The past few years have seen rough economic shifts across industries. Car dealers and the economy are inextricably linked, and this fact was sharply illustrated by supply chain disruptions, raging inflation, and low consumer confidence in an economic recovery. The pandemic dealt the hospitality industry the toughest blow, but as you’ve likely experienced, dealerships around the country and the overall automotive industry saw challenges, too.
In 2021, auto industry challenges were exacerbated by consumers under shelter-in-place orders. People were forced to dig into their savings and retirement accounts for everyday expenses, leaving no disposable income for large purchases, like cars and trucks.
Now, it’s 2023.
As reported by U.S. News, ongoing economic updates illustrate a vacillating unpredictability regarding economic stability following the collapse of two United States banks, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in mid-March. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen maintains there is no imminent banking collapse on the horizon. Yet, according to a report from Cox Automotive gauging consumer sentiment from 1990 to 2023 (research prepared by the University of Michigan), consumer sentiment has never been this low. In fact, it’s even lower now than during the crash of 2008. What does that mean for your dealership?
How do the up-and-down nature of consumer sentiment and the back-and-forth of geopolitics impact how inflation affects dealerships?
This post takes a closer look at the connection between car dealers and the economy, the factors that link them, and how the right dealership tools can help your dealership navigate economic shifts.
How consumer sentiment and geopolitics impact car dealers and the economy
Consumer sentiment is in an incredibly reactionary relationship with the economy. Whenever the economy takes a downturn, so does consumer sentiment. If inflation soars, consumer sentiment tanks. And when interest rates dip, consumers typically rush to make larger purchases they’ve been putting off. Dealerships can capitalize on these dips with tools like Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer.
Consumer sentiment and the economy are intertwined in an action / reaction dance in which the dynamics we’ve been seeing are normally drawn out and develop over time, making each crescendo and decrescendo — the highs and lows or “peaks and valleys” — not only more apparent but the outcomes much easier to predict.
However, since late 2020, the peaks and valleys of consumer sentiment and the overall economy have become compressed, making it more difficult to predict — and therefore, assess the meaning of — the next meteoric rise or abrupt drop-off of either on any given day.
Let’s more closely examine some of the U.S. News economy updates mentioned above to discern the relationship between car dealers and the economy:
Inflation fell in February
While prices for some items remained steady or fell slightly, big-ticket items like cars and homes and necessities such as energy and food saw rising prices.
Why it matters: Consumer sentiment was briefly buoyed by the revelation, but consumer confidence still didn’t meet expectations. According to Cox Automotive, new vehicle sales were up 9% from 2022 but down by a million vehicles from January’s impressive 15.9 units sold.
Two U.S. banks collapsed
On the heels of the two United States banks collapsing, anxiety was high regarding the potential collapse of the European bank Credit Suisse. Stock markets fell in response to the 167-year-old Swiss bank’s ongoing turmoil.
Why it matters: This is yet another bank adding to the fears of a global banking collapse, which causes consumers to keep a tighter hold on their wallets and plan their spending. This is the time to position yourself as the community’s go-to dealership to buy, sell, or trade in a vehicle or to get routine maintenance or services performed.
Unemployment down, construction up, Yellen testifies
Unemployment fell, new construction builds increased, and Yellen testified before Congress. More people are working, so consumers are making money and businesses are gaining traction. A hypothetically problematic situation appears handled when Yellen’s testimony states there’s nothing wrong with the U.S. banking system.
Why it matters: More people employed and new build activity in the construction sector means consumers and business owners alike are experiencing somewhat improved economic confidence. Yellen’s testimony sounds the all-clear, which alleviates surface-level anxiety, but this doesn’t necessarily apply to car dealerships or translate to vehicle sales. As Cox Automotive reported, new car inventory was 70% higher in March 2023 than in March 2022.
Not quite out of the woods yet
Examining these economic factors, you can see the one step forward, two steps back dance playing out in real time. February data released in mid-March pointed to an imminent recession and a drop in consumer sentiment, and Secretary Yellen’s explanation that banks are stable seems incongruous with the Fed’s interest rate hike near the end of March.
So, what economic factors are playing a role? Let’s explore how inflation affects dealerships and contributes to the relationship between car dealers and the economy.
Economic factors affecting dealerships: Car dealers and the economy
The greater forces at play between car dealers and the economy include:
- Interest rates
- Amount of disposable income
- Exchange rate
- Unemployment rate
Economic factors such as interest rates, amount of disposable income, and inflation are especially potent in the automotive industry. Individually, each factor plays its own role and has its own effects on such things as how many cars a dealership can sell, which translates into how many cars are sold in each country. The number of cars you and other dealerships can sell during an economic shift impacts the entire automotive industry, as well as other linked industry players, such as chip manufacturers and metal, rubber, and plastic parts manufacturers.
Low interest rates mean financing is easier, more people can qualify, and more people consider looking for a new vehicle, which translates to higher sales figures. High interest rates, however, mean even small, inexpensive cars are often an impractical purchase. According to the Cox Automotive report, Millennials and Gen Z’ers had the lowest average credit scores at the end of 2022 compared with all other generations, meaning rate hikes strike at the demographic most in need of a break.
Amount of disposable income
While some states have raised minimum wages, wage growth has been negative overall in the past 12 months. The most positive wage growth occurred near the end of 2022, and the growth experienced was outpaced by inflation, making vehicle purchases out of the question for many Americans, as disposable income has all but disappeared because it’s covering other expenses.
As inflation inches higher, the value of the dollar creeps lower. When wage growth doesn’t outpace inflation, average expenses become hard to manage. Inflation rates like those experienced in 2022 and early 2023 push used car prices into new car price territory and new car prices out of reach of the average family.
Q1 2023 saw overall dealer sentiment significantly lower than the previous two years and provides evidence of why dealer profit sentiment is also on the decline. While used vehicle sales were slightly up compared to 2022, inventory is down 21%, according to Cox Automotive’s findings.
When examining how inflation affects dealerships, car sales and gross domestic product (GDP) rates are tightly linked. If dealership sales figures are high, GDP trends higher, and when GDP is trending high, it typically means greater buying power for that country’s residents. When buying power is high, that generally translates into higher dealership sales figures.
It’s not surprising that the auto industry is competitive. When exchange rates are low, competitors outside the U.S. can market their cars to U.S. citizens, and U.S. dealerships can market elsewhere. It offers consumers around the globe the opportunity to make big-ticket purchases for less money, which boosts sales figures everywhere.
Countries with low unemployment have citizens with greater buying power, creating vehicle demand, but the opposite is true in nations with high unemployment rates.
Car dealers and the economy: Navigating economic shifts with Kelley Blue Book
Times are tough right now, and things are uncertain. That’s why it’s the right time to lean on Kelley Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer division. In 2021, 43% of used car inventory came through Instant Cash Offer on dealer websites. Our current data says 53% of used car inventory has been sourced through the Instant Cash Offer tool. Using tools like Instant Cash Offer and Price Advisor on your dealership website can help you acquire and stabilize inventory expansion efforts, giving you and your customers peace of mind — your dealership can boost inventory using your service lanes or via your website, and your customers can enjoy a great deal on a trade-in or when selling their car outright to your dealership.
For more industry insights and dealership strategies, read our blog.
Appointments to service cars are made every day. Sometimes, a service appointment is for a routine oil and filter change and fluid level check whereas other times it’s because the car needs a major repair.
The pandemic wreaked havoc on many industries, leading to a slow recovery of new car inventory and the availability of auto parts, which has caused many people to hold onto their older cars longer. Spikes in fuel prices also had an impact on how people reduced expenses — driving less and owning a more fuel-efficient vehicle has become the norm for many.
Since your customers are keeping their cars longer, they’re spending more time and money taking care of them, which actually works to your advantage when you use our Service Drive Acquisition feature.
Customers are driving differently
Driving habits have changed for several reasons. Less time on the road because of fewer long-distance drives, more remote or hybrid work arrangements, and rising fuel prices means many cars have significantly fewer miles on them than they typically would, but they still require maintenance. Auto Service World indicates that there will be a steady demand for auto shop services in the coming year. They also predict a downturn in aftermarket part sales due to high interest rates slowing customer spending.
People are keeping their cars longer
Car manufacturers are building better vehicles today, so auto owners have no problem hanging on to their rigs, which is tough on your acquisitions team and their inventory-building efforts. However, you can always find a handful of customers who want the latest technology, such as cars with driver assistance packages or other improved safety or entertainment features. These tech seekers and those with repairs they simply can’t afford are likely sipping a coffee in your service lounge right now.
Unless these customers venture onto the showroom floor or stroll your lot, browsing your inventory while waiting, you may not realize they’re among that special handful of your customers. It’s hard to match a car to its owner when they’re just sitting in the lounge having coffee — unless you sit down and spark a conversation. The Service Drive Acquisition feature helps take the guesswork out of who has that great car your acquisition team has been looking for.
What if you could know in advance which person is looking to either trade in their car or sell it outright? With the Service Drive Acquisition feature in your service department, you can.
Service lanes are busier and service revenue is up
Have you noticed an uptick of service customers in your waiting area or an unusual number of cars in the bays? At managers’ meetings, are the numbers from the “fixed” side of the dealership higher than normal? These signs mean people are taking better care of their cars and returning to your dealership for their needs. It also means you’ve established a good trust factor among your customers, which is perfect when your service team introduces the customer to the Service Drive Acquisition feature.
WardsAuto recently reported that there was a post-pandemic boost in parts and service revenue for the six largest, publicly traded new-vehicle groups in the U.S., and they anticipate continued growth throughout 2023.
It was also noted that service revenue for those six vehicle groups was up 10.5% in 2022 over the same time in 2021 and a 9.1% increase for the fourth quarter alone for a total of $3.4 billion in same-store parts and service revenue.
So, a lot of quality cars sit in service department queues, waiting for an oil change, annual tune-up, brake service, or other minor repairs. Our Service Drive Acquisition feature was created for this very reason and can help you add these cars to your inventory.
How the Kelley Blue Book Service Drive Acquisition feature works
Kelley Blue Book®, a trusted name in the auto industry since 1926, has developed a Service Drive Acquisition tool that helps dealerships find new used cars for their inventory by utilizing the service department to source their vehicles.
By using Service Drive Acquisition, you open the service lane as a valuable opportunity to find quality pre-owned cars and trucks. There are two straightforward ways for you to acquire the inventory you desire while giving your customer a trusted offer:
- Pre-appointment: Your sales or service team can give the customer an Instant Cash Offer before their appointment when they call to confirm the appointment.
- Appointment time: Your sales or service team can give the customer an Instant Cash Offer at the time of their appointment.
Either way, the customer receives an offer for their car from a trusted name like Kelley Blue Book, and you increase your inventory with a strong acquisition tool.
How can this help your dealership’s inventory acquisition?
Most customers are familiar with Kelley Blue Book because it figures prominently in trade-in values from insurance companies and financial institutions, and on sites like J.D. Power and Associates reporting that Kelley Blue Book is the most first-visited automotive site on the internet. J.D. Power and Associates is well known by consumers for their automotive awards and ratings.
Now, Kelley Blue Book’s Service Drive Acquisition feature can help your dealership acquire more quality used cars for your lot.
By using the Instant Cash Offer from the service lane with your Service Drive Acquisition feature, you have access to the vehicle’s records, including sales transactions and maintenance records, which helps when calculating the value of the vehicle for your acquisition team. This information isn’t readily available when you source your used car inventory from other places like auctions, classifieds, or online marketplaces.
Since the pandemic, used car prices have been unstable. Prices have defied the standard norm of depreciation by appreciating when the shortage of new cars was felt around the world. The shortage of circuit boards, computer chips, and other electronic parts have made used cars a hot commodity.
Car owners have become acutely aware of the price of cars because of the shortage, and they tend to spend more time online appraising the value of their vehicle before they even make a buying decision. It’s possible that the people in the service lane already have an idea of what their vehicle may be worth before they get your cash offer.
They probably used Kelley Blue Book to source their prices, so when a member of your acquisitions team presents an Instant Cash Offer, there’s a much better chance that customer will be receptive.
Other ways Kelley Blue Book can help your dealership
Kelley Blue Book® Trusted Advisor Program – Appraising cars is a balance between profit and loss, and the more tools you have to get those numbers right, the more the needle moves toward the profit side of the scale.
Our extensive study and analysis of the markets helps us narrow down values by region, offering trends within 134 regions and 51 of the largest markets in the United States.
In addition, you have access to the following:
- Fair Market Range: This report gives you the tools you need to make an accurate assessment with consideration for all the different types of equipment and options packages for the model you’re appraising.
- CPO Price Advisor: This gives you an analysis regarding the trade-in range and where the Instant Cash Offer would fall based on real market data, such as transaction data and listing prices.
- Private Party Advisor: This report gives you a range of values based on conditions that can help customers determine whether they want to trade their vehicle in or try to sell it themselves.
- Service Advisor: Partner with Kelley Blue Book to become your 24/7 Service Advisor. Customers go to KBB.com to research the maintenance needed on their vehicle, the latest recalls, and any other common services needed. From there, the Kelley Blue Book® Fair Repair Range gives them a reasonable estimate of service prices.
Whether your customer decides to sell their vehicle through the Service Drive Acquisition feature or to go ahead with their scheduled service, your dealership makes money either way.
Increasing inventory with Service Drive Acquisition: The bottom line
Since people sell their vehicles themselves for many reasons, it’s hard to source new inventory without spending a lot of time on the phone, sending bulk emails to current customers, or visiting auctions.
But that’s a waste of your acquisition team’s resources. For instance, there are multiple expenses attached to auction purchases, such as transportation expenses and time away from the dealership, so it makes sense to use your service lane as a way to put more quality used cars into your inventory while still keeping the service department busy. Our Service Drive Acquisition feature lets your acquisitions team do what they do best — acquire inventory.
For more information on how Kelley Blue Book keeps dealerships on the cutting edge, read our blog!
No matter what kinds of practices your dealership might already have, making some changes could be beneficial. There are numerous practices car dealers should follow that help them become (and stay) successful. How long has it been since your dealership did some spring cleaning?
If you haven’t updated your practices and processes in a while, it’s likely you’re involved in some outdated ways of doing things. But that doesn’t have to be your reality for the future. Kelley Blue Book can help guide you through the changes, so your car dealership practices will be up-to-date.
Not only does that help your employees complete their work more efficiently, but it’s also a great way to improve inventory acquisition and keep vehicles moving through your dealership. Here’s what to know about practices car dealers should follow and how to use a spring-cleaning mindset to improve your car dealership’s practices for the future.
