learn more. When you have something special that may raise questions you want to have a function making asking additional questions easy. Put a “Contact Us” form or button on that lightbox to make it easy to find out more, and get more people in your marketing funnel.
Also, remove the banner at the top of the page talking about the Unique Selling Proposition because distracting your visitors may lead to less conversions.
Use Example #3
Now that your messaging is effectively displayed on your home page and SRP, it is time to include it in your Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP). Overall, the design of VDPs isn’t great. The intent is to provide all the information all the time, and this usually means that it is part of a giant list, and not in any meaningful capacity.
The goal of this page is to help website visitors quickly identify the answers to their questions, and not cause them to struggle to know what the vehicle has. If you ran user testing on a website you will often see shoppers going through the photos of the vehicle to identify features, and not try to pinpoint them in a giant list. Everyone has a list of must haves on a vehicle, such as color or Apple CarPlay. The easier you make shopping for them the more vehicles they will look at, and the more invested they will be in your company. If you offer the best shopping experience you will get more people to shop the website again.
The design must also take into consideration how low the per VDP conversion rate is. The typical car dealership website will convert between 1-4% of the traffic, and have multiple VDP views per visit. So, the conversion per VDP is below 1% on all car dealership websites. With 99% of the visitors not converting on the first vehicle they look at you must also optimize for the additional viewed VDPs. This is kind of done with “Similar Vehicles,” but they are at the very bottom of the page, and almost never interacted with.
Instead, offering a call to action like “See Similar Small SUVs” or “19 Ford F-150 in Stock” gives visitors a clear next step that doesn’t involve the “Back” button. Make the next step forward as easy as possible. Another example can be found here, “prominent CTA.”
As for the USP, though, this is a natural component of improving the design of the pages. Your VDP should include:
- Pictures of the vehicle
- Price, mileage, exterior color, and interior color
- A prominent short list of vehicle features – heated seats, Apple CarPlay, 3rd row, etc.
- Social proof or testimonials
- Unique selling proposition
- Clear call to action
Social Proof is the demonstration that you aren’t a crappy company. You can do this through testimonials if you have an overall bad reputation score on review sites, or you can utilize your aggregate rating if you have a great reputation. Social Proof shouldn’t be integrated in a way that distracts from the main call to action, but it is best served when placed right by the call to action. The faster someone can scan your VDP, the more likely they are to explore more.
Also, don’t add video because the idea sounds good as it may result in less conversions because a video was added.
Use Example #4
The final use of your Unique Selling Proposition is on the thank you page. Typically the page is just a short text of “Thank You for Doing XYZ,” but it is one of the most important pages in your funnel. The messaging should be nearly identical to the Unique Selling Proposition messaging included in your first email response. You want to continue demonstrating value to your customers, and as they reach the culmination of your website experience it is a great time to comment again on why they should do business with you. By having that messaging on the thank you page as well as the first email response you continue the flow through the whole shopping experience, frequently reminding them of the value.
Your “Why Buy” is important, But Don’t Hide It
Common sense dictates that you need to have your “Why Buy” messaging, but don’t hide it on a random page of your website. Include it in your overall website experience, and get people to engage with it. If they can’t escape your messaging you can get a lift in message recognition, and potentially make the sales process easier. The goal is for your customers to ask more questions about your USP during the shopping process because they have engaged with it enough to know to ask.