How important are vehicles to your lot’s success? Chances are that your answer is loud and clear: Very. Breaking down the importance of cars in our modern society, it is quite evident that automobiles are the lifeblood of automotive dealerships. Without them, you don’t have a store, a brand, or a purpose. As it stands, vehicles are a constant in American culture with over 275 million cars registered in the country as of 2020.
This stat is telling of the important role automotive retail plays in the daily lives of consumers across the nation. On top of that, with cars typically being the second-largest purchase the average American will make, it is increasingly important that automotive dealerships are equipped to handle demand with a steady supply of inventory priced appropriately.
Acquisition plays a massive factor in your ability to meet the needs of shoppers. But let’s face it, yesterday’s methods for stocking your lot are antiquated and lack the zest and speed modern consumers require. Shopping for cars has evolved to be a hybrid approach that combines traditional brick-and-mortar interactions with digital touchpoints. That means you need to be dynamic in how you acquire vehicles. And the best avenue to achieve that is from consumers.
Think about it like this. Those 275 million cars are driving around the roads of America. Used vehicles will always be sought after for a variety of reasons. As consumers grow out of their leases, payments, or simply want something new, your dealership plays a vital partner in providing used vehicle options while transitioning drivers into sellers…and eventually shoppers.
As a result, those vehicles on the road are potential pieces of inventory for your lot. Your goal should be to shorten the gap and provide opportunities for consumers to trade in their cars no matter what their situation. This approach to consumer acquisition is important as it provides chances for you to stock automobiles that will sell quickly to your unique customer base.
But how do you do this?
The first step is to cover your basics. Start with a process that simply asks customers to trade their vehicles into your dealership. This can be done through your sales team, BDR, or even service lane. Don’t be afraid to inquire about how to acquire. Many shoppers may not realize they are ready to get rid of their vehicles, so give them the motivation to do so. You don’t have to create a hostile, high-pressure environment. Rather, act as a consultant and provide options while they are on your lot. Be transparent in your approach and use a walkaround method for appraising their vehicle. Establish trust and be honest in pricing from the beginning.
But what about shoppers not on your lot?
That’s where digital marketing, social media, and widgets come into play. Acquiring consumer inventory requires you to break down friction points and offer bridges that connect your team with potential sellers. Particularly for widgets on your website, consider moving past antiquated solutions and instead integrate a modern tool that can increase your form completion rate, provide better accuracy on pricing, and deliver an improved, overall experience. This is a surefire way to drive more street leads and pack your lot with not just any inventory…but the RIGHT inventory.
Finally, when it comes to acquiring consumer inventory, it’s time to knock the cobwebs loose and start to get creative. You already know the benefits of asking and widgets, but what else have you tried? Many dealers will put a sign out in front of their store. Some will try cold calling. Others have paid for advertising via TV commercials or billboards. But when it comes to grabbing the attention of drivers, the sky is the limit. Bring your team together and run a contest to see who has the best idea. Get a game plan in place based on your team’s feedback and execute based on fresh ideas. Successful consumer acquisition comes from innovation.
At the end of the day, you need to think outside the box. As it was once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Stop doing things the old way while thinking they will net you more inventory. Approach consumer acquisitions as if your job and dealership depend on it…because in 2023, it really does.
If you are stuck trying to think of inventive ways to acquire more inventory for your lot, then it is time to get a new partner in your corner. MAX Digital has been helping dealerships get on the path to success for a long time. From merchandising to management–and everything in between–MAX brings the experience needed to help you achieve your goals. Schedule your free consultation today and discover all the creative ways you can be securing inventory for your dealership.