In the information age, auto consumers have taken a more active role in their buying decision than ever before. In fact, there are shoppers looking for the cars on your lot right now. They’ve just moved their search from the dealership to the internet. The key to success in this new market is gearing your digital automotive merchandising strategy toward reaching consumers who are already interested in buying.
Adjust Your Automotive Merchandising Strategy to Attract Customers Who Are Ready to Buy
Targeting in-market customers offers the most ROI for your marketing strategy because these buyers are more likely to convert and are cheaper to reach than other consumers. Here are some tips to help you appeal to these buyers.
Know What Your Customers are Looking For
A good start to crafting your automotive merchandising strategy around the modern customer is being aware of how they search for vehicles. Our research has shown that the early stages their searches are fairly basic. They probably have a few models that they’re interested in. Within these few models, they’re also looking at the following:
- Model year
At this stage, they’re not interested in trim levels or options. What they really want is a good value vehicle for a fair price.
Take advantage of consumer search patterns by optimizing your ads and vehicle display pages (VDPs) for these buyers. Make sure the information they’re looking for is up front, well organized, and clear.
Perhaps the most important part of your content on these new pages will be the price information. Customers don’t want this information hidden behind a wall. Display the price clearly and justify it in your on-page content.
Know How Customers Make Their Decisions
Once you have a customer on your website or in your dealership, knowledge of what drives their decision-making will help you convert. Price is still significant here, but you can’t win sales by simply lowering your price because someone will always undercut you.
Luckily price isn’t the only point of data shoppers use in their decision. So what does drive customer’s decision to buy? The following factors play a major part in their choices:
- Perceived value
For this reason, you should have VDP’s that go above and beyond the basics. They need to show why your car is a good value and a great fit for them. This can be done by spotlighting special packages or features. If you’re successful, the customer will begin to become excited about the vehicle.
You can also foster trust by being transparent with the information you display. Include customer reviews of the model and the vehicle history report. This is information they’ll already be looking for, so providing it to them will show that you’re confident in your own vehicles.
Meet Your Customers Where They Are
Car buyers no longer start their searches at nearby dealerships. They usually begin their search on third-party websites, where they work to whittle down their choice to just a few vehicles at even fewer dealerships. To get feet in your store, you need to make sure their third-party research leads them to your website.
By distributing ads for your vehicles out to third-party websites, you can get them in front of in-market consumers. Make sure that the ads are well-made and informative enough to stand out.
Make Automotive Merchandising Easier
Need help optimizing your automotive merchandising strategy for consumers who are already prepared to buy? MAXDigital makes the process simple.
Our digital marketing platform helps you enhance your VDPs to appeal to the modern in-market customer. It also automatically creates ads and distributes them to third-party websites.
Schedule a demo of our dealership software solutions to learn how we can help you, or contact us at (888) 841-0884.
Every month, MAXDigital recognizes and celebrates a dealership that demonstrates exceptional performance through our “Dealership-of-the-Month” program. Through the team’s hard work and effort, MAXDigital is honoring Zimbrick Buick GMC West with our January Dealership-of-the-Month! MAXDigital is celebrating Zimbrick Buick GMC West for being the number one dealership in Wisconsin for 2017. The team uses FirstLook to analyze their data to insure they maximize all trade-ins before taking into inventory. They also use the MAXDigital tools on all transactions and are always looking for new ways to enhance their process by implementing best practices. Zimbrick Buick GMC West is part of Zimbrick Automotive which has 20+ dealerships in Wisconsin. The dealership is also very active in their local community and is involved with organizations such as the United Way, Meals on Wheels, and Susan G Komen Foundation, just to name a few. We are excited about Zimbrick Buick GMC West’s amazing growth and drive to success.
Congratulations to Zimbrick Buick GMC West from the entire MAXDigital Team!
Auto consumers are more informed and empowered than ever, and they are coming into your dealership armed with hours of research. In many cases, they’ll know more about the vehicle they want the salespeople on your showroom floor. MAXDigital’s innovative car salesman app gives your team the information they need to hold their own against customers looking to get a price decrease.
How MAXDigital’s App Lets Car Salesmen Keep Up with Customers
The internet has given auto consumers unprecedented access to product research, and they are using it. They expect detailed information on every vehicle they’re researching, and over the course of their shopping, they’ve come to know the car they intend to buy backward and forward. They will use this information to try to drop the price.
Compare this to your sales team. There are dozens of vehicles on your lot, each with its own specs, history, features, and packages. Even the best salesman can’t memorize every one of them. MAX Digital Showroom, a part of the MAXDigital merchandising app suite, empowers your sales team with the info they need to combat price reductions.
