Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to attend the Auto Remarketing Canada Conference in Toronto. After a number of panels, sessions and speakers, I realized that most of this year’s content focused on effectively using technology to manage inventory.
It was definitely technology, technology, technology. Technology is making things like sourcing, stocking, advertising and selling that much easier, in ways we never would have dreamed of even 5 years ago.
Since the message really resonated with me, I thought I would share a couple takeaways related to managing your inventory online:
1. Don’t underestimate your consumers’ technological savvy. Today’s customers do their research online before stepping foot in your dealership. If you over-quote your vehicle, price will dictate a sale rather than a buyer’s loyalty to your dealership.
2. Dale Pollak of vAuto reminded dealers to always price competitively online. If you do that, he said you’re more likely to achieve long-term gross profit as traffic increases in physical showrooms.
3. For sales strictly online, Cathie Clark of Autopark Group of Dealerships said to treat your website as a showroom. She suggested making the website an experience for potential consumers—one that uses rich media content to drive traffic and engagement.
4. Chris Harris of Kijiji stressed the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). He shared the dangers of having a website that relies solely on un-searchable multimedia instead of searchable text. The risk is too high when competitors are already taking advantage of this strategy.
Here’s what I learned: with the Internet, there’s no banking on your earned reputation when hard data is available to your customers. Now that the technology exists, dealers need to be prepared to improve their vehicle disclosure, put their best pricing forward and invest in their websites to generate quality leads.
What about you? Are there any best practices you live by when selling used vehicles online? What about when you buy? Is there anything you look for in an online seller?