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Customized Journeys: How Website Personalization is Changing the Car Buying Experience

By July 10, 2024Personalization
Customized Journeys: How Website Personalization is Changing the Car Buying Experience
Customized Journeys: How Website Personalization is Changing the Car Buying Experience

Car buyers expect more from dealership websites than just a generic browsing experience. They need a purchasing journey that feels tailor-made, aligning seamlessly with their individual preferences, needs, and unique buying behaviors. Enter website personalization: a game-changer for dealerships.

Customized Journeys: How Website Personalization is Changing the Car Buying Experience

Personalization gives your website visitors customized experiences that pave the way for increased engagements and more conversions. 

The era of “one-size-fits-all” websites? It’s well and truly in the rearview mirror.

In today’s tech-driven world, dealerships are expected to offer more than ever to meet buyers’ expectations. They’re in search of a purchasing journey that feels tailor-made, one that aligns seamlessly with their individual preferences, needs, and unique buying behaviors.

But why is personalization such a game-changer?

Consider personalization as the ultimate form of customer service. By anticipating your shoppers’ needs and presenting solutions, you’re guiding them on a journey that will convert them from passing visitors into loyal customers, driving both satisfaction and sales.

Understanding Website Personalization

What is Website Personalization?

Website personalization is the practice of creating a customized experience for visitors to a website by tailoring content and interactions based on individual visitor data. This approach transforms a static website into a dynamic platform that responds to the specific needs, preferences, and behaviors of each user. By leveraging data such as browsing history, demographics, past interactions, and real-time behavior, websites can deliver more relevant and engaging content to their visitors.

Signals Personalized SRP Banner

Personalization tools like DealerOn Signals will dynamically display offers based on a visitor’s behavior.

Creating a Unique Website Experience

At its core, website personalization involves altering various elements of a website to suit individual visitors. This customization can occur in several ways:

  • Personalized Content Recommendations: Websites can suggest articles, vehicles, or services that align with a visitor’s previous interactions and interests. For instance, if a visitor frequently views SUVs, the website might highlight articles about the latest SUV models or display SUVs prominently on the homepage.
  • Dynamic Offers: Personalized promotional offers can be adjusted based on the visitor’s browsing patterns and purchase history. For example, a returning customer might receive a special discount on a vehicle they previously showed interest in or an exclusive offer on a related accessory.
  • Tailored Search Results and Inventory Displays: Search functionality and inventory listings can be customized to reflect the visitor’s preferences. If a user consistently searches for electric vehicles, the website can prioritize displaying electric vehicle offers and relevant search results, making the user’s browsing experience more efficient and enjoyable.
    (Tailored search results coming to DealerOn Signals personalization late 2024)

By implementing these personalization strategies, your dealership can significantly enhance the user experience, making your website more engaging and effective in converting visitors into leads and ultimately, customers. You help meet visitors’ immediate needs and build long-term relationships by consistently providing value and relevance.

How Does Website Personalization Work?

Imagine your customer data as the high-octane fuel powering your personalization engine. Your dealership’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a goldmine of information already used in your marketing efforts. You know who prefers to lease or buy, who are regular service customers, and whose manufacturer warranties are about to expire.

When your marketing efforts, like email campaigns, guide customers to your website, personalization takes the spotlight. With a system like DealerOn Signals, your website experience transforms into a tailored journey. For instance, if a customer visits via a service appointment reminder, you can present them with special service offers. If they’re eyeing a new lease, show them your latest lease deals.


Customers who interact with personalized content spend 2.5x more time on a dealership’s website.


But what happens when a customer not in your CDP visits your website? Whether they arrive via a search or paid advertising campaign, your personalization system can tailor their journey based on the campaign source. Even without prior data, once they start interacting with your website, a system like DealerOn Signals begins customizing their experience based on their actions and remembers their behavior for future visits.

Why is Website Personalization Important for Dealerships?

Enhanced Customer Engagement:
80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when businesses offer personalized experiences (Source: Epsilon). By delivering customized experiences, you dramatically enhance the chances of transforming visitors into loyal customers.

Increased Engagement Time: Customers who interact with personalized content spend 2.5x more time on a dealership’s website (Source: DealerOn internal data). This increased engagement time translates to more opportunities to showcase your inventory, present special offers, and ultimately guide customers down the sales funnel.

Optimized Marketing Efforts: Personalization ensures that your marketing efforts are more effective. By leveraging customer data, you can deliver targeted messages that resonate with your audience, leading to higher engagement rates and better ROI on your marketing campaigns.

Seamless Customer Journeys: Personalization allows for the creation of seamless, intuitive customer journeys. Whether a customer is visiting your website from an email campaign or a search ad, personalized content ensures they find relevant information quickly, enhancing their overall experience and increasing the likelihood of a sale.

