Now more than ever dealers feel like technology can be a “game changer”. Vendors are not unaware of the pressure on dealers to keep up with the competition. Dealers are sold solutions they’re told will “sell more cars faster”. Yet consumers more than ever prefer not to be “sold” and instead want to “select” their next car. If the technology does not facilitate consumer selection, it is only an expense that hinders a dealers ability to maximize profits.
Selecting the right vehicle is a process for consumers. By definition, selection requires carefully choosing something that is best or most suitable. For example, a car buyer de-selects the majority of vehicles and dealerships before contacting the 1.2 dealers they hope to do business with (this is a new reality). If a dealer would just focus on not getting de-selected early, they win more business. Like a boxing match, it’s nice to win the first round, but it’s critical not get knocked out in the first round. That’s the death blow.
What’s the cause of the death blow for dealers? Over-reliance on technology and ignoring basics. A classic example is using file photos instead of real photos, VIN explosions that don’t highlight options or historical information or inaccurate pricing and payments because rebates or incentivized finance rates are not used. Consumers demand more. Savvy dealers know this and deliver, resulting in their vehicles getting selected more often.
For all dealers, the ongoing challenge is to present their vehicles online in a cost-effective way to help them get de-selected less without creating more work. If you are relying on the plug and play content your web provider is supplying, there is definitely room for improvement. What is even worse is if you have a marketing team and are paying a fortune to drive traffic back to a poorly converting site filled with this sub-par content.
Inventory management is not new, exciting but can be game changing if done right. Unfortunately for some, the headaches of inventory management make dealers settle for good enough. Dealers who focus on quality content will win more business regardless of the technology.