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A chip shortage and stall in manufacturing have created a saturated and ultra-competitive used car market. Dealers who are ill-equipped to find high-quality vehicles at competitive prices and quickly match them to the right consumers will struggle to keep pace.
Fortunately, ongoing advancements in data-driven technologies have given rise to innovative digital tools that help dealers locate the consumers most likely to buy what they offer. With fewer new vehicles on the lot, dealers must understand how to sell more cars by leveraging these tools to identify those high-quality leads.
Audience Activator by Affinitiv, the industry’s premier retargeting and inventory-matching solution, is the ideal tool to meet this challenge.
This article discusses seven strategies to sell more cars and how Audience Activator can help.
How to Sell More Cars: 7 Strategies
1. Turn Inventory Faster
All dealers appreciate the rising expense of aging inventory and the cost of caring for cars on the lot. Vehicles that linger on the lot take up space dealers could use for newer, more profitable ones.
Additionally, cars sitting for 60 days or more are subject to significant discounts in the current market. Dealers struggle to sell these vehicles for prices remotely close to the initial purchase cost, resulting in a substantial net loss in many cases.
If inventory ages past the 60-day mark, dealers might choose between slashing prices and holding out for a retail buyer or cutting their losses by selling at a wholesale auction. Dealers want to avoid these rock-and-a-hard-place situations as often as possible.
Keep the turnover of your inventory at a healthy level by:
- Maintaining up-to-date prices. Dealers can boost their turn rates by staying true to the market and updating prices regularly. The algorithms used by vehicle marketplaces favor new postings over outdated ones.
- Displaying those prices on the website front and center. If customers cannot quickly find prices on the website or if they have to provide their email address to do so, they will likely move on to another dealership site.
- Maintaining an inventory that reflects the dealership’s specialty. Many dealerships are no longer the multi-faceted shopping centers they once were. Dealers should decide on their niche, purchase vehicles that reflect it, and market to the right target demographic.
The best way to turn inventory is by offering the cars consumers want, and identifying those vehicles requires the right data-driven tools.
2. Revamp the Sales Strategy
Customer shopping behaviors continuously evolve as technology advances and digital options become increasingly commonplace. These disruptions demand redesigned sales strategies and retargeting tools like Audience Activator that meet the demands of the modern-day consumer.
Those strategies and solutions might include:
- Less selling and more advising. Audience Activator matches customers to the vehicle of their choice and provides them with the necessary information. Since customers already have the required data, dealers should act as consultants rather than just salespeople when customers walk through the door.
- Quoting fair and up-to-date pricing. In a time when fast comparison shopping is made possible by mobile devices, real-time pricing is essential. Dealers should ensure that pricing is reasonable and accurately reflects the current market.
- Offering transparency. The modern customer demands transparency – particularly as it pertains to pricing. Audience Activator will retarget customers to the dealer’s website, where pricing data should be clear and readily available.
- Prioritizing the shopping experience. Most customers do not enjoy prolonged visits to the dealership. Reduce the time customers must spend at your dealership by expanding online information and streamlining the application process.
Using Audience Activator to incorporate these steps into the sales approach should build customer trust and a more substantial likelihood of conducting business now and in the future.
3. Minimize Use of Third-Party Providers
While leveraging third-party providers can prove valuable in certain circumstances, overuse can result in the siphoning of money and potential customers.
Dealers nationwide express several (and consistent) concerns about using third-party websites, including:
- High business costs, often with substantial yearly increases
- Low-quality leads
- Sponsored posts that hide dealer listings
- Dealer listings that even feature advertisements for competitors
Audience Activator helps dealers bypass these roadblocks by sharing their used car inventories with ready-to-buy consumers, converting that third-party traffic to direct prospects.
4. Optimize the Marketing Budget
A dealer’s marketing budget is often constrained, so they must allocate funds to activities that drive the most revenue.
Finding suitable activities requires a process of elimination where the dealer removes ineffective strategies in favor of more profitable ones.
This process might include the following steps:
- Investing in digital tools, like Audience Activator, that leverage and update the correct data. Dealers should never set parameters without revisiting them from time to time. The chosen software should pull inventory in real time to drive ad placement and frequency.
- Identifying the correct target audience. Reaching the largest audience possible does not always add value because dealers risk wasting money on uninterested consumers. This lack of precision-targeting highlights the importance of using software that reaches the right audience to boost conversions.
- Crafting a unique message. Dealers lose customers when they advertise in generalities and send irrelevant messages. Instead, they should focus on personalized messages that compel prospects to act.
- Leveraging social media. Most potential customers use one or more social media platforms. Dealers should consider investing in a more prominent online presence to meet consumers where they spend their time online.
5. Revamp the Website
A user-friendly website is essential to attracting modern buyers who begin their used car research on the internet. The website serves as an online storefront with the primary purpose of driving traffic to the dealership.
Three critical components found on the most successful dealership websites include:
- A clear and concise reason customers trust the dealer to solve their problems
- An obvious value proposition and solution to those customer problems
- Ways for customers to solve their problems, combined with a clear call to action
Dealers should prioritize these talking points to promote higher website visitor engagement. As more visitors land on the website, dealers can monitor traffic from Audience Activator, including the number of new visitors, pages visited, and time spent on the site.
6. Build a Better Inventory
Not every pre-owned vehicle on the lot will sell quickly or at ideal profit margins. However, dealers can maximize value by choosing the most suitable cars for their lot.
Deciding which cars to stock in inventory requires data, and dealers should invest in the best digital tools for real-time market data to determine the following:
- Which cars are currently both low in supply and high in demand
- Which vehicles are the most sought after in the immediate and surrounding area
- Which makes and models at the dealership have sold well in the past
These three data points can help dealers find the right used cars and optimize their inventory. Audience Activator can then use the acquired customer data to match that stock to high-quality leads.
7. Revisit the Reconditioning Process
Reconditioning is necessary to turn worn-out trade-ins into desirable vehicles. Reconditioned cars leave the lot quicker and enable dealers to offer the guarantees and certifications that boost customer confidence.
The reconditioning practice might include the following three steps:
- Expediting the process. Dealers can reduce turn rates and sell more cars by fully reconditioning a vehicle within five days of purchase.
- Looking for ready-to-sell cars. Purchase vehicles that require less work before showing them on the lot. Faster turnarounds for some vehicles can help to offset cars requiring more work.
- Dedicating a team to reconditioning. To avoid conflict, dealers should have separate units for customer orders and reconditioning.
Dealers should also closely monitor and control reconditioning costs. While often a wise investment, these expenses can quickly mount, and dealerships must be strategic when selecting vehicles worth the time and expense.
Audience Activator can help reconditioning teams select the best used cars and safeguard profit margins by supplying data on which vehicles website visitors search for the most.
Leverage the Best Digital Tools to Push Your Brand Message
Finding high-quality vehicles at competitive costs, reconditioning them to boost resale values, and marketing to the right audience are necessary steps to sell more cars.
That said, you cannot boost profits without first finding willing buyers, and finding those buyers means getting your brand message to the right audience. Not all dealers arm themselves with the digital tools necessary to capture that third-party traffic, and they struggle to unload aging inventories.
Audience Activator’s proprietary technologies can help you combat a poor audience reach by identifying customers looking to buy what you have, communicating that brand message more effectively, and compelling shoppers to buy from your lot.
Contact us today and discover how to sell more cars with Audience Activator by Affinitiv by retargeting would-be customers to your website and matching those high-quality leads with used vehicles sitting in your inventory.
All | September 20, 2022