With over 2 million units sold across 2017, Canada’s automotive industry is coming off of a record-breaking year of car sales. But despite the glowing statistics, car dealerships are facing greater challenges than ever before. According to recent report from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), dealers are being forced to contend with a slew of issues that include:
· High manufacturing which leads to more competitive pricing and incentives, lowering dealers’ profit margins in turn
· Greater pressures to sell, driven by stricter sales incentives
· Rising depreciation on used vehicles reducing their sell-on price
· Difficulty in stocking vehicles at an adequate price to ensure a sufficient front-end margin
· Less foot traffic with most customers preferring to carry out their research online
In an increasingly competitive environment, dealers need every advantage that can get them to remain viable, and in a technology-driven age that means throwing away business-as-usual operating strategies in favour of a modern, digitally geared approach.
Here are 5 tools that can help you source, secure and sell your cars in a far more effective way.
A 2016 study conducted by Luth Research in partnership with Google revealed that the average car buyer goes through at least 900 unique digital interactions, before they ever walk into a dealership. In 2018, you can’t rely on outbound marketing to make up the bulk of your sales efforts. You need to know where prospective customers are looking, and how to bring them back towards your offerings.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software provides dealerships with targeted customer insights that can be used to develop personalized marketing and communications material. A good CRM also provides complete customer records including: buying history, preferences and financial data. With this data you can revitalize dormant leads and increase overall conversions.
Your website will provide potential customers with their first impression of your dealership and its offerings. With that in mind, a poorly designed, inconsistently updated front page will be sure to create an unprofessional brand image for modern Internet users. You need to make sure your online presence strongly reflects a flexible and well-informed business.
· 43% of car buyers access pricing information right from the car lot on their mobiles, so make sure your website is easy to browse and navigate on every platform
· Treat your website like a real online showroom by adding live chat functionality to the front page. Whether you outsource monitoring and communication to a third party service, or dedicate a few in-house resources towards the task, potential customers will benefit from personalized communication at the click of a button. This feature will definitely set you apart from the competition
· Update your website on a consistent basis with new content and offers. Most customers will visit your page multiple times before making a buying decision.
70% or more of your buyers maintain profiles on at least one social media platform, so if you want to maximise your customer outreach then you need to maintain at least a couple of profiles on leading platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Whichever channels you use make sure to create regular posting schedules for new content on these networks.
The objective with social media posts isn’t to talk at the reader, rather you should be providing them with informative content that they’ll be likely to share, and like. Surveys, promotions, quizzes and contests should all form a part of your social media marketing strategy. Remember, the more interactions you can get, the more engaged your followers will be, and over time this will translate to improved conversions.
In 2017, 69% of car buyers indicated that YouTube was more influential in their purchasing decision than newspapers and magazine advertisements. It makes sense, text and image lack the emotional and physical impact created by real-time video content. Capitalize upon this gap in the market and set yourself apart from competitors by:
· Highlighting new vehicles in a weekly walk-through
· Providing How-To guides on basic automotive maintenance
· Presenting in-depth guides showcasing specific areas of your inventory
· Hosting a live FAQ on Facebook or YouTube
Used car auctions, and trade-ins form the bulk of most dealerships’ sourcing efforts. Unfortunately these avenues just aren’t producing the sort of ROI and turnover required. 123Quanto can help solve many of these common issues. 123Quanto is a new lead generation tool, developed by a group of car enthusiasts and car dealers.
Through an intuitive interface, the auction app
offers instant access to used vehicle inventory and potential buyers in a
variety of locations. For independent dealers, that means far more efficiency
at either end of the business. Not only do they get a dedicated platform for identifying
and acquiring used vehicles remotely, but they also get to connect with a wide
array of interested buyers in an extremely convenient way.
With the recent unveiling of Tesla’s latest generation of electric vehicles, mainstream buzz around these energy efficient vehicles seems to be reaching fever pitch. When well-regarded industry publications like Motor Trend name a compact, mass-market EV like the Chevrolet Bolt as their favourite car of the year; you know that there’s more to this electric trend than just simple hype.
Families come in different shapes and sizes, but regardless of the number of people in your household, one thing’s for sure: you need a safe, reliable set of wheels to handle their transport on a daily basis. From SUVs to sedans, fuel-efficient compacts to minivans - gone are the days when the erstwhile station wagon was the only choice available for moms and dads.
No matter how much money you have sitting in the bank, your vehicle represents a serious investment, and like any significant purchase, buying a new car requires careful thought and consideration. Whether you use your car heavily or not, it will begin to lose value almost immediately from the day of purchase.