The main areas for outdated practices
The first step toward successfully cleaning out your old practices and choosing new ones that work better for your needs is discovering which practices aren’t helping you any longer. Common outdated practices include:
- Not understanding what customers need for retention
- Not moving inventory quickly to provide fresh options
- Avoiding new tools and technological advancements
- Not working as a team through all departments
While it can be frustrating to see areas where work and improvement are required, removing outdated practices can be worth it for the value it provides. Then you can have a better picture of the practices car dealers should follow for increased success.
Until you acknowledge the serious nature of outdated practices, though, you may find that you’re not getting very far with making changes. It can be hard to recognize that something is a problem if you’ve always done things that way. Instead of avoiding the changes that are coming your way, embrace them and see where they can take your dealership.
Many practices are a poor fit today
It’s natural to resist changing outdated practices if you can’t clearly see why those practices are a problem. The truth is that many practices that worked well in years past aren’t as common today because they just aren’t effective anymore. If you’re willing to listen, customers and employees will tell you what’s important to them.
Being open to those thoughts and opinions can go a long way toward making your dealership better and more resilient. What you have in the way of inventory is going to influence your customers’ decisions, but how you and your employees treat them is often much more significant, especially when you want to increase customer loyalty.
Among the most important practices car dealers should follow is listening to the people who work for them and the people who buy from them. In the end, those are the two groups that are going to have the biggest influence on the long-term success of your dealership.
Of course, along with the practices car dealers should follow are important considerations about the inventory strength your dealership has, as well. Working on processes and updates that streamline the customer journey and improve the movement of inventory through your dealership can create an effective, efficient way to embrace the future.
New processes can improve your dealership
Suppose you want to see your dealership grow and transform into something even better than it already is. In that case, you need new processes that speak to the customer journey and bring in high-quality inventory that you can effectively sell and replenish. When you’re thinking about new practices car dealers should follow, you’ll want to analyze several areas and consider how to make improvements.
It’s not always easy to address all the practices car dealers should follow from the very beginning because making a lot of big changes at one time can cause upheaval for your employees and customers. In general, though, there are some specific areas you’ll want to carefully consider. These include:
- Acquiring the right type and level of inventory
- Selling your inventory and cycling it through efficiently
- Strengthening your lead generation to bring in more customers
- Providing a smooth journey for customers
- Increasing the efficiency of each department
With the right tools for inventory acquisition and the best ways to help your employees truly work as a team, your dealership will see improvements from your spring cleaning that will last throughout the year and well into the future, too.
Don’t be afraid to try out new processes and options as you work to take your dealership to the next level. If you don’t do that, you could get left behind as your competitors move forward with tools and strategy changes that foster growth. You can be part of that, as well, and Kelley Blue Book’s inventory acquisition tools can help.
Acquiring Inventory for your dealership
One of the most important practices car dealers should follow is acquiring inventory that’s valuable and brings in customers. You need to get trade-ins and good quality vehicles that people want to buy, so you can keep your sales numbers up and increase your revenue.
But what’s the best way to do that? The right tools for finding and acquiring inventory can go a long way toward making things easier for you and your employees. When your salespeople, appraisers, service professionals, and other team members have what they need, they can do more and offer additional value to your customers.
Selling inventory effectively
Also on the list of practices car dealers should follow is a focus on effective and efficient selling. It’s absolutely vital to bring in good-quality inventory your customers are looking for, but that’s unfortunately not enough. You also have to be able to sell that inventory quickly and efficiently, so you can bring in more. It becomes a cycle, and if there are gaps or slow-downs, that can be an issue for revenue.
While it’s not always easy to move inventory when the economy is slow and your dealership is affected by outside factors, understanding the practices car dealers should follow to keep inventory moving can help make it easier for your dealership to be successful.
Stronger lead generation
Bringing in customers is also a big aspect of how well your dealership is doing. If your lead generation isn’t effective, it may be time to make some changes. If you’re looking into all the new or improved practices car dealers should follow, you know that advancements to lead generation matter.
Having guidance for trade-in and inventory acquisition can be coupled with lead generation to create significant value for your dealership. You need good inventory, you need to be able to sell that inventory efficiently, and you need a strong customer base to purchase what you’re offering. Good lead generation can vastly improve the number of qualified, serious customers who come through your door.
A smooth customer journey
The overarching goal of all the practices car dealers should follow is to provide a smooth journey for the customer. Happy customers become repeat customers and have loyalty to your dealership. They’ll buy their next vehicle from you, and they’ll recommend you to others who need a car.
If you’re not sure whether your customers are having the right kind of experience with your dealership, collecting feedback from them can give you a better idea of any specific changes you’ll want to make.
Increasing department efficiency
Every department in your dealership needs to be as efficient as possible. That includes service, sales, finance, and others. When you consider the practices car dealers should follow for the future, take a look at whether your departments are efficient and how well they work together. If they aren’t up to their full potential, that’s another area where important updates can be made.
The right tools will help your dealership succeed
If you’re thinking that it’s time for a spring cleaning of your car dealership’s processes and an adjustment to new practices car dealers should follow, there are some significant changes you could make to improve how your departments operate and interact. We’re here to help your dealership with the processes it needs for strong future growth.
As a car dealer, you already know that having reliable team members at your dealership matters. Not only do you want to make sure customers are happy with the way they’re treated, but you also need to be sure your employees can continue to bring in revenue and inventory.
Without the inventory to sell, your dealership won’t grow the way you want it to. That could mean facing an uncertain future. Fortunately, finding staff for car dealerships and training quality employees doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s what you need to know.
The right employees make all the difference
Whether you’re looking for a new automotive appraiser, salesperson, service technician, or other team members, the right person for the job can be a game-changer for your dealership. Thinking about finding staff for car dealerships might feel stressful in the beginning, but there are some best practices you can follow to make it less complicated.
Then you can put your focus on locating the best people for the job instead of worrying about just finding people who may be interested in becoming a car appraiser or working with your dealership. In other words, take the time to locate and wait for the right people. Not everyone who applies is a good fit.
In order to get the best employees, though, you have to give them an incentive to work for you. If they don’t see the value in what you’re offering, they’re not going to be interested in applying to your dealership. They also might not feel like they have the qualifications, but a lot of people just need some training.
Before you hire people because you’re short-staffed, think about the kind of employees you want and need. You’re looking for people who are dedicated and who want to work with you to make your car dealership better. You want more than just employees. You want team members who will be with you for a long time.
A solid job listing is the first step
To start out with finding staff for car dealerships, don’t hesitate to use all the tools at your disposal. After all, having quality employees you can trust and rely on is one of the best ways to acquire more inventory. Good employees provide good information on cars you’re considering purchasing and can encourage trade-ins.
To locate those employees, you need the right job listing. Any good listing should make finding staff for car dealerships much easier. Why? Because it showcases exactly what’s needed to be successful in the role and what you’re offering to a would-be employee.
Anyone who’s considering becoming a car appraiser, service technician, salesperson, or another valuable employee at a dealership needs to know what’s in it for them. While you’re looking for trusted employees, many potential employees are looking for a career with a dealership they can trust to treat them right.
If your dealership’s job listing isn’t upfront about the details, the people who reply to it aren’t likely to work out if you hire them. With a good listing, though, you can avoid that and attract good candidates for any open positions you have.
Dealerships need to hold interviews
Another important part of finding staff for car dealerships is holding interviews. You can talk to people who respond to your job listing in person or over an online meeting option like Zoom. You could also hold a “hiring fair” for a few hours one day and have people come in if they want to interview for the job.
A lot of how you handle the interview process will be based on the number of positions you need to fill, how quickly you need to hire someone, and how many people you’d like to interview to find the right fit. Someone who’s committed to becoming a car appraiser, for example, could be a great choice if you need more inventory acquisition.
As you conduct interviews, look for:
- The past experience an applicant has
- How eager the applicant is to learn
- What kind of training and education they have
- Whether they’re a team player
- If they have an interest in technology
Asking the right questions matters for success
When you find someone interested in becoming a car appraiser, or someone who wants to work in your service department or as a salesperson, you’ll need to find out more about them and their goals. You also want to talk about their experience. Asking them about their education, where they’ve worked before, and where they see themselves in a few years can give you a lot of insight.
Since becoming a car appraiser is a great way to help your dealership, having potential employees who are interested in that field could help you see big benefits. With the right support for inventory acquisition, you can also give those appraisers and others in your dealership the tools they need to be more successful.
It’s not always easy to know what to ask during an interview. Someone without a lot of experience may have the kind of personality you’re looking for. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the right option for your sales or service department. You need a mix of experience and personality, along with someone who’s receptive to training.
Quality employees improve the customer experience
If you have employees interested in becoming a car appraiser or working another type of specific job at your dealership, you can guide them with tools from Kelley Blue Book. Make sure your employees are:
- Helping customers find a new car they love
- Encouraging customers to get a trade-in value on their current vehicle
- Using tools and techniques that provide a fair valuation
- Showing customers the trusted resources they use
- Working with customers on a fair deal for everyone
As you’re focused on finding staff for car dealerships, don’t forget that the tools your staff has to work with are going to be equally important. That way, your employees can accomplish more and keep your dealership running smoothly. This is especially important for inventory acquisition because you can’t sell what you don’t have.
Help your staff give your dealership what it needs
Along with finding staff for car dealerships, you want to make sure the staff you choose is properly trained to work together efficiently. For example, becoming a car appraiser is great, but only if they work closely with your service professionals to look over the cars. If they aren’t notified of cars that come in or can’t get close enough to them, they aren’t going to be able to do their jobs efficiently.
Having the knowledge of trade-in values and being able to compare vehicles accurately will give your appraisers the support they’re looking for. In turn, those appraisers can work with your salespeople and service professionals to provide a great experience for all your customers. Whether someone wants to trade in their car, or they’re just trying to sell it outright, valuation and inventory acquisition are critical for the success of your dealership in the long term.
We know it’s not always easy to manage a dealership effectively and keep it growing for the future. We’re here to help with opportunities for inventory acquisition and much more, so you can create and use processes that work.
As a car dealership owner/operator, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you’re consistently generating leads to keep your business moving and growing. This quiz will test your knowledge of best practices for automotive lead generation and help you determine where there is room for improvement.
1. What types of marketing channels should you use to generate leads?
A. Social media, email campaigns, website optimization, PPC advertising
B. Referrals, trade show booths, cold calling
C. TV commercials, word-of-mouth referrals, print advertising
D. All of the above
The correct answer is D – All of the above. Car dealerships should use all available marketing channels, as each offers unique advantages. When combined, they create more effective best practices for automotive lead generation strategy overall.
Social media, email campaigns, website optimization, and PPC advertising are all excellent digital tools that help reach current customers and potential leads. These methods allow you to target specific audiences with tailored messaging that encourages engagement from those interested in a dealership’s products or services.
Referrals are also an important source of leads for car dealerships; word-of-mouth referrals often come from trusted sources, making them more likely to convert than cold calls or other generic lead-generation efforts. Trade show booths offer yet another opportunity to interact with leads in person while showcasing product displays and amenities that may not be available on offsite locations such as your dealership’s website.
Finally, TV commercials and print advertising can supplement your digital efforts by providing additional exposure for creatives without relying too much on other forms of media. Budget restrictions could limit a dealership’s growth ambitions if the investment isn’t allocated adequately across multiple channels. Ultimately it’ll be up to the dealership to determine which mix works best for their situation.
2. How do you prioritize your lead generation efforts?
A. Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of each channel
B. Focus on your most successful channels
C. Monitor all performances consistently
D. All of the above
The correct answer is D – All of the above. Prioritizing your best practices for automotive lead generation efforts requires a holistic approach that looks at multiple factors, not just one or two metrics in isolation. Start by evaluating the cost-effectiveness of each channel to determine which generates the highest ROI and is worth investing more time and resources into enhancing performance further. This could mean testing different creatives, ad types, or targeting strategies to maximize results from those channels shown to be the most successful.
At the same time, you should also monitor all performances consistently to identify potential issues or areas of improvement quickly. This might include tracking click-through-rates, impressions/views, and other performance metrics over time to determine channels driving the most leads (and at what cost) so that corrective action can be taken if needed.
3. How can you close more leads in your sales funnel?
A. Give transparent pricing information
B. Leverage Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer
C. Use display advertising so that your promotions reach a larger audience
D. All of the above
The correct answer is D – All of the above. Closing more leads in a sales funnel requires car dealership owners to be strategic with their approach. They should provide transparent pricing information so that customers know exactly what they’re getting and how much it costs. Using tools like Trade-in Advisor leverages Kelley Blue Books’ real-time car valuation data to give customers an idea of what their car is worth and how much they can save if traded in. Similarly, with Instant Cash Offer, you can give customers a sense of assurance that their deal will be fair and worthwhile. Finally, leveraging display advertising to reach a larger audience with the dealership’s promotions and specials can also help attract more buyers. Utilizing these best practices for automotive lead generation tactics together can help car dealership owners close more leads in their sales funnel.
4. What is an ideal frequency for general email campaigns?
The correct answer is B – Weekly. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how frequently emails should be sent out as part of a lead generation strategy, it’s generally accepted that weekly emails are the most effective. Sending out emails too frequently can cause potential leads to become overwhelmed and may even lead them to unsubscribe, while sending them too infrequently can cause a decrease in engagement. Car dealership owners should aim to strike a balance between the two extremes to maximize the effectiveness of their email campaigns.
In addition, car dealership owners should remember there are different types of emails they can utilize as part of their lead-generation efforts. For example, newsletters or promotional offers could be sent out every month. In contrast, more time-sensitive content, such as limited-time offers or highly sought-after vehicle lines, sending out daily messages may be warranted to maximize your reach campaign. By utilizing multiple types of emails, car dealership owners can ensure they’re following best practices for automotive lead generation and maximizing engagement with their potential leads.
5. What is the most vital metric to track to ensure a successful campaign?
A. Number of website visits
B. Amount of money invested in marketing materials
C. Conversion rate
D. Customer lifetime value
The correct answer is C – Conversion rate. Tracking the conversion rate (the number of leads that convert into paying customers over time) is one of the most critical metrics for lead generation campaigns. Car dealership owners should measure their conversion rates regularly and identify areas where improvements can be made to maximize their chances of success. This can include optimizing website design and content, refining the sales process, and targeting the right audience. By tracking conversion rates, car dealership owners ensure they’re following best practices for automotive lead generation, necessary steps to improve their long-term ROI.
