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Remove the Guesswork From Your Customer’s Vehicle Search

Remove The Guesswork From Vehicle Search, shows multiple dealership vehicle search options
Remove The Guesswork From Vehicle Search, shows multiple dealership vehicle search options

The average car buyer visits an average of five websites during their research process. One of the best ways you can ensure your dealership’s website is the last website they visit before submitting a lead is to offer fast and frictionless options for finding their ideal vehicle.

Remove The Guesswork From Vehicle Search, shows multiple dealership vehicle search options

Keep car buyers engaged on your website by offering a variety of vehicle search options such as monthly payment search, advanced vehicle filtering, and custom vehicle ordering.

Not all car buyers have the same priorities when looking for their next vehicle. Offer a wide variety of search options to guarantee you are catering to as much of your audience as possible.

Buying a car is something that many consumers dread. Not just the price, though that is a major concern, but the sheer hassle of it. One of the best fixes a retailer can make to the process is removing potential roadblocks to finding a car buyer’s ideal vehicle. Make the shopping process fun and easy can help you sell cars and develop a loyal customer base who love the experience you offer.

Car shopping starts with an online search. Your website is the first stop for your customer base to locate the vehicle they want. Customers know their pain points better than anyone, and these vary from person to person, so you need vehicle search functions that are specific, easy-to-use, and customizable.

Start by Offering Shop by Monthly Payment

Price isn’t always the sticking point of a sale, but with 37% of shoppers basing their vehicle purchasing decision on monthly price, it’s the most common. DealerOn meets the demand head-on with our website feature Search by Budget. With this feature active, customers can begin their vehicle search with what they can afford on a monthly basis. Since introducing the feature, we’ve found that 3 out of every 4 visitors use it when searching for a vehicle.


Allowing customers to begin with monthly payment search search removes sticker shock from the equation.


For a large purchase like a vehicle, the overall price doesn’t really tell you very much. For most customers, these numbers are hypothetical. They represent an amount of money that the average customer will never have at any one time. Monthly payments, however, fit into budgets and budgets are understandable to your customers.

Allowing customers to begin with monthly payment search search removes sticker shock from the equation. Leads acquired with monthly pricing as a starting point are far more actionable than the alternatives, as a customer comes through the door knowing how the car payment fits into their budget. In addition, customers prefer looking for vehicles in this way. It’s a process that rewards everyone at the table.

By offering monthly payment searches in addition to standard vehicle search options, your customers will naturally gravitate to which serves their needs better. Options mean that every interaction can be customized to the shopping experience an individual customer wants.

Search By Payment Feature, shows search by payment option on dealership website

Searching by monthly payment helps contextualize their purchase within their monthly budget, giving them a clear picture of their true purchasing power.

Supercharge Your Search Results Page

Price is the most important factor in a vehicle purchase, but it’s not the only one. Providing a host of other options shows your customers that you care about their needs and are willing and able to see to them.

Some customers only know that they need a vehicle but haven’t put a great deal of thought into exactly what they need. These are browsers in the early stages of interest and may hesitate to enter a dealership for fear of a hard sell on vehicles that don’t fit their needs. Catering to these car buyers is a wonderful way to bring in foot traffic that might otherwise stay home. Help them zero in on a selection in the low-stress environment of home and they are more likely to reward you with a frictionless sale.


The best SRP experience offers a wide variety of options for car buyers.


These kinds of shoppers love a tile-based grid option on their SRPs (Search Results Pages). With this option, shoppers can survey a wide variety of vehicles at once. A horizontal viewing option, providing larger pictures and additional vehicle detail information can help them narrow down their selection.

Every viewing option must provide important information to shoppers without the hassle of clicking on a Vehicle Details Page (VDP). Customers love this streamlined process, which no longer requires them to click back and forth from SRP to VDP to effectively browse your inventory.

The best SRP experience offers a wide variety of options for car buyers. Advanced filtering options allow customers to search by specific vehicle features and key attributes such as MPG. Every customer knows their needs better than you will, so help them find the vehicle they need with the features that matter most to them.

Screenshots comparing the Cosmos Search Results Page Grid and List Views

A tile view SRP let’s car buyers skim more vehicles, while a horizontal view gives them added details and larger images.

Keep Car Buyers Engaged With Custom Vehicle Ordering

Sometimes a customer’s search on your website turns up empty. You can either lose that sale and all others like it to your competitors, or you can include custom vehicle ordering. According to a recent survey, 40% of customers plan to pre-order their next vehicle through their local dealer.

Order-A-Vehicle, available exclusively from DealerOn, gives you the power to generate leads even when you don’t have the exact vehicle a customer is searching for. This comprehensive custom vehicle builder gives your customers the ultimate in vehicle search options. They build precisely what they desire, address their unique needs and concerns, and you get a high-quality lead.

Custom vehicle ordering through Order-A-Vehicle provides customers with high-quality images that display the available options. With each step, your customer grows more attached to their custom vehicle, and you have a buyer ready to act.

Order-A-Vehicle Screenshot, shows custom-vehicle ordering interface

With Order-A-Vehicle, you can keep car buyers engaged on your website even when you don’t have the exact vehicle they are searching for.

Offer Advanced Research Tools

Customers want to make informed decisions, especially on big-ticket items like cars. Including MRPs (Model Research Pages) allows them to do this and provides more opportunities for engagement on your site. MRPs invite your customers in, helping them make the important decisions that come with every vehicle purchase.

MRPs encourage higher-quality leads. A customer who has spent time researching a vehicle will have a much better understanding of what they need as well as a greater emotional investment in a potential selection. MRPs often include reviews, and these are an integral part of the modern online shopping experience, offering valuable social proof in addition to vehicle specs and features.

Model Research Page Example, Example of a vehicle model research page available from DealerOn

Model Research Pages give your customers an in-depth view of various vehicle models that you offer.

Cosmos: The Ultimate Dealership Website Platform

Cosmos is the cutting-edge website platform from DealerOn, engineered to help your dealership flourish and includes all these vehicle search options and more. Every customer’s journey is different, and our research has found that placing the power in their hands when it comes to selecting a vehicle is a proven way to increase engagement and leads. Provide the option a customer wants and find their business coming to you rather than your competitors.

Kudick Chevrolet Cosmos Case Study

Learn how Kudick Chevrolet saw a 37% increase in leads after switching to the Cosmos website platform.

Not only do we make it easy for customers to browse your inventory, we give them user-friendly options for designing a custom car. Cosmos is designed to pull in customers and find a way to make a sale. Your digital partner saves your labor for closing deals.

Schedule your DealerOn Cosmos Platform demo today. Our award-winning team will walk you through Cosmos’ many innovative features and demonstrate exactly how this platform will be a game-changer for your store. We can’t wait to help you take your store to the next level.

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Author Justin Robinson-Prickett

Justin Robinsion-Prickett is a content writer from Los Angeles with over a decade of experience in the auto industry under his belt. When not working, he enjoys fencing, re-editing dialogue in old movies to remove articles, and playing with his two dogs James Westphal and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater.

More posts by Justin Robinson-Prickett

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