Getting Started With Website Personalization

1. Identifying Personalization Opportunities

Before diving into personalization, it’s crucial to understand the current state of your website and identify where personalization can make the most impact:

  • Analyze User Behavior: Use analytics tools to understand how visitors interact with your site. Identify high-traffic pages, common navigation paths, and points where visitors drop off.
  • Identify Key Segments: Determine the main visitor segments based on demographics, browsing behavior, and purchase history. Look for patterns and commonalities among these segments.
  • Pinpoint Personalization Opportunities: Identify areas where personalization can enhance the user experience, such as homepage content, product recommendations, search results, and promotional offers.

2. Selecting the Right Tools and Technologies

Choosing the right tools and technologies is essential for effective website personalization:

  • Personalization Systems: Tools like DealerOn Signals can deliver personalized content, recommendations, and offers in real time based on visitor data.
  • Content Management Systems (CMS): Ensure your CMS supports dynamic content. DealerOn’s Cosmos website platform supports Signals personalization (sold separately) right out of the box, so you can instantly create dynamic, tailored campaigns.
  • Customer Data Platforms (CDPs): Use CDPs to aggregate and manage data from various sources, providing a comprehensive view of each visitor and enabling precise segmentation.
  • Analytics Tools: Use tools like DealerOn Beacon Reporting and Google Analytics to track and analyze visitor behavior, helping to inform and refine your personalization strategies.

3. Implementing Personalization Strategies

Signals Personalized Website Banner

Presenting trade-in messaging to customers that you have identified as prime candidates for upgrading their vehicles is one of effective way to use personalization.

Once you have the necessary tools, it’s time to implement your personalization strategies:

  • Develop User Segments: Create detailed segments based on the data you’ve collected. Consider factors such as browsing history, purchase behavior, demographics, and interests.
  • Create Personalized Content: Develop content tailored to each segment. This might include personalized product recommendations, dynamic homepage content, customized search results, and targeted offers.
  • Test and Iterate: Start with a few key personalization strategies and test their effectiveness. Use A/B testing to compare personalized experiences with non-personalized ones and iterate based on the results.

4. Measuring and Optimizing the Results

Implementing personalization on your dealership’s website is just the beginning. To truly maximize the impact of your efforts, it’s essential to continuously measure and optimize your campaigns. DealerOn Signals customers have the unique advantage of working directly with the DealerOn Client Support team to achieve this.


Personalization is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and optimization, but the rewards in terms of customer engagement and loyalty are well worth the effort.


Our dedicated support team collaborates with you to set clear goals, monitor key metrics, analyze performance data, and make necessary adjustments. The hands-on partnership DealerOn provides ensures that your personalization strategies are always aligned with your business objectives, providing an optimal experience for your visitors and driving superior business results.

Here’s how you can measure and optimize your personalization efforts:

  • Set Clear Goals: Define what success looks like for your personalization efforts. This might include metrics like increased engagement, higher conversion rates, or improved customer satisfaction.
  • Monitor Key Metrics: Use analytics tools to track important metrics such as page views, time on site, conversion rates, and customer feedback.
  • Analyze the Data: Regularly review the data to understand how your personalization strategies are performing. Identify what’s working well and where there’s room for improvement.
  • Optimize Continuously: Based on your analysis, adjust your personalization strategies. Continuously test new ideas and refine your approach to ensure you’re providing the best possible experience for your visitors.

By following these steps, your dealership can effectively implement website personalization, enhancing the user experience and driving better business results. Personalization is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and optimization, but the rewards in terms of customer engagement and loyalty are well worth the effort.

DealerOn Signals

Transform Your Dealership’s Online Experience with DealerOn Signals

Are you ready to revolutionize your dealership’s digital presence with personalization? DealerOn’s exclusive tool, Signals, is your gateway to real-time, personalized website experiences. When combined with the Cosmos website platform, Signals allows you to craft a unique, customized car-buying journey for every visitor.

Unlock the full potential of your website with DealerOn Signals:

  • Predictive Intelligence: Empower your website with data-driven insights to personalize every key area for individual visitors. Signals functions like an intuitive salesperson, anticipating customer needs before they even express them.
  • Targeted Custom Content: Create precise content tailored to diverse audiences and shopper journeys, from lease returnees to trade-in customers with positive equity, and service interval customers.
  • Unique Website Experiences: For dealerships investing in CDPs and other data storage solutions, DealerOn Signals leverages this data to deliver exclusive, personalized website experiences.

Schedule your demo today to take the next step and see how DealerOn Signals can redefine the car shopping experience for your customers.

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Author Sean Kerndt

Marketing Strategist for the automotive industry, with over 20 years of design & marketing experience. He spent much of his childhood in a dealership training room watching Robocop on a projector.

More posts by Sean Kerndt

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