6. How can you use landing pages to generate leads?
A. Create a page specifically for collecting contact information
B. Utilize specific keywords and phrases that appeal to your target audience
C. Offer something of value, such as an eBook or discount code
D. All of the above
The correct answer is D – All of the above. Landing pages are an excellent way for car dealership owners to generate qualified leads. They should create landing pages designed to collect prospective customers’ contact information and utilize specific keywords and phrases that appeal to their target audience. Additionally, offering value on the landing page, such as an eBook or discount code, can entice potential customers to provide their contact details.
Lead generation is a critical part of any car dealership’s success. By leveraging the power of neuroscience sales tips and following best practices for automotive lead generation, such as utilizing landing pages with dynamic content and tracking conversion rates, car dealerships can maximize their chances of converting leads into paying customers. It’s essential to follow up with each lead promptly and express gratitude for completing a form on your website. If you want to generate more qualified leads and increase long-term ROI, staying informed about new strategies that effectively drive conversions pays off big time.
Are you ready to join the conversation and stay up to date on the latest automotive trends, insights and advancements? If so, NADA Show 2023 is a must-attend event for anyone looking to capitalize on the innovations transforming today’s auto industry. At this major conference taking place on January 26–29, 2023, in Dallas, you can interact with thought leaders from around the world covering some of today’s most exciting topics. These include artificial intelligence, autonomous driving systems, connected services and much more. See the latest developments, get industry experts’ insights and connect with decision-makers in this ever-evolving field.
What to expect at NADA Show 2023
As one of the largest car dealer conferences in the world, NADA Show 2023 brings together industry professionals from all areas of automotive services. At this event, you will have the opportunity to learn from and network with experts on topics including artificial intelligence in vehicle maintenance, finance and insurance, sales, customer service and marketing. You’ll also discover innovative ways to maximize success through all of the following.
Networking opportunities: Connect with top executives from leading automakers, technology companies and suppliers for invaluable networking opportunities.
Panel discussions and workshops: Benefit from esteemed panel discussions, industry-specific sessions and workshops focusing on the most pressing issues car dealers face today.
Exhibits and demos: View cutting-edge technologies from leading providers of automotive services on display in real-time demonstrations.
Keynote speakers: Hear engaging keynote speeches from influential figures in the auto industry who will share insights into future trends impacting the sector.
NADA Show 2023 is sure to be an event full of engaging conversations, dynamic experiences, meaningful connections and actionable insights. Register now to join us as we unlock the future at NADA Show 2023. See you in Dallas!
Topics that will be covered at NADA Show 2023
This year’s show is shaping up to be one of the most exciting yet, with several keynote speeches and panel discussions scheduled on some of the most cutting-edge topics in the automotive industry. Here are just a few of the topics that will be covered:
- The future of autonomous vehicles
- The rise of electric vehicles
- How dealers can stay competitive in a changing market
- The impact of new technologies on the car buying process
- How to use data and analytics to improve your business
- The changing landscape of customer service
Who should attend NADA Show 2023
From dealership owners to executives and industry professionals, this conference provides an invaluable opportunity for any type of automotive professional to learn more about the current and future state of the industry.
Businesses that should attend NADA Show 2023 include the following:
Dealership Owners: Hear from industry leaders and business strategists about the latest trends in the auto industry, gain insight into how to stay competitive, and develop a better understanding of customer service.
Manufacturers: Get an in-depth look at emerging technologies, learn more about EV infrastructure, and get tips on improving production efficiency.
Suppliers: Get up-to-date information on new products and services that can make your business more efficient and insights into marketing strategies for success in the changing marketplace.
Software and Technology Companies: Learn how artificial intelligence, autonomous driving systems and connected services are all changing how cars are being built and sold today. Discover new opportunities to capitalize on these trends and grow your business.
Insurers and Investors: Hear from industry experts about the future of auto insurance and investments, understand which new technologies are likely to be adopted by customers, and learn how to manage risk in a rapidly changing environment.
Auto Parts Distributors: Explore the changing landscape of parts supply and distribution, hear from experts on how to stay ahead of the competition, and gain insight into emerging business models.
Car Rental Agencies: Get an insider’s look at the latest rental trends, learn more about customer service strategies, and learn how to use data to optimize your business.
Aftermarket Service Providers: Find out about new technologies revolutionizing aftermarket services and get tips on increasing revenue.
How to get the most out of your NADA Show 2023 experience
Attending a conference is only the first step in taking advantage of the networking and learning opportunities it offers. Success depends on how you use these resources.
First and foremost, make sure to plan out your agenda ahead of time. With so many different speakers and exhibits at NADA Show 2023, you must prioritize which will be most beneficial to you and your business.
Secondly, have a strategy for networking. Know who you want to meet and how you will introduce yourself. This may include preparing business cards ahead of time or having an elevator pitch ready. Ensure that you have a way of following up with people you meet afterward, such as their contact information.
Thirdly, be sure to document your experience. This could be as simple as taking notes during the keynote speeches or writing down your thoughts afterward.
Furthermore, take advantage of all the digital media options available — Twitter chats, LinkedIn group discussions and other online forums. Social media forums can be a great way to know what’s happening during the event and connect with others.
To help ensure you have a successful experience at NADA Show 2023, here are some tips:
Set realistic goals for yourself: Decide what you want to accomplish during the event and create a plan of action for achieving those goals.
Research relevant topics: Read up on current industry trends and familiarize yourself with new technologies, products and services that may be presented at NADA Show 2023.
Take advantage of networking opportunities: Meet with vendors, dealers and other attendees to make meaningful connections and learn from their experiences.
Use social media: Follow and engage with event sponsors via Twitter, Instagram or other platforms to stay informed about the latest news, products and services available at the event.
Plan your days wisely: Allocate enough time to attend the sessions, workshops and seminars that are most relevant to you.
Bring a notebook: Take notes during the sessions; it will be easier to reference them later when discussing topics with other attendees.
Take part in after-hours events: Attending evening receptions or networking dinners can provide valuable opportunities for making connections and furthering your knowledge about the industry and technology trends.
Follow up with people you meet: Keep in touch with the contacts you make at the event, as this will help maintain relationships and further your professional development.
See you at NADA Show 2023
Attending NADA Show 2023 is a great way to stay ahead of the curve regarding automotive trends and technologies. You can learn about new cars, features, marketing strategies and more from industry experts. Plus, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for networking with other dealers, suppliers and service providers in attendance. Whether you’re looking for business partners or just want to keep up on the latest news in the automotive world, this upcoming event will provide invaluable insight into current developments in the field. Don’t miss out!
Moving Inventory in Winter: What to Know
The winter lull for car dealerships is a real thing. With fewer people shopping and more snow, sleet, and freezing temperatures, car sales may dip during the year’s coldest months. However, dealerships can employ multiple strategies to increase their sales in winter and move more inventory. Throughout this article, we will examine why sales are more challenging in the colder months and how your dealership can start selling more cars in the wintertime.
Challenges of moving inventory in winter
Winter brings with it multiple challenges that can make car sales difficult. Here are some common reasons why car sales suffer in winter:
Poor weather leads to fewer test drives: When the roads are slick and icy, test drives become difficult. Customers may want to avoid putting themselves in a potentially dangerous situation to check out a car. Also, people may be worried about crashing a car they don’t own.
High demand for service and repair: Winter weather can lead to increased service and repair work. Service work takes precedence over car sales during winter, from needing winter tires to checking antifreeze levels to diagnosing frozen windshield wipers.
Reduced foot traffic in showrooms: The cold weather can keep people away from showrooms and dealerships. Even if customers have been browsing online, they may not want to brave the winter conditions to view a car in person.
Financial strains around the holiday seasons: During the holiday months, people experience consumer spending pressure. They may be reluctant to take on a new car payment as they focus on holiday-related expenses.
How to move inventory in winter
Fortunately, there are many things your car dealership can do when selling cars in the wintertime. Here are some of the best ways to overcome the winter lull and move more inventory:
Offer winter-specific promotions and discounts
The holidays are a great time to offer special car deals, so consider what kind of promotions will help you stand out from the competition. For example, offering a free winter package with the purchase of a car, like a set of winter tires, can be very attractive to customers. Or, leverage cash back promotions, as many are strapped for cash after the holidays.
Host events and take part in community events
An excellent way to increase foot traffic in your dealership during the winter is to host events and participate in community activities. There are many ways to engage with potential customers, from hosting dealership events to New Year’s sales to winter car care seminars. Also, showing that you are a giving member of the community through providing toy drives, food donations, or other holiday activities can help spread the good word about your business. To fill the events, utilize your email list of past customers or contact local companies to encourage their employees to attend.
Focus on winter-specific features
Highlighting the features that make different cars more suitable for winter driving can be a great way to drum up interest in your inventory. For example, showcasing a car’s heated seats and all-wheel drive capabilities during a cold snap could help draw in customers who have winter on the brain. Focusing on promoting vehicles built for the cold, such as SUVs and pickup trucks, can also be beneficial.
Run online advertisements
If customers don’t want to brave the cold, you can make it easier for them to buy a car online. Ensure your website is up to date with your inventory, and create special incentives for customers who purchase cars remotely. An excellent strategy to increase online sales is to run Google display and search ads; these cost-effective strategies can help you reach more potential car buyers. Kelley Blue Book provides display advertisement options across some of the most popular car shopping websites.
Build a strong online presence
Social media and other online platforms can be great ways to draw customers in during winter. You should ensure an active presence on all major social media networks and regularly post about your inventory, promotions, and special deals. Some top social media channels to focus on include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Additionally, consider creating videos for YouTube showcasing your inventory so that customers can get an up-close look without leaving their homes.
Improve the online shopping experience
The primary objective should be for customers to have a more pleasant shopping/buying/trade-in experience. You can do this by creating virtual showrooms, providing video tours of cars, and even offering delivery services to help customers avoid driving in bad weather. This added convenience can help you move more inventory during the winter months. Another strategy to employ is making it easy for consumers to know the value of their current vehicle, and what they can expect to pay for a replacement vehicle – Kelley Blue Book can help here.
Provide online service features
To help improve the customer experience, you should also consider providing online service features such as scheduling appointments, ordering parts, and making payments. This strategy will make it easier for customers to keep up with their car’s maintenance during the winter months without leaving the house. Kelley Blue Book Service Advisor lets your customers get quick and personalized recommendations for their vehicle’s needs. This tool can be an excellent way to keep customers returning to your dealership and contribute to you selling cars in the wintertime. Plus, every service visit is an opportunity to acquire a used vehicle.
Keeping your inventory pristine over winter
While implementing these strategies helps your dealership with selling more cars in the winter, you must also ensure your inventory is in top condition. You want to focus on preserving the condition of your cars because it will help maintain their value and make them more appealing to customers. When fewer customers are test-driving vehicles, it can be harder to maintain the condition of cars, but there are a few steps that you can take to help.
Here are some tips for keeping your inventory in top condition over winter:
- Perform regular inspections and maintenance checks on all vehicles.
- Make sure battery levels are always full and that the engine is running correctly.
- Check tire treads and change tires if necessary.
- Use a car cover to keep vehicles clean, dry, and free of debris.
- Wax cars to protect paint and provide a glossy finish.
- Clean any snow or ice off the vehicles before customers come in.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your dealership is prepared for winter sales and that your inventory is in top condition all season long.
Increasing sales during the winter
Overall, implementing the right strategies to market your dealership and move more inventory during winter can be a great way to earn extra profits. By offering special deals, focusing on winter-specific features, improving the online shopping experience, and keeping your inventory pristine, you should have no problem moving more cars during the year’s coldest months.
Kelley Blue Book is one of the best resources available to dealerships looking to move more inventory in winter. With its vast database of valuations, display advertisements and other tools, your dealership can reach more customers and offer special deals that will draw them in during the cold months.
The automotive industry is constantly changing, and it can feel like customers’ expectations evolve all the time. Attracting and retaining customers is a challenge. Keeping your finger on the pulse of customer amenities dealerships need will help you compete with other dealerships.
To help, we’ve put together a quick quiz to help you assess the customer amenities your dealership offers. Answer the seven questions below to see if you offer the amenities many customers expect, and keep a note of your answers to see how you measure up against the competition.
How do your customers discover how much they could trade their vehicle in for?
A: They can get a trade-in value on our website, and customers can receive an instant offer for their car.
B: They can fill in an online form with their vehicle details, and we then call them to make a trade-in offer.
C: They must visit our dealership to get a trade-in offer.
Did you know that adding Kelley Blue Book Trade-In Advisor to your website allows customers see how much their current car is worth, while also capturing leads for your dealership? By offering fair trade-in values online, you can keep your sales pipeline full of new customers and acquire more inventory. You can also incorporate Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer to allow customers to transition easily from a Kelley Blue Book trade-in value to receiving an instant cash offer for their vehicle. An impressive 33% of car buyers nationwide use Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer to dispose of their vehicle, making online trade-in values and Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer must-have customer amenities for your dealership.
What’s your service waiting room like?
A: Our waiting room is modern, with comfortable seating, WiFi, and complimentary refreshments.
B: We offer seating, and customers can buy refreshments from our vending machines.
C: Our waiting area has few facilities and could do with a facelift.
The quality of your service waiting areas can significantly impact your customer experience. Twenty-four percent of service customers say that a modern, comfortable waiting environment is the most important, making this among the top customer amenities dealerships need to enhance their service experience.
Ensuring your customers have a top-class experience when visiting your dealership for a service appointment is key to creating a positive experience and retaining your customers. Repeat service customers lead to increased service profits and access to the most accessible inventory and potential vehicle purchasers who are already familiar with your brand. With 50% of a dealership’s revenue coming from the service department, it pays to ensure you offer a top-quality service experience.
How do customers schedule their service or repair appointment?
A: Customers can schedule their service or repair appointment online and see real-time availability and pricing.
B: Customers can fill in a form to inquire about booking their vehicle in for a service.
C: Customers must phone or visit us to schedule vehicle servicing.
Online service scheduling is loved by customers, with 67% saying it’s critical or essential to them, making it also one of the top customer amenities dealerships need. Services such as Xtime Spectrum let you easily incorporate service booking into your website or app, so customers see real-time availability and pricing and arrange their service within a few clicks. Online service scheduling also leads to increased revenue, with data from all Xtime dealers showing that Xtime has led to a 15% increase in retention and an impressive 60 additional repair orders a month.
How do customers get their vehicles to you for service?
