As we better understand the evolving needs, expectations and behaviors of online car shoppers, it becomes necessary to continually refine inventory presentation, contact methods and provide an intuitive shopping experience to set the dealership’s inventory apart from the competition.
Coincidentally, I recently participated in a dealer-focused webinar with Bill Reidy, director of sales for vAuto. During the webinar, Reidy stated 30 million consumers visited two of the major third-party classifieds inventory providers in just one month. This statistic jolted me to an even greater appreciation of the importance of quality inventory representation. In addition, according to Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence, nearly 7-in-10 new-car shoppers on kbb.com are in the research phase of the vehicle shopping process. With shoppers spending upward of 18 hours online to research, refine or eliminate vehicle choices, it is impossible to do too much in your efforts to influence the customer.
Achieving the desired result, the sale, requires ongoing attention to ensure that everything about the vehicle listing allows for maximum visibility on search results pages. It is critical that the listing is deemed attractive enough for the shopper to click the vehicle display page. Based on a year-long study involving three major inventory listing providers, it found in order to sell 100 cars, it requires 10,000 views of dealership vehicle display pages. What this means to dealers is not only must they provide comprehensive listings with competitive prices to secure search results, but the listings must attract enough attention to be singled out, increasing customer engagement. Within the results set, which changes day-to-day based on new inventory provided by competitors, dealers need to monitor and adjust each vehicle listing to remain top-of-mind among consumers. It is important for dealers to never let inventory remain unchecked or stagnant as comparable vehicles are added to inventory listings each day, causing their original listings to get lost in the shuffle.
Here are three ways to keep your inventory fresh and engaging with in-market car buyers:
- Provide quality, comprehensive listings, including customized seller’s notes, multiple photos, video clips and several points of contact.
- Review vehicle pricing regularly. Update pricing based on market pricing as well as what prices other local dealers are listing similar vehicles for.
- Refresh your listings to stay on top of vehicle search results.
It is important for salespeople to grasp the needs of today’s car shoppers in order to ultimately increase their bottom line. Now more than ever, customers are looking for an easier car-buying process, and with updated vehicle listings and engaged follow-up methods, dealerships will meet the demands and expectations of their potential buyers.