All Your Vehicle Information, in the Palm of Your Hand
Through the MAX Digital Showroom car salesman app, your sales team will have convenient access to the vehicle information for every car on your lot through their smartphone or tablet. All they need is a quick scan to pull up an intuitively laid out vehicle information page (VDP.) This lets any salesman easily and quickly respond to customer concerns and field questions. By proving they know their stuff, your salesmen will also gain the trust of shoppers.
Easily Share High-Quality VDP’s
Showing off an impressive feature of your vehicle? Customers don’t just have to take your word for it. MAX Digital Showroom let your sales team send attractive, MAX for Website-optimized VDPs directly to their smart devices.
Justify Pricing for Those Tough Negotiations
Customers are hoping that they can use their knowledge of your vehicle to knock some money off the price. MAX Digital Showroom fights this drop, by providing detailed price justification. Your sales team will be able to show how your car compare to market averages and demonstrate the value each unique feature or package adds.
This app also helps combat showrooming. If your customers show you lower-priced versions of the same car nearby, you can easily explain the price difference by showing what your vehicle has that the other doesn’t.
Stop lowering your prices on your vehicles. Let MAXDigital give your sales team the information they need to protect your profit margins with our convenient car salesman app. Schedule a product demo or contact us to learn about how MAX can help you.
The modern auto consumer is more engaged and knowledgeable than ever. Over 90% of buyers do research online before they decide on a car, and many have picked out the car they want before they have even stepped on the lot, having done, on average, 14 hours of research.
Adjust your sales strategy to today’s customers with MAXDigital’s online platform and automotive marketing tools.
MAXDigital Automotive Marketing Tools Help You Build Trust With Customers
MAXDigital integrates seamlessly with your inventory management system to create high-quality automated content through the MAX Content Generation Engine. MAX provides shoppers with the information and transparency to know that you’re the dealer they can trust. This trust makes for more sales and higher profits.
Learn how the unique parts of MAX’s digital automotive marketing tool retail platform can help you.
MAX Ad helps you to easily merchandise cars by generating relevant ads and allowing you to manage pricing. The ads are made using MAX’s optimal format and provide consumers with the answers to all commonly asked questions.
MAX generated ads also include:
- Vehicle history
- Price validation
- OEM options and pricing
- Expert reviews
- CPO information
The ads get sent to where shoppers are looking, automatically going to over 200 third-party sites like Cars.com and Kelley Blue Book. These ads create authority and justify the price before the customer even reaches your page.
MAX for Website
Convert website traffic into in-store customers with MAX for Website. MAX for Website creates high-quality enhancements to your Vehicle Detail Pages that include thorough information and dealership reviews. Consumers spend 200% more time on VDPs that incorporate MAX for Website, and the enhanced value report lets them know they’re getting a fair price.
MAX Digital Showroom
With the extensive research the average consumer does, they might know more about the car they want than your sales staff. MAX Digital Showroom is the tool they need to be inventory experts and justify pricing with easy device access to vehicle information.
Build your merchandising and sales strategy around what your customers are doing, and build trust with MAXDigital. Schedule a demo to learn more about our automotive marketing tools and software solutions. You can also contact us at (888) 841-0884 for more information.
Between the increase in auto customers using the internet as their primary source for research and the growth of industry disruptors, it can be difficult to keep up with the constant changes. One thing is for certain — dealerships can no longer afford to ignore the digital front when developing their marketing strategies. This is where MAXDigital comes in.
Our suite of dealership marketing tools can help you easily adapt your merchandising strategy to draw in digital-age customers.
How MAXDigital’s Dealership Marketing Tools Help You Stand Out in the Digital Age
Find Your Customers Where They’re Looking
Auto shoppers often spend as many as 16.75 hours researching their purchases on third-party websites like Cars.com and Auto Trader. MAX Ad, a part of MAXDigital’s platform, puts your vehicles in front of these potential customers by creating and distributing attractive ads to hundreds of third-party websites. These ads are designed to be eye-catching, answer any questions browsers may have about the vehicle, and bring customers to your webpage.
Give Customers the Information They Want
Modern auto consumers crave information, and they have little patience for dealerships who don’t make that information easy to access. MAX for Website optimizes your vehicle display pages (VDPs) to put this information in the spotlight in an intuitive format.
Make Your Vehicles Stand Out
There are plenty of dealerships near your potential customers selling the same exact make and model you are. Why should they buy yours?