A: Customers can drop their vehicle to us, or we’ll happily pick their vehicle up.
B: Customers can drop their vehicle to us, and we’re looking at offering pick up and delivery in the future.
C: Customers must bring their vehicle to us.
The number 1 reason for customers not returning for services at the dealership they purchased their vehicle from is that the dealership isn’t in a convenient location. However, 89% of customers say they are more likely to choose one dealership over another if the dealership has pickup and delivery available, making service pickup and delivery one of the top customer amenities dealerships need.
How do customers keep updated with the progress of their service?
A: They can track their service in real-time online or through our app.
B: We regularly phone customers to keep them updated on the progress.
C: Customers have to phone us for an update.
Offering real-time service tracking is a top customer amenity for your dealership that offers significant benefits for both your business and your customers. Customers gain real-time updates on their service in the palm of their hand through your website or app, eliminating the need for multiple phone calls to your service advisors. This means your staff can focus on meeting the needs of customers physically visiting your dealership, resulting in a significantly improved experience for all customers.
How can customers purchase a car from you?
A: They can visit our website complete with personalized recommendations, current promotions, and rebates. They can complete the purchase online without coming to our dealership.
B: They can see all our inventory online and make an online inquiry, but they must come to the dealership to complete their purchase.
C: They have to visit our dealership in person to view inventory and make a purchase.
According to Cox Automotive, 64% of shoppers want to do more of the purchase process online the next time they buy a vehicle, making an online purchase capability a must-have customer amenity dealerships need.
Your website can be configured to easily capture online inquiries and allow customers to schedule an appointment with your dealership. You can also quickly expand your markets and reach customers anywhere in the U.S. with services such as Autotrader Market Extension. If your dealership website hasn’t been updated in awhile, then why not upgrade your website with Dealer.com?
Using their powerful tools and industry know-how, you can offer a fully-featured online browsing experience personalized to each customer, letting you showcase your inventory, offer remote communication tools, showcase finance offers, and offer customers the ability to reserve vehicles from your website or app.
How do customers approve any work identified during a service visit?
A: Customers can see videos and images of any issues and approve the repair online.
B: We phone them to describe the issue and get authorization.
C: We get authorization when customers return to the dealership.
Picture and video-based service communications allow customers to see what is going on under the hoods of their cars. This means that customers who may have previously struggled to trust the recommendations of your service advisors can now see the problem, and your experts can clearly explain to a customer why a repair is needed.
How do your customer amenities compare?
If you’ve answered mostly A’s, then you are offering many of the in-demand customer amenities.
If you’ve answered mostly B’s, you have some great customer amenities but have room to improve your offering.
If you’ve answered mostly C’s, you could make significant changes and updates to the amenities you offer your customers. So why not check out some of the ways Cox Automotive can help?
Customer needs, demands, and expectations are constantly evolving. Check out our dealer resources to stay up to date.
With technology constantly evolving, the automotive industry will experience significant changes in just a few years. If you’re a car dealer, you must be aware of these trends to stay ahead of the competition. This article will discuss some of the most critical trends in 2023 for car dealerships. We’ll also provide tips on how dealers can prepare for these changes.
The rise of electric vehicles and fuel cell technology
Electric vehicles and fuel cell technology are becoming more popular every year, and experts believe they will soon become the norm in the automotive industry. Here are some of the reasons why electric vehicles and fuel cell technology are one of the top 2023 automotive trends for dealers:
Electric vehicles are becoming more affordable
One of the main reasons why electric vehicles are becoming more popular is because they are becoming more affordable. In recent years, the cost of batteries has decreased significantly, making electric cars more affordable to produce. In addition, tax breaks and subsidies for electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common, making them a more attractive option than traditional petrol or diesel-powered cars.
Fuel cell technology is becoming more efficient
An emphasis on zero-emission technology is one of the largest trends in 2023 for car dealerships. Fuel cells convert hydrogen into electrical energy, which can power cars or other devices. The latest fuel cells are much more efficient than previous models, which means they can be used in broader applications. As this technology continues to improve, we’ll likely see even more fuel-cell-powered cars in the future.
As a car dealer, it’s essential to be prepared for the growth of these two factors. Here are some tips for marketing and selling electric cars:
Educate yourself about electric vehicles: It’s essential to have a basic understanding of how they work and what benefits they offer. Knowing where the charging stations are located in your city and how far the average electric car can travel on a single charge will make it easier to sell them to customers.
Promote the cost savings of electric cars: Although the upfront cost of an electric vehicle may be higher than a traditional car, customers will save money in the long run on things like fuel and maintenance. Be sure to highlight these cost savings when marketing electric cars to potential customers.
Prepare marketing material at your dealership: Have informative brochures and other marketing materials available so customers can learn more about electric cars. You can also create a dedicated section on your website to promote electric vehicles.
Offer test drives: Many people are still hesitant to switch to an electric car because they’re still determining how they will perform. Offer test drives so potential customers can experience an electric vehicle’s power and performance firsthand.
Changes in the automotive buying process
The automotive buying process has changed dramatically in recent years and is one of the most critical trends in 2023 for car dealerships. Thanks to technological advances, consumers now have more options than ever when buying a car. In addition, they are increasingly demanding more information and transparency from dealers.
As a car dealer, you must be aware of these changes and adapt your sales process accordingly. Here are some tips for adapting to the changing automotive buying process:
Offer a wide variety of payment options: Consumers now have a variety of ways to pay for a car, including cash, check, credit card, financing, and even crypto. Make sure you offer various payment options so that consumers can find one that best suits their needs.
Create immersive online experiences: Many consumers now start their car-buying journey online. As a result, it’s crucial to have a strong online presence. Create an immersive online experience that includes things like virtual test drives, 360-degree views of the cars, and expert reviews.
Be transparent about pricing: One of consumers’ biggest complaints about dealers is the need for more transparency around pricing. Make sure you are upfront about each car’s price and associated fees. Dealerships can build customer trust by offering transparent offers from Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer.
Be responsive to online inquiries: A growing number of consumers prefer to buy cars online and expect dealers to respond quickly and efficiently. Make sure you have a system or chatbots for handling online inquiries and responding promptly to all questions.
The growth of used car sales
With so much economic uncertainty in recent years, many consumers have been opting to buy used cars instead of new ones. With lower budgets, they’re also looking for ways to save money on their car purchase.
As a car dealer, it’s vital to be prepared for the potential growth of the used car market. Here are some ways to adjust your business:
Increase your inventory of used cars: To meet the demand, you’ll need to increase your inventory of used vehicles.
Offer competitive pricing: With more consumers looking to save money, it’s vital to offer competitive pricing on your used cars. Leveraging platforms like Kelley Blue Book can allow dealerships to offer competitive and fair trade-in values based on thousands of current vehicle sales across the country.
Offer financing options: Many consumers buying a used car may need more cash on hand to pay for the purchase outright. As a result, it’s important to offer financing options so they can still buy the car they want. Be sure to partner with a reputable lender to offer competitive rates and terms.
Online marketing strategies will continue to expand
As the online sales channel grows, car dealerships are looking for new and innovative ways to reach potential buyers. One of the most effective ways to do this is through online marketing.
Online marketing is a broad term that refers to any marketing activity that takes place online. This can include social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and paid advertising.
As a car dealer, it’s crucial to have a strong online marketing strategy so you can stay on top of the 2023 automotive trends for dealers. Here are some tips for success:
Have an omnichannel approach: An omnichannel approach is a holistic approach to marketing that takes into account all the different channels where potential buyers might be active, including social media, search engines, and email.
Use data to your advantage: A lot of data is available on consumers’ online behavior. Actionable data metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, and click-through rates can help you fine-tune your campaigns and make them more effective.
Invest in SEO: Search engine optimization is a key part of any online marketing strategy. Create blogs, ebooks, articles, and case studies optimized for the keywords your target customers are searching for. This will help you rank higher in search engine results pages and drive more traffic to your website.
Optimize your website: Your website is one of your most powerful marketing tools. Make sure it’s optimized for search engines so potential buyers can easily find you when searching for a car. In addition, ensure your website is mobile-friendly so potential buyers can easily view it on their mobile devices.
Use email marketing: Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with potential buyers and keep them updated on your latest inventory. Be sure to segment your email list with a CRM so that you can send targeted messages to potential buyers based on their interests.
How Kelley Blue Book can help
Kelley Blue Book has been a trusted resource for car shoppers and sellers for over 90 years. We offer a variety of tools and resources to help businesses adapt to the 2023 automotive trends for dealers. Let us help you improve your acquisition strategy to start the new year off right.
Convenience is at the forefront of many customers’ purchasing behaviors in today’s world. The days when car dealerships would have endless foot traffic pouring through their doors as passersby caught a glimpse of the latest models are gone. Shoppers are taking to online methods such as virtual showrooms, dealer websites, and social media platforms to find their next vehicle. So, how does a dealership ensure they are the go-to spot for potential customers in their area?
To remain relevant and top-of-mind for customers, it’s more important than ever that you own your automotive market as a dealership owner. This article will unpack what dealers can do to control sales and own their local market.
Dominate social media
Owning your automotive market starts from the comfort of your ideal customer’s home, which means online. The days when customers had to get a feel for the vehicle and sit in it before buying it are gone. That said, customers want to do as much research as possible online before stepping into a dealership.
This is good news for you! If most of your customers are already starting their car-buying journey online, that’s the first place you need to focus your attention on dominating. Posting regular content about your latest models, deals, and offers on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will ensure potential customers in your area see your dealership name pop up in their feeds often.
But, it doesn’t stop there. You also need to be responsive to any questions or comments on your posts. Showing that you’re active on social media and care about engaging with current and potential customers will go a long way in owning your automotive market.
Another way to dominate social media is by using platforms such as Snapchat and Twitter to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your dealership. This will help create a personal connection with potential customers and make them feel like they know your dealership before stepping inside.
Provide incentives for customers to visit
The second way to start owning your automotive market is to incentivize customers to visit your dealership. For example, you can offer a free car wash to those who come in for a test drive, or host dealership events with food, games, giveaways, etc.
Be sure to also promote any purchasing/financing/leasing incentives to potential customers.
Incentivizing customers to visit your dealership increases the chances of them doing business with you and ultimately helping you own your automotive market.
Use localized advertising campaigns
We will now discuss what dealers can do to control sales in their local market. One of the best ways to do this is by using localized advertising campaigns.
Localized advertising campaigns are a great way to target potential customers in your area specifically. By tailoring your ads to target people in your city or town, you are more likely to reach buyers interested in doing business with you.
Not sure how to get started with localized advertising? You can begin by creating Google My Business and Bing Places for Business listings for your dealership. These listings will help improve your visibility when potential customers search for dealerships in their area.
Another way to promote your dealership through localized advertising is by running display advertising. Display advertising is a form of online advertising that allows you to show your ads on websites relevant to your business.
Kelley Blue Book is one of the best places to get started with display advertising. Kelley Blue Book offers many different display advertising strategies tailored to owning your dealership market.
Grow an email list
Growing an email list is another excellent way to control sales in your local market. By collecting email addresses from potential customers, you can stay in touch with them and let them know about new offers and inventory.
One of the best ways to grow your email list is by offering incentives for people to sign up. For instance, you could provide a free car wash or a $50 gift card for anyone who signs up for your email list.
Another great way to grow your email list is using lead driver forms on your website. Kelley Blue Book offers a lead driver solution that incentivizes website visitors to provide their contact information to receive vehicle pricing, quotes, and more. After you have the customers’ email addresses, you can add them to your email marketing list.
Become a part of the community!
If you are still asking yourself what dealers can do to control sales, one more great way to do this is by becoming a valued part of the community!
Being involved in your community shows that you’re not just interested in selling cars but also invested in making your community a better place. There are many different ways to get involved in your community. You can start by sponsoring local events, donating to local charities, or even hosting your events at your dealership.
Hosting an event at your dealership significantly increases foot traffic and gets people talking about your business. Make sure to promote your event ahead of time and include information such as what will be happening, when it is, and how people can RSVP. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a local event on Facebook and inviting other local businesses to participate. One great strategy for local events is to use cross-promotions with other companies. Finding businesses with complementary products or services is a great way to reach new potential customers.
What dealers can do to control sales
When focusing on owning your automotive market, there are a few key things that you, as a dealership, can do to help increase sales and gain market share.
With social media and online searches dominating commerce, the first place for you to start is online. Setting up social media accounts is free, as is posting on them organically. Once you have a social media presence, running localized advertising campaigns and becoming involved in the community are excellent ways to gain awareness and increase local market share.
These steps will increase your dealership’s traffic and create a lasting relationship with your customers. For more information on how your dealership can own your market, visit our dealer resources page.
When selling cars, it is essential to know what car shoppers are looking for. If you can adapt your sales strategy and inventory acquisition to the needs and wants of today’s car shoppers, you’re in a much better position to succeed.
This article looks at the top trends currently affecting the car-buying market and how you can use this information to your advantage when considering which used vehicles to acquire to stock your lot.
Factors the modern car shopper is looking for
In the past, the primary concern for most buyers was simply finding a vehicle that met their basic transportation needs. Today, however, the modern car shopper is much more concerned with getting good value for their money.
With the advent of the internet, the modern car shopper is now better informed than ever before. They can easily compare prices and features of different models online and make an informed decision about which car to buy. This has put pressure on dealerships to offer competitively priced inventory with the features shoppers are looking for.
Some of the top factors that car shoppers look for include:
With relatively high gas prices, many shoppers are looking for cars that save them money at the pump. Fuel-efficient models are in high demand, and dealerships should stock a good selection of these vehicles.
Fortunately, many different models of cars on the market today offer excellent fuel efficiency. Some of the most efficient models include:
Hybrid cars: Hybrid vehicles are powered by a gasoline engine and an electric motor, making them highly efficient.
Electric vehicles: Electric cars run exclusively on electricity and are becoming increasingly popular due to their low operating costs.
Small cars: Small cars like hatchbacks and sedans often have better fuel economy than larger vehicles.
Safety is always a top concern for most buyers when shopping for a new car, and many shoppers only consider models with various safety features.
Some of the most common safety features include:
Lane departure warning: This feature uses sensors to detect when a car is veering out of its lane and provides a warning to the driver.
Automatic braking: This feature can automatically apply the brakes if it senses that a collision is imminent.
Blind spot detection: Blind spot detection uses sensors to monitor an area around the car that is not visible to the driver. If another vehicle enters this area, the system also warns the driver.
