Digital Transformation for the Automotive Industry


Pola Zen

September 26, 2017 | 2 min read

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2021

In 2010, Ford announced that it would start selling its cars online. According to their research at the time, 4 in 10 buyers were ready to buy their next car on the internet.

Seven years later, most automotive manufacturers and dealers are still far from being ready to sell cars online, not to mention consumer expectations which are at an all time high. Yet despite massive investments in digital technology by all the players, there is still little to no understanding of exactly what customers are looking for online.

In our new study dedicated to car manufacturer’s e-commerce, we set out to solve the automotive industry’s online challenges by driving transformation in user experience. A great digital experience will convert more visitors online and help sales managers build lasting relations with customers, both online and offline.


Today, most customers start their car-buying journey online by researching new car technologies. In fact, over the last six months, internet traffic for new car technologies has shot up by 127%.  Yet despite this increase in traffic, only 1% of visitors will actually fill in a form or leave contact details. So why are 99% of online visitors not satisfied enough to leave their details?  Classic analytics don’t give you any information on why visitors do what they do. You need the behavioral data, or visitor’s interactions, in order to start making decisions that will move your customer down the sales path.

By uncovering the customer’s journey online, you can begin to understand what they are doing, and how you can help move them down the sales cycle, and bring them closer to your online objectives. These interactions will let you know how the buyer feels on your website, or what the actual user experience is. Hesitation metrics can signal frustration, and waiting a long time before the first click can mean confusion.


Our study shows that 65% of traffic is still from desktops. You can imagine a visitor comfortably seated at the computer and wanting to have a look at some new car models. What would make navigation easy for them? Since most visitors know exactly what they are looking for, try playing with the navigation to focus on showcasing vehicles and their features, making it easy for them to progress from the home page to product pages, until they reach the contact form.

A picture, of course, is worth a thousand words. Here too, you can use the power of images to create a good user experience and increase the likelihood of submitting a form by a sizable 134%. On the other hand, be wary of too much scrolling. Your visitors are looking for very specific information, and they will not scroll through the entire page to track it down. If your bounce rates are high, look at the scroll rate and adjust the location of information on the page. If they do find what they are looking for, that is good news for the site. Our study showed that after the 30th page read, the likelihood of visiting the store locator increases by 35%.


While new car sales still happen mainly in the showroom, there is a clear indication that most people are starting their buying journeys online with research and information gathering. The experience you give your customer on the first page visit will set the stage for the entire customer relationship. Make sure it is a positive one by optimizing your website with a great user experience.

Read the complete study here.