Our research shows that most people don’t want the cheapest car, but the one that offers the best value. This means they’re willing to pay more for a vehicle if they fully understand the value of it. MAX-optimized VDPs highlight any special equipment packages or features that set your cars apart from the crowd.
Turn Your Sales Staff Into Experts
It is impossible for every member of your sales team to memorize full details for every vehicle on your lot. However, your customers will expect the salespeople to be able to respond to any question or concern they have. MAX Digital Showroom puts details about every car in your inventory in the palm of their hand, turning them into product experts. All they need to do is access the vehicle information through the easy-to-use smart device app.
Build Trust at All Levels
By providing transparent, accurate information that demonstrates value, you start building this relationship before your customers even step in your dealership. You’ll also earn confidence on your showroom floor when your sales team can easily answer any question you have about your inventory.
Justify Your Prices to Protect Your Profit Margin
In this incredibly competitive market, most dealerships already price their vehicles very close to or below market value just to attract customers. They often need to drop the price even further to make the sale. MAX helps you stop the drop and preserve your profit margin by giving you the support you need to stand firm on your pricing.
MAX’s dealership marketing tools include price justification that clearly demonstrates the vehicle’s value. This feature compares your asking price with the average market price, and details the value added by each additional package.
December is a special month because MAXDigital is awarding Dealership of the Month to two hard working dealerships. This month MAXDigital congratulates Ventura Toyota and Jaguar Range Rover Cary for their avid use of the MAXDigital Platform to increase growth and inventory turn.
Ventura Toyota is a dedicated user of the MAXDigital Platform and uses it on every deal. They consistently use MAX Digital Showroom to build trust with their customers and close more deals. The team also sees the value of sales data and market listings and use it on every vehicle to ensure competitive pricing and vehicle descriptions. Ventura Toyota is a new and used Toyota dealership in Ventura, CA that proudly serves the drivers of Oxnard, Santa Barbara, and Thousand Oaks. Ventura Toyota is also very involved in their community and partners with organization such as the Santa Barbra Zoo, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and other community sponsorships.
Jaguar Land Rover Cary’s used car business is up 42% this year because of their diligent use of the MAX Digital Platform. MAXDigital has helped Marty Stapleton’s team manage their inventory, improve their online merchandising, and modernize the retail process with MAX Digital Showroom. Jaguar Land Rover Cary is located in Cary North Carolina and is part of the Leith Group which has more than 30+ dealerships in North Carolina. Jaguar Land Rover Cary is also very involved in their community working with many local organizations.
We are excited about Jaguar Land Rover Cary’s and Ventura Toyota’s amazing growth and dedication to provide great service to their customers.
Every month, MAXDigital recognizes and celebrates a dealership that demonstrates exceptional performance through our “Dealership-of-the-Month” program. Through the team’s hard work and effort, MAXDigital is honoring Orlando INFINITI with our November Dealership-of-the-Month! Orlando INFINITI uses Max Digital Showroom through the entire sales process to build trust and confidence with their customers and has seen an increase of closed deals. Due to their diligent use of Max Digital Showroom, Orlando INFINITI has seen amazing gross retention on every sale and an increase of inventory turn. Orlando INFINITI is part of the AMSI which has more than 80+ dealerships across the Southeast United States. They also pride themselves as being active members in the Orlando community, partaking in multiple community organizations and giving back to the community. We are excited about Orlando INFINITI’s successful use of the MAXDigital Platform to reduce vehicle discounts and can’t wait to see their continued growth. We look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.
Increased access to the internet and the proliferation of smartphones have changed the way consumers navigate the used automotive market. Now buyers crave information and put hours of online research into their decisions. Attracting customers in the modern used car market requires providing consumers with the information they want via engaging content.
Here’s what modern shoppers expect from your online automotive merchandising strategy.
How to Reach Modern Shoppers with Your Online Automotive Merchandising Strategy
What Consumers Search For
Modern used car buyers start their shopping process with broad level searches. They’re typically looking for a select few makes and models with a specific year and mileage range in mind. Most importantly, they want the pages they find to include pricing information. Optimize your vehicle display pages for these searches, and include the information they want when they get there.
Despite the importance of having pricing information on ads and VDPs, shoppers aren’t necessarily looking for the lowest price. Most dealerships already price their vehicles at or below market value, making it difficult to stand out for pricing alone. Chasing the lowest price is a losing battle as well because someone will always be able to undercut you for the same vehicle.
What most shoppers are looking for in a used car is a good value for the price. They’re willing to pay a little bit more for the better vehicle. This means your pricing information needs to justify what you’re charging. A major part of demonstrating value will be highlighting the vehicle’s unique features.