When shopping for a new car, price is one of the most critical factors car shoppers look for. They want the best deal possible and are willing to shop around to find it.
This has put a lot of pressure on dealerships to offer competitively priced inventory. To stay ahead of the competition and build dealerships and customer relationships, owners need to know what cars are in demand and adjust their prices accordingly.
Suitability for everyday use
When shopping for a new car, many buyers are looking for something that is not only affordable but also practical for everyday use. They want a flexible vehicle that can be used for various purposes.
Some of the top features for buyers looking for practicality are:
Spaciousness: Many buyers are looking for a car with plenty of space for passengers and cargo.
Easy-to-use infotainment system: An infotainment system can provide various features like navigation, music playback, and hands-free calling. An infotainment system that is easy to use for even the most tech-challenged buyer is a must.
Comfortable seating: Buyers want to be able to drive for long periods without feeling uncomfortable. Cars with comfortable, supportive seats are in high demand.
Even though shoppers are looking for a good deal, they still want to ensure they get a high-quality car. Exposure to luxury cars on social media and TV has made many buyers more demanding. Even if a buyer may opt for a cheaper model, they may want upgraded features that add to the quality of the car.
Some of these features include:
Leather upholstery: Leather upholstery is often seen as a sign of luxury, and many buyers are willing to pay extra for it.
Heated seats: Heated seats provide a level of comfort not found in most cars.
Large infotainment screens: Large infotainment touch screens offer a level of convenience and modernity appealing to many car shoppers.
With cars becoming more and more like a second home for many people, comfort is also one of the most critical factors car shoppers look for. Features like heated seats, massaging seats, and adjustable lumbar support are all selling points that can make a car stand out from the competition.
Some additional factors car shoppers look for in terms of comfortability include:
Suspension: The car’s suspension is also essential for driving comfort. A good suspension keeps the car stable and level, even on rough roads. It also helps reduce noise and vibration, making for a more comfortable ride.
Steering: The car’s steering should be easy to use and responsive. Responsive steering makes it easier for the driver to control the vehicle and make quick changes if needed.
Sunroof: A sunroof can add a touch of luxury to a car and make it feel more spacious. It can also help to regulate the temperature inside the vehicle, making it more comfortable for passengers.
Vehicles are one of the most significant investments many people make, so it’s no surprise that a good warranty is one of the things car shoppers are looking for. A good warranty can give buyers peace of mind and strengthen dealership and customer relationships, resulting in potential future sales.
When considering a car, buyers may look for the following:
A manufacturer’s warranty: A basic manufacturer’s warranty covers the vehicle for a certain period or mileage.
An extended warranty: An extended warranty that can provide coverage beyond the manufacturer’s warranty and can be purchased from the dealership or directly from the manufacturer.
A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle: CPO vehicles are used cars inspected by the manufacturer and come with an extended warranty. A CPO vehicle can give buyers the peace of mind of knowing that their car has been thoroughly checked and is covered by a warranty.
Car manufacturers have recently designed their budget models to look much more like their luxury counterparts, making design one of the main factors car shoppers look for who want a car that looks good but doesn’t break the bank.
Some modern design features that are appealing to many car shoppers include:
LED headlights: LED headlights are becoming increasingly common, as they offer a brighter light and use less energy than traditional halogen bulbs.
Tinted windows: Tinted windows can give a car a more luxurious look and feel. They can also help keep the car’s interior cooler in hot weather.
Sleek lines: An aerodynamic design can make a car look more modern and stylish. Cars like the Hyundai Elantra and the Kia Forte are excellent examples of budget-friendly cars that offer many of the same design features as their more expensive counterparts.
How Kelley Blue Book can help
If you’re looking for more tips on attracting today’s car shoppers, Kelley Blue Book has a wealth of resources that can help. Some of the tools that we offer include:
Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer: This tool allows car shoppers to get a real-time cash offer for their vehicle.
Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor: This tool provides car shoppers with fair market values for new and used cars, so they know how much they should expect to pay.
Kelley Blue Book Trade-In Advisor: This tool gives car shoppers an estimate of what their trade-in is worth to negotiate a fair price for their new car.
No matter what factors car shoppers look for, Kelley Blue Book can help you attract them to your dealership and build dealerships and customer relationships. With our tools and resources, you’ll be able to provide the best possible experience for your customers.
The used car market is constantly in flux, and it can be difficult for dealers to keep up with the latest trends. This article will discuss some of the significant changes in the used car market that have taken place and how dealers can adapt. We’ll also provide tips on staying ahead of the competition and maintaining a substantial market share.
Car buyers are becoming more educated and empowered
With the rise of the internet, car buyers have access to a wealth of information they can use to make informed buying decisions. Car websites now include vehicle history reports, safety ratings, and customer reviews. This has made it easier for buyers to find the right car for their needs and has given them more negotiating power.
Many online tools allow buyers to compare prices, get financing, and even trade in their old vehicles. These factors have increased the used car market’s transparency and made it more difficult for dealers to make a profit.
How can dealerships react?
To stay competitive, dealerships must offer fair prices, superior customer service, and a wide selection of vehicles. While fair prices may lower short-term profits, they’ll also increase customer trust and loyalty, which is essential for long-term success. Tools like Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor can help dealerships stay up-to-date on pricing trends.
Dealers also need to be willing to negotiate on price and offer financing options. Additionally, dealerships should keep up with the latest technology to provide their customers with the best possible experience.
Customer service is more important than ever
With many tech companies from every industry offering excellent customer service, car dealerships must step up their game. Attracting and retaining customers requires them to offer a superior level of service. This includes providing accurate information, being available when customers need them and following up after the sale.
Today’s buyers are spoiled for choice and have high expectations. They have also been exposed to 24/7 customer service and 1-day shipping from companies like Amazon. So, they expect the same level of service from car dealerships.
How can dealerships improve their customer service?
The best way to treat customers like VIPs is by providing them with concierge-level service. This means going above and beyond to meet their needs and exceed expectations. Thankfully there are many ways to do this, and we’ve listed a few below.
Offer a VIP experience: This can be as simple as offering a complimentary car wash or oil change with every purchase.
Make yourself available: Customers should be able to get in touch with you whenever they need to. This means having someone available to answer their questions 24/7, by phone, email, or live chat.
Offer trade-ins: Many customers will be looking to trade in their old car when they buy a new one. You will likely lose their business if you don’t offer this service. Tools like Kelley Blue Book Trade-In Advisor can help you give customers an accurate estimate of their trade-in value.
Follow up after the sale: Once the deal is done, don’t forget about your customer! Send them a follow-up email or give them a call to thank them for their business and see how they’re enjoying their new vehicle. Asking for feedback is also a great way to show that you care about your customers and their experience.
There’s a shift in consumer preferences
One of the most significant changes in the used car market is a shift in consumer preferences. More and more people are now interested in buying fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly, technologically advanced cars. This is especially true for younger buyers looking for vehicles that meet their needs and lifestyle.
As a result, many automakers are now offering hybrid and electric vehicles and cars with the latest safety features and infotainment systems. This is good news for dealerships because it can offer their customers a more comprehensive selection of vehicles.
How can dealers react?
The best way for dealers to respond to these changes in the used car market is by acquiring the proper inventory. This involves having a mix of both old and new vehicles and various makes and models. Stocking your lot with various electric, hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles is a great way to appeal to today’s buyers.
Additionally, it’s essential to educate your sales staff on the features of these newer vehicles. They should be able to answer potential buyers’ questions and provide them with a test drive. For example, suppose a buyer is hesitant about getting an electric vehicle because they don’t know where to charge it. In that case, your sales staff should be able to educate them on the city charging infrastructure.
The rise of the sharing economy is having an impact on the used car market
Services like Uber and Airbnb have made it easier for people to get around without owning a car. This leads some people to reconsider whether they need to own a car.
However, this doesn’t mean that the used car market will disappear. Many still prefer to own their car, and reliable transportation will always be needed. The key for dealerships is to find these buyers and convince them that buying a used car is the best option for their needs.
How can dealers react?
There are a few ways dealers can react to the rise of the sharing economy.
One way to do this is by highlighting the benefits of owning a used car. For example, used car owners can use Turo to rent out their vehicles when they’re not using them, which can help offset the cost of ownership.
Another way to address this is by offering deals and incentives that make buying a used car more attractive. This could include low monthly payments, extended warranties, or free maintenance.
There’s a shift in where people are buying cars
In the past, most car buyers purchased their vehicles from dealerships. However, with the rise of the internet, more people are now buying cars online. This is true for younger buyers who are comfortable making large purchases without physically seeing the product.
These changes in the used car market have made it more critical for dealerships to have an online presence. In addition to having a website, dealerships should be active on social media and other online platforms. They can reach potential buyers who might not otherwise visit their dealership.
How can dealers react?
The best way for dealers to respond to these changes in the used car market is by investing in digital marketing. This includes creating targeted ads, optimizing your website for search engines, and using social media to connect with potential buyers. It’s also essential to ensure your sales staff is trained on how to close deals that start online. Completing an online deal often requires a different approach than closing a deal in person. For example, sales staff may need to know conversion tactics to turn website visitors into leads, follow up with leads who haven’t converted, and write compelling email copy.
How Kelley Blue Book can help
Kelley Blue Book can help dealerships navigate these changes in the used car market by providing them with the latest data and insights. Our suite of tools and services enables dealerships to reach more buyers and close more deals.
Some of the top tools to respond to these shifts that we offer are:
Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer: This tool allows dealerships to provide instant offers to potential buyers. It’s a great way to attract buyers to your dealership.
Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor: This tool leverages Kelley Blue Books’ massive data set to help dealerships price their vehicles competitively. This is important because buyers are now more informed than ever before and won’t hesitate to walk away from a bad deal.
Kelley Blue Book Display Ads: These ads help dealerships reach potential buyers searching for vehicles like theirs.
Final thoughts on changes in the used car market
There are many changes in the used car market each year, with new technologies and models hitting the scene and disrupting the status quo. Car dealers must be prepared for these changes and know how to navigate them. In this article, we’ve outlined some of the most critical changes in the used car market happening right now. With the right tools and strategies, your dealership can stay ahead of the curve and keep your used car inventory moving.
In today’s competitive landscape, creating seamless customer experiences is more important than ever for auto dealerships. A seamless customer experience is a consistent and integrated customer journey across all channels. In other words, it’s the holy grail of customer service: providing customers with a great experience at every touchpoint, from their first interaction with your dealership to long after they’ve driven off the lot – perhaps in their new car.
So, how can you create seamless customer experiences in your dealership? Here we break down the buyer’s psychology and provide tips on customer service practices for car dealers.
1. Understand the buyer’s needs
Before implementing customer service practices for car dealers, dealerships must be aware that customers’ needs have changed. Buying processes were much more straightforward in the past: customers would come into the dealership, pick out a car and then trade in their old one. The dealer would work out all the financings, and the customer would drive off the lot.
Nowadays, customers are far more informed. They often come into the dealership knowing what car they want and have already researched financing options. Customers do more research online before entering a dealership than at any other point in the buying process.
Another change in the car buyers’ journey is the need for simplicity and convenience. Customers now expect to be able to do everything from their mobile devices, and they don’t want to have to come into the dealership multiple times to complete the purchase. One excellent way dealerships are meeting the demand for convenience is leveraging Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer. A dealership willing to pay someone immediately with cash for their used vehicle is a great way to increase vehicle acquisitions.
2. Use technology to your advantage
There’s no denying that technology has transformed the auto industry — and for the better. Today’s customers have more access to information and are likely to come into your dealership knowing the car they want to buy (and how much they’re willing to pay for it). Technology can be a great way to improve customer service practices for car dealers.
Embrace this change by using technology to streamline your processes and make it easy for customers to get the information they need. For example, you can use online chatbots on your website to answer common questions or allow customers to schedule test drives and appointments online.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an excellent way to leverage technology to improve customer service practices for car dealers. A CRM can help you keep track of your customers’ interactions with your dealership. If you can see their online interactions and preferences, you can customize their experience, saving them time and providing better service.
Another great online solution is to use a lead capture form on your website to gain customer information for future contact. Kelley Blue Book offers LeadDriver™, which allows you to capture client information as they browse your website.
Using an opt-in form paired with a CRM can drastically increase your inventory acquisition while creating a seamless customer experience.
3. Make the car-buying process transparent
Transparency is critical for maintaining strong customer service practices for car dealers. Customers appreciate transparency; one way to provide it is by being upfront about your prices. Don’t try to hide the cost of the car in the fine print — customers will see right through that, and it will only damage your relationship with them. Instead, be upfront about the price and be willing to negotiate.
Another way to be transparent is by being clear about your financing options. Don’t try to upsell customers on things they don’t need or want — instead, focus on providing the best possible financing options for their situation. You can get to know your customers and understand their needs.
Adding features to your website like listing enhancements offers customers the information they want and provides your dealership with the data it needs to succeed. Listing enhancements can include financing options and details, instant credit scores and test drives from home. These features check all the boxes for customers while giving your dealership the right tools — all excellent customer service practices for car dealers.
4. Have a strong online presence
When thinking about customer service practices for car dealers, an online presence does not typically come to mind. However, a seamless online experience is just as crucial for car dealerships as an offline interaction.
Your website should be easy to navigate and provide customers with the necessary details. Remember: a website is often a customer’s first interaction with your dealership and is one of the earliest steps in the car buyers’ journey.
Suppose a customer seeks a specific answer and cannot navigate your website or find the solution they need. In that case, they are likely to move on to another dealership. Having features such as Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor increases a customer’s trust when interacting with your website, which is crucial when establishing a relationship.
Mobile-optimized websites are another element of customer service practices for car dealers. More and more people are using their smartphones to browse the internet, and if your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’re likely to lose out on potential customers.
In addition to having a solid website, you should also focus on your social media presence. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to connect with potential and current customers. Social media can also help you to showcase your inventory, offer deals and promotions, or provide information about car buying.
5. Follow-up even after the sale
Following up after the sale is one of the essential customer service practices for car dealers. Dealerships might think their job is done as soon as the contract is signed and the car is no longer on the lot. However, your relationship with your customer doesn’t end when they drive off the lot — it’s just beginning.
Here are three ways to improve your dealership follow-ups:
- Write a thank you note
- One way to follow up is by sending a handwritten thank you note after the purchase. This personal touch will make your dealership stand out and show that you appreciate your customers. You can also follow up by phone or email to see how they enjoy their new car. Customers appreciate this kind of attention, which will help build lasting relationships.
