Size of the prize: a $6m per week opportunity
Foundations of online automotive retailing
The Foundations of Online Automotive Retailing
Big changes often require big investment – both in terms of time and money, but you can adjust and adapt little by little and net huge gains. Reallocating existing budgets and resources to an action plan that nets more leads and sales is something you can start today. Focusing on these foundations now puts you on the right path to achieving big success in the future.
Let’s compare two actual dealers and look at an actual dataset – we won't mention the showroom names, but we will call them ‘online dealer’ and traditional dealer.
The online dealer has a website that features all of its stock and also lists all its stock online across multiple marketplaces, utilizing all available services. Our traditional dealer, on the other hand, doesn’t have a website but does list cars on online marketplaces. In June 2020, the online dealer achieved 60% more car impressions, received 58% more leads and sold 1244% more cars than the traditional dealer. This is not a special case – dealers with a greater online presence win more business. With numbers like that, can you afford not to go digital?
The online retailer achieved 249% more profit with only 55% more stock.
1. Expand your online presence – locally and internationally
You must ensure all of your stock and every service you offer are listed online – our data shows more visible stock means more leads. Going back to our example of our traditional automotive dealer and online dealer, this could mean 58% more leads and 1244% more car sales. In fact, for every 1.3 visits to your showroom, you could be attracting 18 visitors to your website – and that’s a captive audience if your online presence is solid.
Consumers are spending more time online than ever before, even more so since the COVID-19 pandemic has had many of us working from home. Focusing your efforts on enticing, engaging, and educating your online customers will result in dividends, enabling you to outperform those who remain stuck in the past, determined to hold on to the traditional bricks-and-mortar sales approach.
Your online presence also opens up new markets. The export market is larger than the domestic one, and it is growing at a much faster space.
2. Become a content creator
Empower the consumer to make the decision by giving them all the information they need.
Make your website welcoming and provide an online experience that rivals if not surpasses the offline process of buying a car. Get creative with your content and give your digital consumers all of the information they require to purchase a vehicle, including the price, features, options, high-quality photographs, and videos. We know that more information equals more sales.
A good quality description will get 2x more impressions and 3x more conversions.
3. Adjust your proposition
In a recent survey of almost 2,000 respondents, our key findings were that there are 3 main drivers for buyers in making purchasing decisions.
Respondents indicated the sanitization of a vehicle would factor into their buying decisions.
Financing and flexible payments
Over 70% of buyers mentioned flexible payment plans and protection against job loss as key contributing factors in making a purchase decision.
Home test drives
60% said being able to test drive a vehicle at home would impact their decision to buy a car, with sanitization being a key factor in the decision making.
4. Enhance the customer's journey
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Increase your chances from the top of the funnel. A well-optimized journey can do wonders to your business.
It's fairly straightforward when you think about it. More awareness means more people are exposed to your content, which leads to more people considering purchasing your cars, resulting in more prospects for your sales team to close.
The first step to optimizing this journey is to fully understand it. Be a buyer. Try to buy a car from your showroom and start at the top of the funnel. How easy was it to find your listings from a simple search on an online marketplace or a search engine?
Start mapping your customer's journey with all the touchpoints. The more touch points you have with the customers, the more you increase your odds of converting them.
Start with the main questions
1. How and where do consumers find you?
2. Do you provide all the information they need on your listings to drive them to reach out to you?
3. What are your views-to-leads-to-sales conversion rates?
4. Are your website and online content optimized for the mobile experience?
Managing your leads, especially during the pandemic, is critical. Consumers are no longer willing to wait a day or two for a response. When they make an enquiry, strike while the iron is hot, following up on every lead immediately. Achieve this with an always-live chat option on your website.
5. Use the right metrics
Measuring every single metric in the business can be deceiving and pointless. That is why it is key to find those particular metrics that make the needle move for your showrooms. What are the top 5 metrics that impact your profit?
1. Install a data-driven culture in your business
2. Identify the top metrics that will have a direct impact on your profit
Focusing your efforts on the right digital platform can bring your cost-per-sale to under AED 90 for the average vehicle, based on an average of 15 leads required per sale.
Instead of counting the number of people who visit your showroom, measure how much time consumers are spending on your website, how engaged they are with your content, the cost of acquisitions, the cost of leads, and the leads-to-sale conversion rate. This data will tell you which models are providing the best conversions, what features are winning you sales, and where you need to invest to attract more customers.
By implementing these changes, or even some of them, you will gain access to immediate feedback, trackable data, and space restrictions will be a thing of the past.
Bonus point! Used car pricing best practices
Today's consumer is far more educated and resourceful than ever before. They have powerful tools, such as price band search, car valuations, car comparison, saved searches, and many more, to guide their buying decisions.
Dealers lose - and will keep losing -opportunities to sell, simply because they won't even appear in search results because of pricing failures.
How many sales have you lost to inaccurate pricing?
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Best Practice When Pricing a Car
1. Price before you buy:
Pricing a car must start before purchasing a car. Some cars are meant for the private market, and there is very minimal value for dealers. Often, those cars end up making a loss.
2. Use online car valuations:
9 out of 10 sellers will perform online research before buying or selling a car. This includes online car valuation tools. You can also benefit from online tools, which will inform you and keep you in the know about customers' expectations. Try Dubi Cars Online Valuation Tool that is based on the transaction price and not the advertising price.
3. Account for everything:
There are multiple external factors that impact car pricing including, but not limited to, new model releases, export market demand, seasonality, and market trends.
4. Monitor the market news:
There are multiple external factors that impact car pricing including but not limited to new model releases, export market demand, seasonality, and market trends.
5. Set a targeted sale deadline:
Depending on the model and condition of the vehicle, most cars take between 17 and 28 days to sell. Online retailers will have an educated estimate on how fast they can turn their stock.