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3 Keys to Driving Online Car Sales in 2018

vehicle marketing 2018

vehicle marketing 2018

Is your dealership ready for 2018?

Car dealers understand that their performance last year doesn’t guarantee the same results for the new year.  Few dealers we talk to expect the competition to get easier in the year ahead.  Here are 3 key to driving online results for 2018.

Traffic is Not King

There are more traffic sources for dealers today than ever.  Simply driving traffic to online listings will not provide a competitive advantage in 2018.  In fact, most dealers have no problem getting eyeballs to their websites or impressions from third-party vehicle listings.  Dealers that focus on traffic end up with inflated marketing budgets, high bounce rates and higher cost per lead.  Creating vehicle specific content that actually provides answers to the shopper instead of “boilerplate” descriptions that don’t promote engagement is critical for 2018.  For example listings with vehicle descriptions with less than 250 words produce 33% fewer views than listings with 250-400 words.  

Time Matters

A key component of converting traffic to a qualified lead is the amount of time spent on a specific vehicle.   (Converting means taking some action, like filling out a form, calling the store or visiting the showroom.)  The longer a visitor remains on a vehicle listing, the greater likelihood of converting.  Vehicle listings that are viewed for under 1 minute have less than a 10% chance of converting.  When vehicles are viewed for over 2 minutes dealers have a 4X chance.  Duration is a top driver if your goal is to maximize your budget and minimize wasted ad spend.  Besides longer descriptions, a good way to increase time on vehicle listings is to use interactive technology that allows a virtual tour.  This has been shown to provide a 300% increase.

 

Speed Kills

Waiting for vehicles to be listed online cost dealers $25 per day on average (holding cost).  The average time required to list a vehicle (time to market) with photos, description, rebates, and discounts is 7 days.  The faster a vehicle can be listed the more profit in the vehicle.  When you consider most dealers apply a pricing tool that discounts the vehicle in 30-45 days, the cost of “coming soon” vehicles online can double.   Providing robust listing within 24 hours of the VIN being entered into the DMS will drive profits faster than doubling traffic.   

Is your dealership going to rise to their expectations or fall to changing online realities in 2018?

AIM Experts is a technology provider that partners with Canadian dealers to create an emotional connection between your vehicles and today’s sophisticated shopper. Our experience shows that dealers who connect emotionally can dramatically improve online results without a comprehensive website redesign.  To learn more visit aimexperts.com

Dealership Technology: Prevent the Death Blow

 

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.

Why Attraction is Better Than Promotion for Selling Cars

Producing more sales while spending less is the goal of every dealership.  To accomplish this goal dealers can focus on 1 critical component.

  1. Attraction Rather Than Promotions

Frustrated dealers spend time and money promoting rather than attracting.  Promotion symptoms include inflated budgets, slow-moving inventory, high impressions, low conversions and high bounce rates on websites.

The solution is attracting the right buyer, not promoting.  Frustrated dealers invest too much effort and spend too much money for marginal results. Every dealer works hard because selling vehicles is not easy.  Frustrated dealers have 3 options, spend more, deploy a better process, or live with the results.

If you feel you could attract more buyers, schedule a quick discovery call with our inventory experts to compare your process with the AIM Experts way.  AIM’s inventory management platform was built on the belief that attraction works better than promotion.

Click Here to Schedule

The benefits of attracting the right buyers are realized immediately.  Online impressions increase, conversions increase and bounce-rates drop, resulting in faster inventory turns.

3 Keys to Maximize Kijiji Listings

 

How do you compete on Kijiji with dealerships with bigger budgets and more inventory?  Here are 3 expert tips to get the most out of your Kijiji listings.

Kijiji Tip #1:  Think like a newspaper publisher.   If you want to sell newspapers, what do you highlight, the name of the paper or an attention grabber?  Like a newspaper, there’s limited space on the search results page so you must treat that real estate as a valuable commodity.  Ensure your headlines have the features consumers are looking for and displayed in both the headline and the comments.  Offering a bi-weekly price can work like “click bait”.  The goal of the search results page is first to be found and second to generate a click.  Kijiji does not charge extra for robust content, so use it wisely.

Look at the examples below and compare:

Kijiji Tip #2:  Treat your vehicles like a resume.  Have you ever hired someone?  How many resumes did you look at before you called the applicant?  You were likely looking for a very specific candidate and only called a few from all the resumes you received.   You screened your applicants and the resume was a reason NOT to call most of them.   Consumers are doing the same thing on Kijiji, they are looking for a reason NOT to call.   The resume does not get you a job, it gets you a phone call.  Kijiji is not going to sell your cars, it will get you in contact with a local consumer in the market for a vehicle.  When shoppers “Don’t see what they are looking for?”, they can hit the back button and find what they are looking for from your competitor.  

Kijiji Tip #3:  Take Advantage of Segment.  Kijiji does a great job of segmenting their traffic for dealers.  They have “For Sales by Owner” and “For sale by Dealer”.  Why would a consumer select by Dealer?  Likely because they need a service only a dealer can offer, either financing or trade-in, often both.  Using some of the real-estate in your description to offer financing or trade-in will leverage the need of this segment, ignore it and your results suffer.  For example, the results show 93 vehicles matching the search 2016 GMC Sierra 1500, but by clicking “Financing Available it reduces it down to 11.  As if only those eleven dealers offer financing?   


If your dealership is using Kijiji, Trader or Car Gurus it’s critical that you execute properly.  A properly optimized listing will make your dealership more money.  If you calculate the cost of losing just one deal a week from poorly executed listings, you learn why most dealers ignore the problem, because it’s too painful to face.   To learn how AIM Experts consistently delivers listings that outperform contact us today.

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