It’s that time when you take stock of your inventory and prepare your car dealership for the next year. The U.S. automobile market has been on resurgence, but significant unsold inventory still remains on dealer lots. Here are some tips to help move 2013 inventory to make way for more vehicles in the new year.
1. Reevaluate current inventory
The first step in the year-end sales process should be a complete evaluation of your current inventory, particularly the average time a car spends on the lot. This is a key metric that indicates car demand; cars that spend more time on the lot tend to be less popular.
Identifying these cars will help prime your marketing and sales machinery to make such cars more attractive to buyers. Your goal should be to move unsold inventory of unpopular cars as quickly as possible. An unpopular 2013 car model, after all, will be even less popular the next year.
2. Leverage social media
Social media should have a place in your marketing strategy. Establishing a dealership presence on social channels like Facebook, Twitter and others is becoming more and more important.
Focus on actively engaging users by offering rewards, discounts and giveaways to followers and fans. Featuring high-quality images of inventory is an easy way to keep the point-of-sale involved on your channels.
Strive to offer exemplary customer service. Remember, customer service often spreads virally and organically across social media, which can set your dealership apart from competitors. Your dealership should also strive to maintain a strong presence and active reputation management on review websites like Yelp and Google.
3. Create compelling web and ad content
Close more sales by proactively engaging audiences through engaging content like reviews, videos, image slideshows, etc. Not only is this good for your website traffic, it can also help highlight—and sell—specific cars in your inventory while helping consumers make better decisions.
All original content should complement broader marketing efforts of the manufacturer, but also offer a local twist. For example, quality videos and articles at nearby trails or locations in one of the cars from your inventory may resonate more with local consumers. Focus content on how it fits into the lifestyle of local consumers by offering advice, reviews and features.
4. Make use of data
If your dealership has an extensive online presence, you should already have plenty of data on customer/visitor behavior to drive your decision-making. For example, you can gather popularity/demand for a car model by analyzing visitor statistics and social shares for particular model’s pages on your website.
This data should not only inform your decisions for this year and beyond, but also influence your local marketing efforts in general.
The end of the year is a crucial time for car dealerships. It’s important to make the most of the holiday season and move as many 2013 models as possible before the start of the new year. Do you have any tips for moving year-end inventory?