- Offer them promotions and services
- Another way to follow up is by offering service specials and promotions. This approach shows customers that you care about their experience and want to ensure they’re looking after their new car. It is also an excellent opportunity to upsell customers on additional services or products they may need.
- Send them a holiday or birthday card
- Finally, you can follow up by sending birthday and holiday cards. A great way to stay top of mind with your customers, cards show that you see them as people, not just car buyers.
Are you wondering how you can keep in touch with past customers after such long periods? CRMs are the answer. Specific CRMs will have customer data saved and reminders sent to your email when a holiday or event happens. While you could use a digital card approach, handwritten notes may come across as more genuine customer service practices for car dealers.
There are numerous customer service practices for car dealers that can lead to a seamless customer experience. In turn, seamless customer experiences require a combination of proper employee training, technology, and regular feedback (both positive and negative).
By following these tips, you can take steps toward creating a standout customer experience at your auto dealership — one that will keep customers coming back.
There’s no question that an excellent dealer website can help you sell more cars. In fact, your website may be the most essential tool in your sales arsenal. A good website provides potential customers with all the information they need to make a purchase decision and creates a positive impression of your dealership. But what makes an excellent dealer website? And what can you do to improve your dealership’s website?
Importance of a dealer website
As the world becomes increasingly digital, having a strong online presence is more important than ever. Your website is likely the first impression potential customers have of your dealership. Therefore, you must constantly optimize your website to make a good impression and provide visitors with all the information they need to make a purchase decision.
Tips for car dealers’ websites to stand out
Follow these tips for car dealers’ websites to stand out from other dealerships, such as:
Make it easy to find information
When considering optimizations, you must ensure potential customers can easily find the information they are looking for. This means having a well-organized website with a clear navigation system. All your content should be easy to read and understand and organized in a way that makes sense.
In addition, you should make sure that your contact information is prominently displayed on every page of your site. This makes it easy for potential customers to contact you if they have any questions or concerns.
Create well-written product descriptions
Another critical aspect is well-written product descriptions. Your descriptions should be informative and persuasive, and they should also be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Remember, your goal is to convince potential customers that your vehicles are the best on the market.
Some persuasive writing techniques you can use include:
- Strong, active language
- Using “you” statements
- Satisfied customer testimonials and reviews
Use only high-quality images
In addition to well-written product descriptions, it is also essential to have high-quality images on your site. These days, potential customers expect to see photos and videos of cars and trucks they’re interested in, which allows them to get a better idea of how the vehicle looks and how it works. Images may include the car in a showroom setting or on the road. If your dealership is looking to future-proof, you might consider adding augmented reality features that allow potential customers to view a car from the comfort of their homes.
Develop a user-friendly navigation menu
Another vital element is a user-friendly navigation menu. This is the menu on every page of your site that allows visitors to quickly find the information they’re looking for. Your navigation menu should be easy to use and understand, and it should be consistent on all your pages. If customers have to click through a series of confusing menus to find the contact page, they may give up and look elsewhere.
Optimize for fast loading times
In today’s fast-paced world, people have little patience for slow websites. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, potential customers may navigate away and look for another source of information. There are a few things you can do to improve your site’s loading times, such as:
- Optimize your images
- Use fewer plugins
- Reduce the amount of code on your pages
- Use a content delivery network
Improve mobile device compatibility
These days, more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the Internet, which means that it’s essential that your site is compatible with all types of mobile devices. A responsive design automatically adjusts to fit any device’s screen, ensuring that your dealership’s website can be easily viewed on smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Take advantage of social media integration
Social media has become the backbone of most businesses, and your dealership should be no different. Integrating social media into your website makes it easy for potential customers to connect with you on their favorite platforms. You can also use social media to share updates about new products, special offers, and events.
Don’t neglect SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving your site’s ranking in the search results. Organic search is still one of the most effective ways to draw traffic to your website. Ensuring your site is optimized for search engines is crucial.
Some things you can do to optimize your site include:
- Using keyword-rich titles and descriptions
- Creating high-quality content
- Building backlinks
Tips for car dealers’ websites and design improvements
Your website’s design should have user experience in mind. This includes all stages of a car-buyer’s journey, from when they’re just starting their research to post-purchase. Creating a great design is essential for success and ensures your website stands out from the rest.
Some critical elements of a great design include:
Aesthetics: First impressions count, so ensure your website looks professional and trustworthy. Use high-quality visuals and easy-to-read fonts. Your color scheme should be consistent throughout the site and match your logo and branding.
Functionality: All your website features should work properly and seamlessly together, including everything from contact forms to payment processors. Ensure all your pages are optimized for lead capture by having calls to action (CTAs). Tools like Kelley Blue Book LeadDriver can help you capture more leads by integrating capture forms into your website.
Tips for car dealers’ websites to increase conversions
Your dealer website is designed to generate leads and convert them into customers. However, this doesn’t happen automatically — you need to take steps to increase conversions on your site. For dealers, a conversion can mean many things and may refer to a customer:
- Requesting a quote
- Booking a test drive
- Submitting a financing application
- Subscribing to your newsletter
Here are a few tips for car dealers’ websites to increase conversions:
Offer competitive prices: Customers are always looking for the best deals. Make sure your costs align with the market and offer discounts and promotions regularly.
Provide excellent customer service: Respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently. Consider adding a 24/7 chatbot that allows your customers to immediately get the answers they need or be directed to a specific correct team member.
Streamline the checkout process: Customers are more likely to complete a purchase if the process is straightforward. Make sure your forms are short and easy to understand and offer multiple payment options.
An excellent dealer website is one that functions properly, looks professional, and helps you generate leads. It’s also essential to ensure your site is secure and compliant with data protection regulations. Kelley Blue Book can help you succeed with a suite of products and services designed to attract online shoppers and convert them into customers. Use our tools to get real-time market data on pricing and vehicle trends so that you can stay ahead of the competition.
Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular as people become more environmentally conscious. Not only do they help reduce emissions, but they’re also cheaper to operate and maintain than gasoline-powered cars. If you’re a dealer looking to stay ahead of the curve in electric vehicles, this article will discuss the latest electric car trends and what dealers need to know to be successful in selling them.
What are electric cars, and how do they work?
Electric vehicles, or EVs, are cars that run on electricity instead of gasoline. There are a few different types of electric vehicles, but the most common ones are plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars. All-electric cars run entirely on electricity and can be plugged into an outlet to recharge, while plug-in hybrids have both an electric motor and a gasoline engine.
How have electric vehicles become more popular?
There are many reasons why electric vehicles have become more prevalent in recent years.
The decreasing cost of batteries: One of the most significant barriers to entry for electric vehicles was the cost of batteries. This is because batteries contain a lot of expensive metals, like lithium and cobalt. However, due to advancements in technology, the cost of batteries has been decreasing. In fact, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 89% since 2010.
The increasing availability of charging stations: Another barrier to entry for electric vehicles has been the lack of charging infrastructure. This is because people are reluctant to buy an electric car if they don’t have somewhere to charge it. However, this is changing as public charging stations have increased dramatically in recent years. In 2021, President Joe Biden passed a bill for 500,000 chargers to be built around the nation by 2030.
The increasing range of electric vehicles: Another reason electric vehicles have become more popular is that the range of these cars has increased due to advances in battery technology that have allowed for longer-lasting and more powerful batteries. As a result, electric vehicles can now travel farther on a single charge than ever before.
The rise in environmental awareness: In recent years, there has been a greater focus on the environment and its impact on humans. More and more people are interested in purchasing environmentally friendly products, such as electric cars.
Government incentives: To promote the use of electric vehicles, many governments offer incentives, like tax breaks or free parking. These can make owning an electric car more attractive to consumers.
Cities banning petrol and diesel cars: As electric vehicles have become more popular, some cities have started to ban the use of gas- and diesel-powered cars. This is usually done to improve air quality, as electric vehicles produce no emissions. Cities that have banned or plan to ban petrol and diesel cars include London, Paris, Madrid, and Mexico City.
What do dealers need to know about electric vehicles?
If you’re a dealer who wants to sell electric vehicles successfully, staying up-to-date on the latest electric car trends is essential. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
Learn about the different EV types: As mentioned previously, there are a few types of EVs on the market. It’s essential to educate yourself on the differences so that you can better advise your customers.
Keep tabs on government incentives: Government incentives can change frequently, so staying up-to-date on the latest offers is essential. This way, you can inform your customers about any financial incentives they may be eligible for.
Know where to find public charging stations: Many people considering an EV are concerned about charging it when away from home. If you know where the public charging stations are in your area, you can put their minds at ease and help them decide to buy an EV.
The latest electric car trends and what dealers can expect in the future
As electric vehicles become more popular, dealers who carry EVs must stay informed about the latest electric car trends. Some exciting things to look out for in the future of EVs include:
Improved battery technology: Batteries are improving, meaning EVs can travel further on a single charge.
More affordable EVs: Thanks to improved battery technology and increased production, EV prices are expected to continue to decline.
More public charging stations: As the infrastructure for EVs improves, there will be more public charging stations available for people to use.
More advanced features: EVs are getting increasingly advanced, with some newer models featuring self-driving capabilities and safety features like automatic braking.
What are some of the challenges that come along with owning an EV?
While there are many benefits to owning an EV, there are also a few challenges. These include:
Range anxiety: Many people who own EVs worry about running out of charge while on the road. This can be a problem if you’re planning a long road trip and you’re unfamiliar with the charging infrastructure in the area.
Charging time: Charging an EV can take a while, which can be inconvenient if you’re in a hurry. Charges may take around 10-15 minutes, at a minimum, depending on the type of charger you’re using.
High initial cost: EVs often have a higher initial cost than traditional gasoline cars. However, they’re generally cheaper to operate and maintain over time.
What are some tips for dealing with these challenges?
For dealers who carry EVs, knowing the challenges of owning one is essential. Here are a few tips for dealing with these challenges:
Plan your route in advance: If you’re worried about running out of charge, plan your route and make sure you know where the public charging stations are along the way.
Charge at home whenever possible: Whenever you can, charge your EV at home. This will save time and money in the long run.
Consider a used EV: If the high initial cost of an EV is a deterrent, consider buying a used one. You can often find good deals on used EVs.
As the world turns towards zero-carbon transportation, dealers who carry EVs must be knowledgeable in the latest electric car trends. Kelley Blue Book has the tools and resources you need to acquire and sell EVs successfully. With our suite of tools, you can quickly and easily connect with in-market shoppers, estimate trade-in value, and make competitive cash offers.
With the automotive industry continuing to suffer from supply chain issues, acquiring inventory for your dealership has been increasingly challenging. The days of hundreds of customers looking to sell their vehicles and trade them in for the newest models are a distant memory. So, to keep your inventory levels up, you must employ different advertising techniques to attract clients to your dealership. Here we will discuss the best ways to leverage car dealership advertising to maximize your inventory acquisition efforts.
Advertising for your dealership
When it comes to car dealership advertising, there are a lot of different ways to go about it. You can invest in traditional marketing methods like TV and radio ads, or try newer strategies like social media and search engine optimization. Regardless of your approach, ensuring that your dealership gets the most out of your advertising budget is essential.
The purpose of advertising is to create awareness for your dealership and to attract potential customers. It’s important to remember that not all advertising techniques are created equally. Some methods will be more effective than others, so it’s essential to find the right mix of strategies that work best for your business. Here are the top car dealership advertising methods to increase your inventory acquisition.
1. Search engine optimization
The first part of your advertising strategy should ensure that your dealership’s website is optimized for search engines. This means that your website should be easy to find when people are searching for keywords related to your business. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex process, but there are a few simple things you can do to improve your website’s ranking.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their smartphones to search for businesses, so your website must be easily viewed on a mobile device.
- Use relevant keywords on your website. Potential customers will use specific words and phrases when searching for a dealership. Ensure that these words and phrases are included on your website.
- Write articles and blog content for your website. This will help to improve your website’s ranking in search engines and attract potential customers to your dealership. You want to include backlinks to authoritative websites in the car dealership space. For instance, linking your articles to a website like Kelley Blue Book.
2. Run display advertisements
A display advertisement is online advertising that allows you to show images, videos, and other forms of media on websites and apps. These ads attract potential customers to your dealership’s website.
When creating display ads, it’s important to use appealing visuals and clear messaging. You want your ad to stand out from the rest, so potential customers will click on it. It’s also key to target your ads to specific demographics so that you’re not wasting your time and money on ads that don’t appear to your likely customers.
Display advertising can be a great way to attract potential customers to your dealership’s website. But it’s important to remember that this is just one part of your overall advertising strategy. One of the best ways to get started with display advertising is to use highly trafficked websites. Kelley Blue Book offers display advertising services to help you reach your target audience.
3. Offer rewards and incentive programs
Offering rewards and incentive programs are a great way to attract potential customers to your dealership. You can offer discounts on vehicles, free services, or other incentives to encourage people to visit your dealership. These programs can be a great way to build loyalty among potential customers and turn them into lifelong fans of your business.
When creating a rewards or incentive program, it’s essential to ensure that the benefits are communicated. You want potential customers to understand what they will get out of the program to be more likely to participate. It’s also essential to ensure that the program is easy to sign up for and use. The last thing you want is potential customers to get frustrated with the process and give up before they even start.
4. Utilize email marketing
One advertising technique that is often overlooked is email marketing. Email marketing can be a great way to reach potential customers and encourage them to visit your dealership. Email marketing can send potential customers special offers, coupons, or other incentives. You can also use email marketing to keep potential customers up-to-date on your dealership’s new inventory, specials, or events.
When creating an email marketing campaign, you must ensure that your messages are clear and concise. You want potential customers to read your emails and understand the offer or incentive you’re providing. Personalizing your emails is also essential so they feel they come from a friend rather than a faceless corporation.
One of the most important elements of email marketing is having a lead magnet that allows you to collect potential customers’ emails. A great way to do this is to use Kelley Blue Book LeadDriver. The service will enable you to add a form to your website that potential customers can fill out to receive more information about your dealership.
The form will collect the potential customer’s name, email address, and phone number. This information will then be sent directly to your dealership so that you can follow up with them. Once you collect the emails, add them to your mailing list and start your email marketing campaign.
5. Set up social media ad campaigns
Social media advertising is another excellent car dealership advertising method that can allow you to reach millions of new customers through geotargeted campaigns. There are a variety of social media platforms that you can use to reach potential customers, including, but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
When creating a social media ad campaign, you must ensure that your ads are targeted to your target audience. You also want to ensure that your ads are creative and visually appealing. Your goal is to create ads that will grab the attention of potential customers and encourage them to visit your dealership.
