Perhaps more than ever, effective merchandising is essential to used vehicle sales. Consumers’ expectations continue to rise – with a demand for total transparency regarding all available information in used vehicle listings. Dealers must embrace next generation merchandising to stand out from the competition as more and more deals are either won or lost on the “digital lot”.
Over the past decade, dealers learned that online merchandising had a direct impact on the sell-time of a vehicle. The data made it clear that merchandising drives car shopper engagement, even though dealers struggled with how to step up their merchandising game – since many merchandising tactics required human implementation, taking up a lot of time and resources and increasing the chance for errors.
Back then, if a vehicle’s listing contained the following elements, it was merchandised properly:
- 20-30 quality photos
- Photo overlays
- A detailed vehicle description
- Accurate VIN-decoded specifications
- Service history report
- Stitched image video
- A video walkaround
- Reliable syndication
Beyond Traditional Merchandising Tactics
Advances in digital tools and mobile capabilities have made the online shopping path more complex than ever, with car shoppers moving from top- to bottom-funnel activities and back again, multiple times, before making the decision to buy. The typical car shopper views banner ads, watches videos on their phone and desktop, shops multiple websites, views print ads, evaluates product ratings, reads customer reviews, downloads content, uses comparison tools, reads blogs, searches for information, engages with promotional content, shares on social, and likes on Facebook.
This multi-point connectivity and interaction increases the need for on-demand decision-making content and media that propels shoppers through the buying funnel and into a new vehicle. With a wide range of options for finding the information they need, shoppers are able to move from one digital touch point to another in a matter of seconds – which means dealers often only get one quick chance to make a great first impression.
All Relevant, Valuable Information Upfront
The next generation of used vehicle merchandising gets all the information a shopper wants in front of them at one time – on one screen or on one page. Long, scrolling lists of specifications and text blocks are not enough to keep digital savvy car shoppers engaged. Dealers should implement technology that automates the delivery of all relevant and valuable content at each point that shoppers connect with a vehicle listing.
To the repository of traditional tactics, dealerships should add next generation merchandising elements to all website and syndicated used vehicle listings, such as:
- Reconditioning records
- The dealer’s recon investment info
- Window sticker
- Inspection results
- OEM technology videos
- Highly visual, compelling photos
- Photo background imagery
- Custom videos
- Actual vehicle value
- QR code
- Dealership reviews
The vehicle listing page today should serve more as a shopping destination than a page of product discovery. The placement of video, downloadable reports, vehicle records, and enticing imagery should be organized in a logical way to immediately engage the shopper and then to present the total value of the vehicle and of doing business with the dealership.
Trust, Transparency & Confidence
Providing all relevant vehicle information upfront builds immediate trust with car shoppers – and it saves them time searching for the information they need to decide. Having access to the vehicle’s reconditioning records and the dealership’s recon investment amount also builds value in the vehicle and helps to justify its pricing. As shoppers engage with videos and other content, their questions are answered in real time – without having to call, text, chat, or go to the physical dealership.
VelocityEngage delivers a better customer experience, by providing shoppers and dealership sales professionals with a customizable inventory information portfolio – so that salespeople can answer customer’s questions and share the vehicle’s complete history using Velocity’s mobile app and your CRM software.
Knowledge Is Power
Exceed your customer’s expectations with VelocityEngage Digital Vehicle Portfolios. Create trust, transparency, and confidence.