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The car leasing industry has been going from strength to strength since the economic crisis. According to White Clarke Group Britain is has the third largest car leasing market in the world, one position ahead of Germany!One reason for this growth is consumers replacing their PCP and using leasing instead.

Last year 4 out of 5 new cars were bought on a personal contract purchase (PCP). By reading this article you will learn how to persuade consumers to come to your dealership and lease a car over going to another dealership and using finance or purchasing outright. Before we go into that, we need to understand the consumers steps to purchase as this is an extensive problem solving (EPS) buying situation.

The Consumer Journey

According to Deloitte, most consumers start researching 3 months before they purchase a car. This results in a lot potential touch points between the consumer and the dealership before they make their final purchase.Here is the step by step breakdown of buyer journey:

Need recognition

A consumer will develop the need for a new car for various reasons: a life change, car milestone, car depreciation, routine upgrade, or just pure desire. 

Search for Information

This is the stage where consumers are gathering information on the type of cars that they want and crafting a list of manufacturers and models. A consumer’s sources of information include noticing cars around them, online (desktop and mobile), talking to friends and family, and borrowing cars.

According to cars.com consumers that enter the purchasing process can be split into two categories:

Starting Fresh: Buying a car for the first time or buying a different kind of car than they have bought before. This group are researching to discover, resulting in a more extensive information search.

Comfortable & Confident: Have prior experience buying cars. They know the process and feel secure in the knowledge they have. This group are researching to confirm as they already have a strong idea the car they want purchase/lease/finance.

Pre purchase evaluation of alternatives

Once the list of car models is compiled users will now start comparing cars. They will systematically add and eliminate cars from this list. Starting fresh consumers will be more free when adding cars to their list as they discover more options as they go. 

Deloitte found that dealer websites has the third most significant impact on consumers in the information stage. This was one place higher than a salesperson at a dealership. This information is then used to evaluate cars against each other. Once this car list has been evaluated users will then turn to evaluating dealerships. They will compare them to find out which one has the best buying option and a sales team that can give them the best in store experience. 


As this is an EPS purchase, the need for physical touch of the product and the human contact aspect of the service means that the end purchase will come down to the dealer experience. This is highlighted in Deloitte’s research “interaction with a real person are the most important buying aspect”.

The interesting and most noteworthy part of this research is that “less paperwork” and “getting pricing information online” are the other two most important things for consumers at the purchase stage.Finally, the three most enjoyable aspects of the dealer experience are getting a good deal, the test drive and a quick/efficient process.Generate leads online

How Does The Customer Journey Influence Your Website?

With this information in mind, your website should be focusing on consumers that are in the information and evaluation stages. The goal of your website is to get users to book a test drive, and/or appointments with a sales person. You want to have the option to lock in a price online. This will make the process more efficient and improve customer experience.

Listed below are five ways that you can use digital marketing for car leasing companies to make your website more tailored around the consumer buying process through, and ultimately increase dealership sales. Here are 5 ways you can increase sales through digital marketing for car leasing companies.

Website Design

1) Content Marketing

In order for consumers that have entered the information phase to find your website you must write keyword rich content. This is called an inbound marketing strategy.

Your content wants to be on topics that your consumers are searching for and interested in. "Car reviews", “leasing vs. Finance” and “Ideal cars for new parents” are all good examples for articles. Remember that there are different reasons why users are looking for cars. Segment and write content targeting each customer category in the information stage.

Tip: Create video car reviews. This will make for more digestible content and add credibility to your brand.Content Marketing

2) Paid Advertisement  

Once you have your content marketing in place, you want to use Google Ads and Facebook Ads to create remarketing campaigns. This will allow you to get your website back in front of all the users that read your blog posts.

Consumers will travel far for a good leasing deal but not as far as a direct purchase. This is because leasing means a customer is bound to the dealership. They also have to bring the car back once the contract runs out. So, to make your remarketing campaigns more targeted, only show them to users in a 50 mile radius from your dealership. In order to optimise campaigns test other radiuses to see if your conversion rate goes up or down.

Paid Advertisement

3) Chat Bot

To reach and engage users that are in the research stage you should install a chatbot on your website. This will allow users can ask questions about cars in the evaluation stage. The chat bot’s responses will keep users on your website longer and give them the information they need.

A cheaper alternative would be to install Drift.  One of your staff members can answer questions as they come through from consumers. Starting fresh users will interact with this feature to ask for car recommendations. This builds up trust.Including a chat service on your site opens up a two way conversation. Once the questions are resolved you can invite the user to test drive the car they were enquiring about.

This touchpoint will also reflect well on your dealership as a user will infer that an informative website also means a professional and informative sales team.

Chat Bot

4) Car Comparison

Adding a feature where users can compare car specs side-by-side will attract consumers to your website during the evaluation stage. This will allow them to cut down their car list and figure out which ones they should test drive. Having a call to action on each car saying “Book a Test Drive” creates a natural funnel from comparison to test drive, linking your website to your dealership. This feature will work well for comfortable and confident users as they have a more direct evaluation approach.Comparison

5) Mobile Friendly Website

Cars.com have found that when getting serious, mobile is used to get directions to dealerships, check inventory and as a lifeline on the lot. This means that your website needs to be mobile friendly so your potential customers can locate your store.You don’t want to miss out on test drives or store visits just because your website isn’t seamless across all devices!

Mobile Directions


To conclude, as it takes three months for the average consumer to move through the purchasing process you want to create as many touch points with you website as you can. If your website can add value to a user during the information process and you have a clear funnel / communication points to transition your users from your site to you dealership then your sales will significantly increase.

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency specializing in data-driven online sales and lead generation solutions for brands in a variety of verticals. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our digital marketing experts.

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