The 5 pitfalls of automotive eCommerce (and how to avoid them)

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

We can’t lie and pretend that the world of automotive eCommerce is always super simple and works from the off. We have faced a few pitfalls throughout the years that we have worked to overcome, and instead of keeping this information to ourselves, we have decided to share it and help steer others away from these pitfalls. 

We have selected the top 5 pitfalls and a few tips on how to avoid them…

Confidence to buy

The first and maybe biggest pitfall that is seen all over the eCommerce world is the customer not having the confidence to buy. Many sites don’t explain the process or take the time to build trust with the company itself or the products they are selling. 

To put it simply… If customers don’t understand how it works they won’t transact with you. 

Our advice is to make it really clear how to make a purchase and make sure you show off how good you are with your customer reviews and ratings. 

Unknown budget

This sounds a little silly, but the unknown can really put a stopper on things. The big questions like…What do I have to spend? What can I afford? What’s my old car worth and what finance options are available to me? Are all really big factors in the decision making and even the browsing, 

Our advice is to make sure these questions can be answered quickly and right at the start of the customer’s journey with you. Provide them with the information 

Dead ends: 

There are a few bugbears that we have with shopping online and being forced to put your information into a web page multiple times, not being able to save details to an account or a wishlist is very high on that list. 

We have noticed that customers tend to make multiple visits before buying, changing criteria many times before making the decision (Stats Needed). 

Our advice is to keep forms short and simple with just the really important information fields and allow customers to save their searches and details for when they come back. 

Stock or configured

On many sites, it’s impossible to see the difference between buying a car from stock or configuring your own. A customers’ timeline may not allow for a “build your own” approach, so it’s essential to bake lead times into the information you display on each vehicle.  

This is another pitfall that can be really simply avoided by providing the information right from the beginning. 

Falling at the last hurdle:

This one we find really frustrating. 

Many sites take you all the way through the buying journey before it becomes apparent that you can’t actually buy online, only enquire. The experience for New and Used often doesn’t match up, so the customer journey is confusing. 

So, if you don’t want your customer to be seriously frustrated, we advise you to make sure it is clear (and simple) from the beginning if they can or cannot complete the transaction online.