How influential are photos to car shopping consumers? According to JD Power’s 2016 New Autoshopper Study it’s the second most important factor behind price. Every dealer today struggles to include good photos of their new and used vehicles online, so it’s hard for most dealers to imagine what having great photos can do. One company that discovered how great photos influence consumer buying decisions is Carvana. Carvana is an American used car dealership that is 5 of Forbes most promising companies list.
Carvana’s approach to photos is about calming nerves and increasing confidence for the online car shopper. The first thing you notice about their images is they use 360-degree photo technology. This creates an interactive experience and keeps shoppers on their page longer. They also utilize hot-buttons which allows shoppers to inspect specific features of the vehicle and take a virtual spin. They go so far to include imperfections with hot-buttons to be fully transparent and build consumer trust.
The second differentiation from traditional dealers is how they utilize both image overlays and backgrounds on their photos. Instead of just branding the dealership name, they promote the user experience and their “new way to buy a car”. They place image overlays on every photo, all promoting a hassle free experience. The took the trouble to place badges on some photos promoting a key features, like Bluetooth or rear-camera so the images address specific buyer needs.
What is most interesting is how they promote vehicles on third-party sites different than their website. On third-party sites nearly one-third of their photos are not about the vehicle. Their third party images emphasize the buying experience, warranty, customer reviews and other user experience promotions. Its obvious they promote the buying experience as much as their vehicles. By managing their inventory syndication to third party sites differently than their website feed, they are leveraging buyer behavior, creating trust and driving more traffic to their website.
The impact of this strategy is impressive. In their recent Q1-17 quarterly report Carvana CEO Eddie Garcia states sales are growing 120% year over year. Their Atlanta store is the first store to sell over 1,000 units in a month. It’s clear by taking a different approach to images they are positively impacting their bottom line. So the question becomes, how can Canadian dealers duplicate this disruptive American startup?
If you thought this level of technology was only available for well funded startups and difficult to execute, you will be happy to learn about AIM. AIM Experts has developed off-the-shelf technology available today for Canadian dealers to create the “Carvana Experience” for their potential clients. AIM360 is our version of 360 degree virtual tour technology. This interactive feature allows your buyers to navigate a vehicle using their mouse and explore areas of interest with hot-buttons. Also, AIM’s technology automatically creates custom image overlays, badges and backgrounds can be designed and syndicated by AIM to make all your new and used images stand out, both on your website and third-party portals.
AIM Experts is the trusted provider for over 300 of the most disruptive dealers in Canada. If your dealership is looking for a Carvana like experience and similar results, contact us today for your free 30 day trial.