It’s also essential to track the performance of your social media ad campaign so that you can see what’s working and what isn’t. This information will help you adjust your campaign as needed to get the most out of it.
Additional car dealership advertising methods
While these are just a few ways to use car dealership advertising to reach potential customers, many other methods are available. Some other techniques include:
- Sponsoring a local event
- Advertising on radio or television
- Creating an online video campaign
- Using search engine marketing (SEM)
How automotive advertising can help you acquire vehicles
Regardless of your method, car dealership advertising can be a great way to reach potential customers and encourage them to visit your dealership. By leveraging incentives and programs which are easy to sign up for and use, you can build loyalty among potential customers and turn them into lifelong fans of your business. And with the help of Kelley Blue Book, it’s easy to collect potential customers’ information so that you can follow up with them. If you are interested in learning other ways to grow your dealership, check out Kelley Blue Book’s dealer resources today.
Global supply shortages have increased the importance of dynamic dealer inventory acquisition strategies. With approximately 2.2 million fewer unsold new vehicles in 2022 than in 2020, many dealers are focusing on acquisition strategies that include more pre-owned vehicles.
Explore the benefits of promoting acquisition through your service department today. See how regular maintenance scheduling and inventory acquisition can come together with Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer and other tools.
Service appointment as acquisition opportunities
It’s a great time to focus on fixed ops. According to Xtime Metrics and a Cox Automotive analysis, the repair order revenue index increased 9.5% between April 2021 and 2022. The increase in car prices can partly explain the rise in repair order revenue. According to Cox Automotive, the cost of a used vehicle is now over $28,000, on average. A recent Cox Automotive estimate puts the number of new vehicle sales in April 2022 as 20% lower than April 2021. Fewer new car sales put a greater focus on used vehicles, making inventory shortage a reality around the industry.
While fixed ops are a reliable way to keep your dealership operating amid an inventory shortage, it can also be a competitive dealer inventory acquisition strategy. Here are a few ways you can prepare to acquire inventory from service lanes. Routine servicing and cross-departmental communication are two avenues of inventory acquisition to grow your dealership.
Communicate the importance of routine servicing
Start by building trust and promoting your service department. The number of phone calls to service departments in the United States increased by 16.3% in 2021, so you may need to create more awareness of these services if you’re not seeing an increase in demand for your service department.
Inform existing customers and potential buyers about when to schedule a maintenance service and sign that it’s time for a maintenance service. According to Policy Advice, the number of used vehicle sales has increased twofold in 2020, so your consumers must understand when to schedule an appointment and how often their used vehicle needs servicing.
Some consumers are waiting to purchase a car. Fears surrounding current inventory levels may bring customers to your service department who are hesitant to sell their vehicle. Make sure they remain loyal service department customers as you look for opportunities to make a service-to-sales transition.
Bring departments together
If your service department isn’t providing exceptional customer service, you’re not seeing the full synergy of your sales, service, and dealer inventory acquisition strategies. Extend the customer lifetime by scheduling routine inspections for a consumer after selling them a new or used vehicle. Once a consumer is ready to upgrade to a new or newer car, your service department should work to encourage the consumer to trade in or sell their used vehicle.
Increasing inter-department communication can help your sales team spot in-demand used cars owned by loyal service customers. Targeting these high-value, high-demand auto owners with trade-in and cash offers is a competitive way to facilitate a service-to-sales transition.
Customer benefits of consistent automotive care
Using your service lane as a dealer inventory acquisition strategy is beneficial for you, but what about your customers? It’s essential to inspire confidence throughout the process to avoid leaving your customer feeling uninformed. Here are some benefits of consistent automotive care, particularly when selling a vehicle, that you can communicate to your customers.
The first step is to show the customer how they benefit from scheduling routine maintenance before considering selling their vehicle. Everything from regular fluid changes to routine exterior cleaning can help retain value in the vehicle. After a maintenance routine, it’s estimated that a car can be valued at up to $1,000 more than one that hasn’t. If the servicing includes significant repairs, the value difference could be greater.
Increased energy efficiency
Routine maintenance can also increase the energy efficiency of a used vehicle. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends many essential vehicle maintenance tips to conserve fuel. Environmentally friendly suggestions can help customers feel better about driving or selling their used vehicle.
Increased sale price
Immediately after completing a service appointment is a great time to recommend a Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer valuation. Because your team has thoroughly inspected the vehicle, you’re now equipped to appraise it and recommend a purchase or trade-in.
Steps to connect your service department and Instant Cash Offer marketing
Start leaning on your service department for dealer inventory acquisition with these steps. From promoting increased maintenance appointments to utilizing Instant Cash Offer valuations, these steps help promote a more streamlined, cost-effective acquisition strategy.
Become a Featured Auto Repair Center
Start by increasing the visibility of your service department. Kelley Blue Book offers a Featured Auto Repair Center program to help you grow your fixed operation’s revenue. This 24/7 service marketing tool inspires confidence in your department through the Fair Repair Range feature. It also helps streamline the service scheduling process.
As a Featured Auto Repair Center, you can increase your fixed ops revenue and fill your service bays to see more customers. A busy service area means more opportunities to discuss used vehicle acquisition and trade-in possibilities.
Promote loyalty with Xtime’s Spectrum
Once you have steady traffic for your fixed ops, it’s time to drive owner loyalty. Xtime’s Spectrum is a cloud-based system that offers full integration to help promote customer loyalty. A significant factor in consumers transitioning from a maintenance visit to a sale is trust in your dealership. Use Spectrum to launch recall campaigns, easily organize service history, and increase customer satisfaction.
Utilize Instant Cash Offer
Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer is a dynamic tool in any inventory acquisition strategy. By leveraging over 3 trillion data points, this solution offers consumers an appraisal value based on the vehicle’s make, model, trim level, condition, and location. A newly serviced vehicle provides the customer with the best opportunity for the highest offer.
The condition ranges of Instant Cash Offer are a great conversation point regarding any recommended or suggested maintenance tasks. Even if a consumer isn’t ready to sell their used vehicle yet, discussing the repairs that could increase the value of their car is an excellent opportunity to either acquire the vehicle or keep your fixed ops busy.
Promote trust and confidence in the appraisal process
While this tool offers a sight-unseen valuation, you can use it in this stage of your service department inventory acquisition strategy to promote visibility in your appraisal process. Because your service team has already inspected the vehicle and seen it firsthand, you have a clear picture of its value. You can then discuss any recommended repairs and explain how they affect the trade-in and cash values.
Consumers have already seen an Instant Cash Offer at this stage in the process. That means they’re informed of the average value of the vehicle and know a price range they may be able to see from another dealership. Work to retain these consumers by including them in the valuation process. Walk around the vehicle and explain the main features that impact its value.
Offer a competitive value
It’s vital to offer a competitive appraisal in the current used vehicle market, according to Micah Tindor, Senior Director for Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer. Consumers who started with a scheduled service may not be highly motivated to sell their vehicle. Once they view an Instant Cash Offer, they also have a clear idea of its current market value. A low-ball offer at this stage may lead to a lost acquisition opportunity.
Even if a consumer isn’t ready to make a trade or sell their car after a maintenance visit, be sure you have a follow-up plan in place. A 90-day follow-up after the Instant Cash Offer valuation, and standard follow-ups for service scheduling, can all be part of your acquisition strategy.
Explore more dealer inventory acquisition strategies
Tight inventory levels don’t have to mean a decrease in revenue. Find out how to avoid the “empty lot syndrome” and promote your dealer inventory acquisition with Kelley Blue Book industry solutions. Read more to stay up to date on the latest news and industry strategies to see more synergy between your service and acquisition goals. With Kelley Blue Book tools and resources, your service department can help you reach your dealer inventory acquisition goals.
When it comes to vehicle inventory acquisition, it can be easy to get caught up in advanced dealership marketing tips and forget the basics. Your customers are your most valuable asset. It’s important to see the true value your customers bring to the future of your business.
Although sales are important, you shouldn’t make them your sole focus. Maintaining relationships with your customers can help you further down the line. This article will focus on how customer relationships can impact your vehicle inventory acquisition. You’ll also learn some valuable dealership marketing tips to promote your dealership to customers.
Why maintaining relationships with customers is essential
You probably spend a lot of time focusing on lead generation and conversion. However, it’s important to recognize that a sale doesn’t have to be the end of your sales funnel. Once a customer visits your dealership and buys a car, you might never hear from them again. While this works for some businesses, it isn’t ideal for dealerships that need to improve their vehicle inventory acquisition processes.
Improving your after-sales processes can be invaluable to your vehicle inventory acquisition and future sales. Remember that if you treat a customer well, there are many ways your dealership can provide benefits to them in the future.
Focusing on customer relationship maintenance can encourage repeat customers. If a customer has a memorable experience with your dealership, they’re more likely to turn to you when they want to buy and/or sell their next car. However, this isn’t the only benefit. Maintaining good relationships with your customers can mean getting more business through word-of-mouth or recommendations.
Encouraging brand loyalty should be a key goal in your marketing strategy. Strong customer relationships can ensure you always have an outstanding reputation. Treating your customers well throughout the sales process and after can be a very cost-effective marketing technique. There are many ways you can do this by following the dealership marketing tips further down this page.
4 marketing strategies to maintain customer relationships
Maintaining relationships with your customers relies heavily on dealership marketing tips. With the right techniques, you can build an excellent reputation and remain memorable. Here are 4 essential dealership marketing tips to make your vehicle inventory acquisition marketing strategy successful.
Keeping post-purchase relationships with customers can require continuous marketing efforts. However, the rewards often outweigh the effort as you can create a circular sales process. This means the customer sells the vehicle back to you in the future. Using these methods, you can keep your inventory stocked with quality used cars.
1. Email marketing
Although technology has progressed significantly since the introduction of email, email marketing is still essential today. Many businesses use email marketing to reach their existing customers and encourage them to make repeat purchases. When it comes to marketing your dealership, it’s the same principle.
You can use emails to your advantage in many ways. For example, you could send emails letting your previous customers know that you offer trade-ins.
You could also send general marketing emails periodically to remind previous customers about your dealership. If you do this, be sure not to spam your customers. Doing so could damage your reputation.
Be sure to use calls to action (CTA) in your emails. These are directions that you want your customers to follow, for example, “follow us on social media,” “call us,” or “book a vehicle appraisal.”
2. Digital marketing
Using several channels for marketing your business can seem intimidating, but it gives you a greater chance of success. Using a combination of digital marketing channels, such as social media, emails, banner ads, and paid search ads can help increase awareness of your dealership.
Using multiple social media platforms is recommended; however, be aware that what you post on one platform may not perform as well on another. Get to know what works on each platform and create content accordingly.
Managing marketing campaigns across several channels can be challenging. Therefore, many businesses outsource this to specialists. However, if you are on a budget, you can do it yourself with the right tools and planning.
There are many excellent digital marketing tools available for dealerships. Using these can make marketing your business much easier, and they’re often very cost-effective.
Tools can simplify a lot of your marketing processes. These include social media management and email marketing. Simplifying processes where possible can give you more time to focus on other operations, so try to automate as much of your marketing efforts as your budget allows.
Rewarding your customers can be the perfect reminder that you value their business. There are various ways of rewarding customers that will also reward your dealership. For example, you could ask customers to leave a review for your dealership in exchange for an entry into a prize drawing.
You can use prize draws to entice new customers and remind existing customers of your presence. The way you promote a prize draw can vary to reflect this. For example, emailing existing customers about a prize draw can be the perfect way to jog their memory and remind them of your dealership. Using paid social media ads to promote the prize draw may be more effective for targeting new customers.
If vehicle inventory acquisition is your goal, there are more direct ways of rewarding customers and achieving this. Using a referral is one example of this. Rewarding previous customers for referring new customers to your dealership to sell their vehicle or buy a vehicle from you is beneficial for all parties involved.
For dealerships, referrals can be a great way to stock your inventory. As an example, you could offer the referrer a small cash bonus when the person they refer sells their vehicle to you. As an added incentive, you may reward the new customer with a small cash bonus or discount on top of their trade-in.
4. Vehicle inventory acquisition
Vehicle inventory acquisition is often a focal point for many dealerships. Keeping your showroom stocked with quality used cars is fundamental to your success. You’ll always have new inventory to showcase to your former, current, and potential customers.
You’ll need to focus on encouraging customers to provide their email addresses or follow you on social media so you can stay in touch and remarket regularly.
Using dealership marketing tips and tools such as the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer tool can help you appeal to customers again.
Click here to learn more about effective vehicle inventory acquisition tips and recommendations.
Improving your vehicle inventory acquisition – how Kelley Blue Book can help
Following the dealership marketing tips above should make building customer relationships and vehicle inventory acquisition simpler. There are many ways Kelley Blue Book can help you with your automotive marketing efforts. We offer a range of tools suitable for dealerships of all sizes.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help with your vehicle inventory acquisition, contact us today. You can also request a demo of our vehicle inventory acquisition tools.
Generating leads is essential if you want your dealership to experience continued success. Whether inventory acquisition is your goal or you simply need more sales, getting your marketing right is key.
Automotive marketing has changed significantly in recent years, which means the techniques have, too. If your dealership is still living in the past, it’s time to up your game, get ahead of competitors, and implement new strategies and tools. Keep reading if you’re wondering how car dealers get leads in this digital age.
How leads and car inventory sourcing has changed
Automotive marketing is changing quickly, and as technology advances, so does the way in which we buy and sell goods. The time buyers now spend inside a dealership has declined substantially, with most of the buying process now performed online. This shift doesn’t mean that dealerships should cease to operate, but it does mean that new buying habits should influence marketing techniques.
Today, buyers and sellers seek information online rather than through a dealership. The dealership itself has become the final stop in the buying and selling process. Therefore, if you’re focusing on old marketing techniques such as cold calling or direct mail, it may be time to switch to digital. How car dealers get leads in the modern age is through a range of options, including digital marketing techniques and tools.
Buying leads online is one technique that dealerships desperate to increase leads and car inventory sometimes choose. However, this isn’t ethical, because the information is often purchased without the person’s consent. Instead, focus on generating organic, high-quality leads.
How car dealers get leads – increasing leads and car inventory starts online
Your leads and car inventory are now dependent on how well you market yourself online. Establishing a digital presence for your dealership is the first step, so if you haven’t launched a website, this should be your first step. The majority of buyers will visit several websites relating to car manufacturers and dealerships when considering whether to buy a new car. This means your presence online is a matter of urgency.
