There is opportunity in every situation. Despite tough times, the automotive industry is poised now to see the impact that online merchandising plays in the health and success of their business.
There are a lot of steps you can take to improve your merchandising tactics and broaden your audience, without adding excess steps to your current process. Below are the key areas to focus on as opportunities to make your car the standout choice to shoppers.
- Immersive Content
- If your customers can’t make it to your lot, create the virtual experience. Using 360° technology brings your car to life on the computer screen. With 360 displays, shoppers can envision themselves in the car, inspect key areas like they would at the lot through “hot spot” tagging and get an overall understanding of what it is the car has to offer them.
- To top it off, according to a HomeNet consumer study, 80% of shoppers who browsed for vehicles online think offering 360° displays on a dealer website reflects well on the dealer’s reputation.
- Ever wonder why YouTube is so successful? Videos don’t go out of style and are so important when it comes to connecting with your audience. Now is the time to take advantage of this easy-to-implement way of merchandising.
- Vehicles with video receive 18% more vehicle details page (VDP) views than listings without videos. This is a fantastic way to offer a “virtual tour” of the car, just like the real estate business does with new houses on the market. Let the shoppers put themselves in the car through the power of interactive media. It could be the last push they need to get to your lot.
- Image Overlays
- Catering custom content inside your photos and directly to your shoppers is the best way to get noticed. Image overlays make this process simple and effective, especially with so few dealers taking advantage of this trend. This is an untapped area to differentiate the online experience.
- Gain shopper attention by highlighting key equipment options, condition information and even dealership branding. Customize your message to the audience and advertising destination, considering what used car shoppers prefer versus new car shoppers.
- Vehicle Descriptions
- We know car shoppers are more educated than ever, so it may seem like vehicle descriptions are just another medial task. However, descriptions are the best way to build trust through transparency.
- Provide the details on must-have features and relevant options to match the right car to the right buyer. Give your shoppers access to complete car histories right as they search online, while telling the story of your dealership, connecting with shoppers before they get to your lot.
- Social Media
- Automotive dealers have seen great success with the introduction of social selling platforms through Facebook and Twitter. Social media platforms offer the ability to expand your market and put your vehicles in front of shoppers actively searching for them.
- Facebook Marketplace boasts over 550 million active shoppers per month. This massive audience presents more sales opportunities to expand your reach and maximize the visibility of your dealership.
Online shopping is king, now more so than ever. Taking a comprehensive and thoughtful look at your dealership’s vehicle merchandising strategy can be the difference in breaking through in an uncertain market.