Modern shoppers are interested in what sets your used cars apart from similar vehicles. Your online automotive merchandising materials should highlight any special features or equipment packages the car offers. Does it come with optional accessories? How about modern infotainment tech? Maybe it includes a special off-roading package. Highlighting this information helps you defend the vehicle’s price and foster customer excitement.
Vehicle History Reports and Reviews
Nearly every used car buyer is going to check a vehicle’s history report and reviews. Don’t force potential customers to look them up themselves. Post links to the reports on your VDPs and feature a few reviews. This lets them know you have confidence in the quality of vehicles, helping you build trust before they even enter the dealership.
Another way to foster trust with customers is to be transparent. Include thorough information on the vehicle. Try to anticipate any questions they’re likely to ask and answer these questions in your ads or on your VDPs. These questions may include:
- Is this car right for me?
- Why should I buy from this dealership?
- Why is this car better than the others I’ve seen?
- Is this car a lemon?
MAXDigital’s innovative online automotive merchandising platform can help you optimize your strategy for the now buyer. Schedule a demo to learn how MAX can help you enhance your VDPs and attract customers with quality, detailed ads.
Today’s average auto buyer only comes into one or two dealerships before they decide on which vehicle they’re going to be driving home in. The hours of comparisons and shopping models, packages, and options hasn’t vanished. It has moved somewhere else. Modern consumers spend hours online researching various dealerships’ vehicle display pages.
If you want to bridge the gap between online shoppers and in-store customers, you need to make your cars stand out with compelling and informative vehicle display pages.
Bring Customers into Your Dealership with Improved Vehicle Display Pages
By the time the customer reaches your VDPs they usually have their search narrowed down to a handful of vehicles at an even smaller amount of dealerships. The quality of these VDPs and how well they display the car are major factors influencing their decision on which dealership to go with.
Here’s what the modern consumer is looking for when they shop vehicle display pages.
Thorough, Accurate Vehicle Information
Information-age consumers are used to every aspect of their online experiences being specific to them. This makes them impossible to reach with generic vehicle descriptions. They want more than a broad overview. They want details about what makes your car unique.
Make sure to highlight any interesting feature or tech packages the vehicle may have. Justify the price by showing what makes your car stand out from similar models. Try to predict what questions consumers will have, and use your VDPs to answer them.
Transparency and accuracy the key to building trust in today’s auto market. Make sure the information is thorough and correct.
Show Off Your Vehicle
Visuals are another important component of your VDPs. Great vehicle photos make a huge difference, but they won’t do much good if the page is poorly designed. The page should be easy to take in, simple to navigate, and visually attractive. The organization of the page is almost as important as the information on it.
Made for Mobile. And Desktop. And Tablet.
Online shopping isn’t just done on desktops anymore. In fact, 51% of consumers said they used a smartphone or tablet in their vehicle shopping process, and this amount is only increasing.
If your VDPs look great on desktop but miserable on mobile, you’re missing out on a significant share of the market. Make sure your VDPs are optimized for all screen sizes.
Let MAXDigital Enhance Your VDPs
MAXDigital’s innovative automotive merchandising platform includes MAX for Website, a tool designed to enhance the design and content of your vehicle display pages. MAX optimized pages give customers:
- Key features and option packages
- Vehicle history through CARFAX®
- Market pricing, MSRP, and trade-in-value data
- Unique branding for your dealership
- Dealer Rater integration with ratings
Schedule a demo of our platform to learn how we can help you create compelling and informative VDPs.
Every month, MAXDigital recognizes and celebrates a dealership that demonstrates exceptional performance through our “Dealership-of-the-Month” program. Through the team’s hard work and effort, MAXDigital is honoring Lexus of Pleasanton with our October Dealership-of-the-Month! Lexus of Pleasanton walks every customer through the Max Digital Showroom page before any payment options are presented. Due to their diligent use of Max Digital Showroom, Lexus of Pleasanton averages 75% less in discounts per vehicle. They also use MAX window stickers, giving customers the ability to shop and learn about inventory on the lot, even while the dealership is closed. Lexus of Pleasanton is part of the Hendrick Automotive group which has more than 100+ dealerships across the United Sates. They also pride themselves as being active members in the Pleasanton, CA community. We are excited about Lexus of Pleasanton’s successful use of the MAXDigital Platform to reduce vehicle discounts and can’t wait to see their continued growth. We look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.
Again, Congratulations to Lexus of Pleasanton from the entire MAXDigital Team!