Indirect website referrals from Cars.com are more qualifiedPage views, inventory searches, VDP views and email lead submissions – website metrics nearly every retailer looks to improve. While it’s common to view your dealership’s own website as the most likely source of traffic to convert to a sale, it’s what shoppers do before they arrive at your site that informs this behavior. As consumers move between online sources, gathering important information about what to buy and where to buy it, retailers have an opportunity to influence decisions and showcase their brand. This exposure leads to higher conversion and clearer buying signals when consumers ultimately arrive on the dealership’s website.

And the data show it. In a national, network-wide analysis of dealership websites, Dataium found that shoppers who had visited Cars.com prior to reaching dealership websites were more qualified, interacted with more content and were generally of higher quality than visitors who had not visited Cars.com.

By consistently reaching car buyers throughout the shopping process on independent research sites, your dealership can instill confidence and even improve your own site metrics.

Related: [Case study] Unpacking big data: Analyzing online shopper behavior beyond the last click