5 Ways to Improve Conversion Rates For the Auto Industry

July 12, 2022

The Bolt Team

Checkout screens from an auto commerce site

For the auto industry, it’s easy to get caught up in building a beautiful website with the latest models or parts. But at the end of the day, customers just want a speedy, seamless shopping experience. And you just want to improve your ecommerce conversion rates

Read on for more practical tips on improving your auto website’s sales to convert more customers as you grow your business. 

Why Customers Abandon Online Shopping Carts

This report has exclusive data on the top reasons customers don’t complete online purchases, plus ways your store can stop abandoned carts.

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Auto Ecommerce Stats 

According to a recent study of millions of auto industry ecommerce transactions, about 50% of an auto site’s conversion rate is due to site speed. Site speed isn’t just about your website’s loading time. Users also want an intuitive shopping experience that empowers them with personalized products, a one-click checkout, and a mobile-friendly store.

As ecommerce shoppers become more savvy amid a challenging retail environment, they also want more flexibility when they buy. For example, leading air suspension retailer Bag Riders offers customers Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options at checkout so shoppers can pay in installments for their purchase, especially since many of their air kits cost more than $2,000. 

User testimonials to build trust with customers

Building trust with new customers is a challenge many auto merchants face. There are three key types of trust symbols you can use to convince buyers not to worry: 

  • Testimonials. Add case studies and testimonials that provide proof of the product’s quality and effectiveness. TrustPilot found that 66% of customers are more likely to buy a product if they see social proof. 
  • Reviews and ratings. Solicit shopper reviews on notable platforms, objective media coverage, or reviews from existing well-known customers can help strengthen your credibility. 
  • Verified badges. Display symbols from big companies that shoppers already trust. 76% of customers are more likely to make purchases on an auto site with a safe checkout badge like Mastercard or Visa, or if they see their checkout is powered by a network they trust, such as Bolt.

Offer free shipping and returns 

Today, most savvy customers know that “free” is not really free. However, one of the leading reasons customers abandon their checkout is still because of additional fees, cost of shipping and hassles of returning an item. Auto brands face an even bigger hurdle with customers not being able to test and adjust the product in-person. 

Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they know they are able to return the product. Having a good return policy gives customers more confidence in your service and product. By removing shipping and return costs, you motivate customers to buy on your auto ecommerce store, as they are able to use the convenience of online shopping without having to be punished for non-compatible parts. 

Optimize for mobile devices 

If you aren’t optimizing your mobile experience, you are likely falling behind your competitors and missing out on sales. Mobile devices account for 72% of all ecommerce sales worldwide. Prioritizing your mobile experience is key to ensuring conversion. Mobile-optimized websites, dedicated shopping apps, and increasingly, social media platforms are among the many options for optimizing your store for mobile. 

Auto merchants can steadily improve the mobile experience to keep customers engaged and buying while they are on the go. When developing your layout and integrating call-to-actions, make sure that your website’s design is mobile-friendly. 

One of the fastest, and least resource-intensive options is joining a shopper network that automatically integrates one-click checkout. Shoppers won’t have to type their information on a small screen every time, which can increase mobile completion rates double that of the industry average. Well-designed product flow can increase mobile completion rates double that of the industry average.

Create a fast checkout process

The traditional checkout process involves multiple tedious steps: input personal information, shipping information, shipping preferences, billing information, add coupon codes, account registration and purchase confirmation. 

The more steps you add to the customer journey, the more likely shoppers will abandon the checkout. And every second matters. In fact, increasing website speed by one-tenth of a second can lead to an 8.4% increase in conversion rates for retail sites. You should always be working to improve your checkout flow. Optimize using best practices for fast checkout design to streamline and speed up your checkout. 

Like Bag Riders, auto merchants can implement Bolt One- Click Checkout with an existing shopping cart, and see up to a 47% higher rate of completion than on average compared to guest checkout. Reduce form fields and save customers as much time as possible by auto-filling forms and verifying data entry. Use analytics to understand why customers abandon checkout and continuously optimize to reduce checkout abandonment. 

Offer Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)

As auto purchases are often costly, merchants can increase conversion by offering alternate payment options (APMs) like Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, and PayPal that allow shoppers to stagger their payments. According to research by Bolt, the total number of Bolt merchant transactions that used an APM increased by 28% on Black Friday in 2021 when compared with numbers from 2020. 

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) APMs give shoppers the option of paying for their purchase installment with zero interest. By offering flexibility to customers in how they pay, auto merchants can increase conversion, appeal to younger buyers and sell more.

Considering that almost half of people abandon checkout because extra costs like shipping, tax, and fees are higher than expected, providing an option that improves affordability can help overcome their concerns.

To learn more about building a seamless end-to-end checkout experience, learn from these 72 tips to conversion rate optimization for your auto store.

Why Customers Abandon Online Shopping Carts

This report has exclusive data on the top reasons customers don’t complete online purchases, plus ways your store can stop abandoned carts.

Download eBook
ThinkShop by Bolt does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. Contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.