As consumer shopping behavior continues to evolve, so should your sales model. It’s important to determine your online needs so you can capitalize on changing customer expectations. And to start, you need to ask yourself a few questions. For example, what online platform are you going to use? Do you want to reach a global audience? How many online listings do you want to manage? Have you thought about customer trust and how that comes into play?
At eBay, we have identified four easy steps to make your sale:
- Select your online platform
You obviously want a platform that isn’t cumbersome, but still has the ability to scale as your business grows. Some ecommerce platforms, like eBay Motors, offer dealer services and training. This training can help you more efficiently manage your listings to ensure a good experience for both you and your buyers. It’s also important to think about protection for yourself as well as for the customer. Go with an online platform that offers a money back guarantee or hassle-free returns for buyers.
- Price strategically
Those in the market to buy a car have likely compared prices and done their homework before placing a bid, you should do the same.
- Offer both auction and “buy it now” options
While the majority of online shoppers will place bids on your auction, those that are looking for a quick purchase, regardless of price, will use the “buy now” option.
- Follow-up with bidders
Following up with those that have placed a bid on your listing can help eliminate the bidder’s concerns, give them the opportunity to ask questions and increase the likelihood of future business interactions.
With a car or truck purchased every five minutes on eBay Motors (http://www.ebayinc.com/in_the_news/factsheets), and with more consumers turning to online platforms to research and purchase vehicles, the automotive retail shopping experience will continue to evolve. In fact, according to a 2015 survey conducted by eBay Motors, about four out of 10 millennial-aged respondents indicated they ‘always’ or ‘very often’ research an auto dealership online.
In fact, according to a 2014 survey, (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/when-it-comes-to-car-shopping-edmundscom-finds-that-americans-hate-the-haggle-so-much-theyd-give-up-sex-facebook-and-smartphones-to-avoid-it-261647461.html) one in three car buyers preferred preparing their taxes, going to the DMV or sitting in the middle seat of a commercial flight versus buying a car through the normal sales process.
Additionally, the top reasons for shoppers to purchase vehicles online include the ability to see various makes and models, easy access to compare vehicles, and less time to negotiate details or deal with traffic when visiting a dealership.
What does this prove? That buyers want options and a convenient transaction on their own terms, including when they’re vehicle shopping online.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to guarantee a positive online shopping experience.
For starters, your customers expect to see reasonably-priced, detailed offerings in your listing. Every knowledgeable dealer knows that behind-the-scenes customer support and services are the true, proven features necessary to elevate sales. In fact, many novice online sellers will simply list a vehicle, leave the listing largely untouched for a few days then come back solely to check bid offerings.
Talk about a missed opportunity.
Consider Adding Parts and Accessories to Complement Your Sale
In order to build your reputation as an online dealer, it is paramount to take the time to connect with your prospective buyers. Once a bid has been placed, many online platforms provide sellers with contact information of the prospective buyers. Take this chance to reach out and inquire if they have any questions about the car or what piqued their initial interest. In the same 2015 eBay-conducted study, 64 percent of those that have purchased parts or accessories online installed the parts themselves. As the online seller, taking the time to help your customer understand the basics of installing their purchase may motivate them to purchase from your online shop again in the future. Answering their questions and being open to negotiations gives you the chance to get to know your customers or potential customers better. In turn, these customers will feel encouraged to bid more confidently, ultimately enhancing your profitability.
Many online platforms also offer dealer support services, like eBay Motors’ Dealer Hub, including training for dealers and how-to guides. Understanding your chosen platform will further help you relate to your online audience.
For dealer stories, online training and more, please visit eBay Motors’ Dealer Hub at www.dealerhub.motors.ebay.com.