Updated: Jun 20
By: Kristen C., Marketing Coordinator
One of the most frustrating elements of the automotive industry is decreased sales and leads. It is a hard concept to understand and it is easy to initially point fingers at marketing vendors, but taking a step back, how is your merchandising?
Vehicle Merchandising is one of the first core elements to driving leads and success. 99.9% of dealers know they need a website and need to post their inventory online, but it would be beneficial to add to the playbook - INSPECT INVENTORY DAILY.
PRICING: When sales are down you may wonder where to look first. We believe it is best to start by reviewing your pricing on your website and third-party sites. Look at the example below. If you have a large percentage of cars that are less than $100 away from being in their "Fair Deal" bucket, consider changing the price. Some of our top used car dealers stick to changing the prices of vehicles every 7 days.
Of course, you want to price inventory aggressively, but in terms of third-party sites, dealerships are categorized differently and you want to drive interest in your inventory over competitors. Therefore, we recommend making small adjustments to boost your inventory.
PHOTOS/VIDEO: Primarily, you want to make sure all inventory on your website and third-party sites has at least 24 photos. But, if they are newly stocked or going through reconditioning, grabbing 3-5 temporary photos can help while being processed so you don't lose opportunities for shoppers. For vehicles that are newly arrived or being reconditioned, use your Inventory Management Tool to show "MORE PHOTOS COMING" or "JUST ARRIVED". We have noticed a direct impact in having as many vehicles ONLINE - as it directly reflects how many people visit your website. If the customers can't see the car, they won't submit a lead for it, plain and simple.
But, why are photos so important? According to Justuno, “93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be the key deciding factor in a purchasing decision” (Justuno, 2016). Not only do they want to see photos, but they want to see QUALITY photos. Most buyers in the market are more interested in the photos and less in the verbiage (Max Digital, 2022). Also, many 3rd Party sites will not rank your vehicles as well with fewer photos - see your provider for what their standards are. Lastly... VIDEO - for sites like AutoTrader, video is a prime factor for having your vehicles rank the best. Video tools like SPINCAR/IMPEL or LESA are inexpensive tools to help give the customer another experience, and more importantly, help your vehicles rank higher on 3rd party sites.
LOT WALK: One of the FINAL areas we want to emphasize the importance of is your LOT WALK process. #1 - is it even happening? Once you know that part, move on to the next.
For smaller dealers, this process can be easily done by walking the sales team out on the lot in the morning so EVERYONE is familiar with what's new and what's been traded in... however, we said EVERYONE 🤔. If part of the sales staff is off that day, do they miss out on the lot walk? Well, our top-performing used car dealers use technology like What's APP or Facebook Messenger, or even their chat tools like Podium to create a GROUP communication. When newly traded vehicles or ones that are acquired are brought in, a message with 1-2 vehicle photos and details goes to the entire thread! This is especially effective as vehicles are traded in real-time. Skip the Lot Walk, and do a LOT UPDATE message!
So before you look to drive more shoppers to your website, check your merchandising FIRST, and don't forget to have a proper LOT WALK process in place. Once those are locked in - Pricing, Photos, & Process - DRIVE MORE SHOPPERS to your website!
If you are looking to learn more about boosting sales by adjusting pricing and merchandising, please reach out to our team!
Visit us at www.amg.team
Jonathan Thompson, Lead Guru | CEO email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Justuno (2016). 5 Surprising E-Commerce Consumer Psychology Statistics. Justuno. https://www.justuno.com/blog/65-e-commerce-statistics-about-consumer-psychology/
Max Digital (2022). The Importance of Quality Photos for Vehicle Merchandising. Max Digital. https://maxdigital.com/blog/the-importance-of-quality-photos-for-vehicle-merchandising/