Volvo recently announced significant updates to its vehicle subscription service, Care by Volvo, including improvements to the service’s mobile interface. The brand was already the only automaker that clearly advertised its subscription service on its homepage alongside content supporting the branded program. As a result, Care by Volvo was such a big hit that it sold all of its projected first-year subscriptions in just four months. This latest move pulls Volvo further ahead of the pack.
Brands that provide the service often fail to properly promote their programs. As many as 44% of automakers tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto host program information on separate websites. Furthermore, the click paths from the homepage footers are often unclear, according to Gartner L2’s auto-focused report on digital paths to purchase.
Brands that launch vehicle subscription programs should ensure that relevant promotional materials are properly displayed on digital properties, so that they can both maximize exposure and encourage conversion. Cadillac was one of many brands that consistently failed to highlight its subscription service on its homepage, and recently announced a temporary program suspension. Innovative tactics like subscription programs should be used as marketing assets, not hidden on homepages and shunted to separate websites.
Aside from offering subscription services, other brands try to foster the purchase process in different ways. For example, 14% of automakers experiment with accelerated online purchase tools, trying to minimize dealership involvement. As both innovator camps gather their footing with these new purchase models, a majority of brands have focused instead on fortifying online infrastructure.
Given the complicated purchase process, it’s crucial that auto brands create cohesive user journeys online. This starts with clear search strategies that cooperate with local dealerships, followed by site properties that foster seamless connections with dealers.