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Jun 18 2013

Incorporating VIN decoding enhances online shopping and sales.

For online businesses that handle vehicle sales, car parts, automobile accessories, or just about anything car-related, you know there is plenty of competition out there. Competing successfully online requires more than just good pricing. You need to differentiate your offering and online experience to make it stand out. By integrating advanced vehicle data and VIN decoding into your customer's online experience, you can create an advantage over your competition's online offerings. The VIN can be used to pull information on the vehicle and provide back to the customer a custom set of offers focused on the vehicle your customer owns.

Most website visitors are actively seeking something. They have a topic in mind and a need to fulfill. When looking for anything related to cars, they often have a particular make and model in mind. Sometimes, they have a VIN number available. In this case, being able to customize their experience, and streamline the process of choosing the right vehicle, part or accessory is a great way to entice them into becoming a lead and ultimately into a client.

Using a VIN Decoder to make your website stand out

Here are some ways you can use a VIN decoder on your website:

1. Vehicle listing

For those who offer vehicles for sale, or offer a space for others to list, adding a decoder will give your website an advantage. You, or your customer, enter the VIN number into the decoder and within a couple of seconds are returned a full listing of all the vehicle's features. The next step is to verify the information and select optional features available on the vehicle. With that, your vehicle listing can give the details a car buyer wants to see. Most vehicles listed online are listed in many places, but, by adding more information to you vehicle listings it will rank higher in search and will convert at a higher rate.

2. Car parts

If you run an automotive parts business, a VIN decoder is a perfect addition to your website. Provide the customer with the ability to enter in their vehicle's VIN number and use this to narrow down the products that you display to only the ones that are compatible with the vehicle mentioned. Some VIN decoders can provide mapping to ACES codes for an easy way to present a comprehensive set of compatible parts to your customer. Once you have that VIN, you can keep it on file for that customer. When they come back to your website, you can present their parts list the moment they arrive.

3. Car accessories

Accessories provide the opportunity for car enthusiasts to customize their vehicles and make them as unique as their personality. With a VIN number and a decoder, you can present them with a custom set of accessories that will fit their vehicle. This will make it easier for them to shop, find and purchase their accessories from you, rather than from your competitors.

These are only three examples of how you can leverage VIN information to your company's advantage.  If you deal with anything related to cars, trucks, or SUVs, a VIN decoder adds value to the experience you offer your customer, giving you the opportunity to have your online business stand out. That is a great way to grab a visitor's attention and convert them to a lead, or better yet, a paying customer.

Generating leads

Offering a customer the opportunity to use the VIN decoder to decode their vehicle is a great way to generate a lead. Most visitors to a website are reluctant to give personal information unless they have a reason. The VIN decoding results are a reason. Allow them access to decode their vehicle and then offer to send them additional information on the vehicle, or special offers if they provide their email address.  The information you now have is an actionable lead that can be added to your targeted marketing efforts.

Turning leads into paying customers

Once you have hooked a visitor with the value you offer through the VIN decoding, you can convert them into a paying customer. With the information derived from the VIN number, you can offer discounts and custom packages. You can add value to the customer's experience with tips and information on their particular car.

For example, your lead owns a 2010 Toyota Corolla and their VIN is on file, now you can package accessories pinpointed to that Corolla. You can send email notifications for service bulletins and offer discounts on replacement parts. These are just an examples of the information which may be obtained through VIN referencing.

Give your company the advantage by integrating VIN decoding into your online strategy. A VIN decoder will contribute to higher quality site traffic, lead gen and sales.

How can you use a VIN decoder to market your company's products and services?  Add your comments below.

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