A well-designed, well-functioing website is essential, especially on all mobile devices. Many people now use their phones to browse online before making a purchase, making mobile optimization crucial.
You should also make your contact page easy to find. Customers shouldn’t have to search around to find out how to get in touch with your dealership.
Clear calls to action (CTA) throughout your site can also be a good way to guide your buyers through a process, whether that’s inviting them to search your online inventory, get details on the trade-in process, or welcoming them to take a test drive.
Getting visitors to your Site with SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is paramount to bringing organic traffic to your website. Your site must be optimized to display in search results when customers search for certain keywords and keyphrases. The SEO process is ongoing, and most businesses will outsource these tasks to content professionals. However, there are many things you can do initially to help your website rank well in search results. These include:
- Research keywords relating to your dealership and include them in blog posts and other pages on your website.
- Use keywords in metadata. Including them in meta titles and descriptions can be helpful.
- Link to other pages on your website (inbound links) in your content or to other well-established websites (outbound links).
- Add your website to online directories and take advantage of local search features on search engines.
These are a few SEO-based methods you can use to increase organic traffic and get better leads and car inventory. Learn how to improve your inventory acquisition process here.
Remote vehicle appraisal helps with how car dealers get leads
Lead generation isn’t easy, but you’ll be one step closer to improving your leads and car inventory if you offer virtual or online services. Remote vehicle appraisal a good starting point; you can speed up your inventory acquisition process and attract more sellers and buyers to your dealership.
You’ve probably handled many vehicle appraisals at your dealership, and remote appraisal isn’t too different. The first step is to ensure your customer can show you their vehicle remotely with their cellphone or device with a camera. Using Zoom, FaceTime, or any other platform, you can then inspect the vehicle as you typically would during an appraisal.
With a tool such as the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, you can continue the valuation process. This tool lets you provide a transparent valuation that you can share with your customer. You can even show them a side-by-side assessment of the vehicle.
Instant Cash Offer is a powerful tool that can be used to attract buyers and sellers to your dealership online.
How car dealers get leads – automotive marketing tips
Along with using marketing tools, how car dealers get leads is by implementing marketing strategies. Follow these tried-and-true tips and tricks to increase your leads and car inventory.
Provide valuable content
Content is an important part of marketing and lead generation. With people spending a lot of time online consuming content in different forms, the information you provide to your customers must be valuable. Adding a blog to your website is an ideal way to give your target audience useful information while helping your SEO and potentially generating more leads and car inventory. In addition, a blog provides the opportunity to add more keywords to your site, which can improve your overall website rankings.
When adding a blog, be sure to write about topics that your customers will find helpful. For example, answer questions your customers may have about specific cars, the buying or selling process, and any other services you offer, such as remote vehicle appraisal. Although you should post to your blog regularly, the quality of your posts is more important than the quantity.
Running adverts can also help you reach potential customers and increase your leads and car inventory. Today, there are many ways to run ads online for car dealerships. Two of the most extensive include social media Pay Per Click (PPC) ads and advertising options offered by search engines. These are often cost-effective ways of reaching your target audience, and they offer a good return on investment. You may also benefit from advertising your dealerships through directory sites with banner ads or sponsored listings.
Maintain a social media presence
To increase leads, use your social media pages to your advantage. Interacting with customers through your social accounts is an excellent way to keep your dealership fresh in the minds of your followers. Also, don’t forget to answer customer questions and interact with posts from other local businesses in your area.
These are just a few automotive marketing tips to get you started. Read 5 marketing tips for local dealerships for more information on marketing your dealership.
Improving your leads and car inventory with Kelley Blue Book
Now that you know more about how car dealers get leads, take action. Utilizing Kelley Blue Book’s automotive marketing tools, such as the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer tool, is one of the best ways to increase your leads and car inventory. The Instant Cash Offer tool makes lead generation and inventory acquisition simpler, and when you simplify processes and invest in digital marketing tools, you help your dealership thrive.
Would you like to hear more about how Kelley Blue Book can help you increase your leads and car inventory? Contact us for more information or to request a demo.
Limitless opportunities exist for connecting with potential car buyers. With the right strategy and a little bit of creativity, car dealerships can find new ways to reach potential buyers and build stronger relationships. Customer events at dealerships are a great way to connect with potential customers and show them you’re a team they can trust. These events can range from casual meet-and-greets to elaborate car shows with live music, food trucks and more.
They’re also a great way to showcase your car dealership’s brand, staff and inventory without requiring customers to visit your dealership. While there are many different types of events, here are a few examples of customer events that could work for your dealership.
Popular dealership events
Some examples of customer events at dealerships include:
A car show could be a great way to reach new customers. Not only could it help build your brand, but it can also be a great way to engage with your current customers and show them why they should choose your dealership over the competition. People who visit car shows love cars enough to spend their free time looking at them. This is a great demographic for dealerships to create strong relationships with. If you have a large lot, you could even host a car show outside on a sunny day.
Test drives can be a great way to encourage customers to try out new cars without actually selling them. By offering test drives to customers who are shopping for new cars, you can let them experience the car and your service without requiring them to purchase anything.
Test drives are also an excellent way to introduce your salespeople to potential customers and build relationships with them. In order to get the most out of test drives, make sure to have a diverse selection of cars and test drive each one yourself.
Instead of offering test drives to potential customers that happen to end up at your dealership, create an event (or even a virtual event) centered around test drives. Perhaps one weekend you offer a giveaway or promotion related to test drives. If customers come in during a set period of time for a test drive, they get a promotional gift as a part of the event. This could encourage more foot traffic to your dealership.
Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it is also a great marketing opportunity for car dealerships. By hosting a golf tournament, you can attract a large number of new customers at once as well as deepen your relationships with current customers.
To encourage as many of your customers as possible to come, invite them to bring a guest with them. This will allow you to attract new people in addition to your existing customers and increase the total ROI of your tournament. You can host it at a nearby golf club and charge nominal fees as a donation to a local charity. It is a great opportunity to foster brand awareness, community support, and relationships with your customer base.
Whether you choose to host a poker night, an air hockey tournament, or a board game event, games are a great way to get customers laughing and talking together.
Game nights are also a great way to build camaraderie among employees, as well as among customers. A great way to encourage game nights is by offering prizes at random intervals throughout the event.
If your dealership has a focus on family-friendly cars, consider family-friendly customer events at your dealership. By encouraging people to visit your dealership in person, when they ordinarily wouldn’t, you create an opportunity for them to see a vehicle that they love.
BBQs are an especially popular summertime dealership customer, but they are a fantastic event idea regardless of the season. A barbecue can be a great way to get your customers to socialize and relax together, which can be especially valuable for car dealerships focused on long-term customer relationships.
Your dealership’s customer events can be memorable. Offer your customers delicious BBQ and a place to socialize. You can either host a large barbecue in your lot or inside the dealership’s showroom. You can tie it into a national holiday, such as Memorial Day or the 4th of July, or you can make it a customer appreciation event. You can send out an email invitation to the event to past customers who might need a newer model. For more marketing ideas, check out the Kelley Blue Book Industry Solutions page.
Customer events at dealerships can do more than just attract customers. For example, hosting a trade-in event is a great way to get customers to sell their old cars to you as part of your inventory acquisition efforts.
The key to a successful trade-in event is to make the offer enticing enough to get customers in the door. You can offer significant discounts on trade-ins at customer events to get customers interested. You can also offer a bonus toward the purchase of a new car if they trade in their old one. Make sure to promote your trade-in event widely so that you get as many people in the door as possible.
Breakfast club meet-and-greet
Breakfast clubs are another popular customer event and a great way to bring together a large group of potential customers. You can either host a breakfast club in your dealership showroom or invite customers to bring their own food to listen to a speaker.
These customer events at dealerships are generally quite casual and can be a great way to meet potential customers and generate interest in your brand. You can advertise these events through social media or email newsletters, or you can even hold them on a weekday morning before regular working hours.
Roadshows are another sales event strategy that is especially good for reaching customers away from your physical location. During a roadshow, you reach potential customers at local events including fairs, which is especially valuable if you are not in a location where you are likely to get into regular contact with your customers.
Roadshows can be as simple as visiting trade shows or as involved as a team meeting up with a group of customers to give them a personalized experience. These customer events at dealerships are often public, so they are a great option if you want to get your product in front of people who are not your usual customers.
Networking events are a great way to build relationships, and they can be particularly effective for car dealerships. During a networking event, you will spend the whole time talking with your potential customers, and you will also have the opportunity to explore different ways you can help them.
You can offer a weekly networking event at your dealership, where business owners meet to give their elevator pitches to the rest of the group. There are also different networking organizations that you can offer your space to so that the meetings will be held at your location.
While in-person events are a great way to build relationships and boost your brand, there are some customers that prefer virtual events at car dealerships. In order to boost your business and reach new customers, you can also host a series of webinars. This can show off the features of a particular model or provide information about more general car-related topics, such as how to select the right first car for teens.
Webinars are great virtual events for car dealerships to boost your brand and reach a large number of potential customers, as they are a great way to boost your brand and boost your credibility. They are also a great way to reach a large number of potential customers for a low cost.
Use events as part of your dealership’s marketing strategy
Customer events at dealerships can build relationships, boost your brand and get new customers in the door. They are also a great way to gain access to potential new customers in person and via social media. You can use events as an opportunity to win over new customers and encourage repeat business. For more information about marketing ideas, check out our blog.
There are various ways to reach potential buyers when it comes to automotive marketing. TV, radio, and print ads are still very popular and can be very successful when done correctly. Here at Kelley Blue Book, we understand the importance of traditional marketing for car dealers, and we want to help our clients succeed in this space. This article will provide some best practices for traditional automotive marketing and some tools that we offer to assist with this initiative.
Traditional automotive marketing vs. digital marketing
The first thing to understand is that traditional automotive and digital marketing are two very different beasts. Traditional marketing for car dealers encompasses TV, radio, and print ads, while digital automotive marketing includes online ads, SEO, social media, etc. It’s essential to know the difference between these two types of marketing, as they require different strategies and tactics.
Traditional automotive marketing is still very effective
Despite the rise of digital marketing, traditional marketing for car dealers is still very effective. TV and radio are still two of the most prevalent advertising methods among car dealerships. This is likely because traditional marketing for car dealers is still very familiar to consumers. An additional advantage is that with many businesses switching to digital-only marketing, there is often less competition in the traditional space. With this in mind, dealers can use traditional marketing methods to generate more sales, collect more leads, and gain more trade-ins to satisfy inventory acquisition needs.
The different types of traditional marketing for car dealers
There are various types of traditional marketing for car dealers that owners can use to reach potential buyers. These include:
TV Ads: TV ads are a great way to reach a large audience with your message. They are also very visual, which can help grab attention.
Radio Ads: Radio ads are another great way to reach a large audience. They are often less expensive than TV ads and can be very effective when targeting a specific demographic.
Print Ads: Print ads can be effective in reaching local buyers. They can be placed in newspapers, magazines, or direct mailings.
Outdoor Advertising: Outdoor advertising includes billboards, bus stop ads, and other forms of “out of home” advertising. This can be a great way to reach potential buyers who are on the go.
Best practices for traditional automotive marketing
Now that we’ve gone over the different types of traditional marketing for car dealers, let’s look at some best practices:
Use strong visuals
As we mentioned before, traditional marketing for car dealers is very visual, and this is why it’s essential to use strong visuals in your ads. Whether it’s photos, videos, or graphics, make sure your visuals are eye-catching and attention-grabbing.
Use a call to action
A call to action (CTA) is a great way to encourage potential buyers to take the next step. Whether visiting your website, coming into the dealership, or taking a test drive, make sure you include a CTA in your ad. For example, if your dealership is struggling with inventory acquisition, you could include a CTA that says, “Come in for a test drive and receive a free trade-in appraisal.”
Less is more with traditional automotive marketing
The general rule in traditional marketing for car dealers is that campaigns must be kept simple. The goal is to reach as many potential customers as possible with a clear and concise message. This can be difficult to achieve when you have a limited amount of time or space, but it’s essential to focus on quality over quantity. A well-executed TV or radio ad will do more for your dealership than a dozen poorly produced advertisements that fail to deliver a strong message.
Create a strong brand identity that resonates with your target audience
When creating traditional marketing for car dealers, creating a strong brand identity that resonates with the target audience is essential. This can be done by developing a clear and consistent message and using visuals that reflect your brand. For example, if you’re targeting luxury buyers, your ads should reflect this with high-end visuals and messaging. Use a color palette, fonts, and logo that reflect your brand identity across all of your marketing materials.
Sponsor local events and charities
Sponsoring local events and charities is a great way to build goodwill in your community. This can help you attract new customers and create repeat business from current customers.
Be sure to measure your results
Unlike digital marketing, it can be challenging to measure the results of traditional marketing for car dealers. However, it’s essential to set up a system to track your leads and sales to see what’s working and what isn’t. This will help you make adjustments to your campaign as needed and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your traditional marketing efforts. You can do this by setting up tracking phone numbers, using coupon codes, and asking customers how they heard about your dealership.
Collaborate with other businesses
Another great form of traditional marketing for car dealers is collaborating with other businesses in your area. This can be done by running joint promotions, cross-promoting each other’s businesses, or co-sponsoring events. Collaborating with other companies will help you reach a larger audience and build relationships with other local businesses. Some ideal collaborators for car dealerships include gas stations, auto repair shops, and car washes.
Follow up with customers after they’ve bought a car
Finally, it’s essential to follow up with customers after they’ve bought a car from your dealership. This can be done by sending them a thank-you note, calling to check-in, or inviting them to come back for service. Following up with customers will help you create repeat business and build long-lasting relationships. This also helps gain referrals, as customers are more likely to refer friends and family if they’ve had a positive experience.
How Kelley Blue Book can help
Traditional marketing for car dealers is excellent for reaching new customers and getting attention for your business. However, getting in front of the customer is only half the battle. You also need to be able to offer them a deal that’s too good to refuse. That’s where Kelley Blue Book comes in. We realize that generating sales and acquiring inventory is essential for your success, which is why we offer a suite of tools to increase dealership experience and give your customers the best deals on the cars they want.
Kelley Blue Book tools include:
Instant Cash Offer
Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer gives customers a quick and transparent offer for their vehicle. This takes the guesswork and negotiation out of the equation, making it easy for customers to get a great deal. This helps your dealership acquire the inventory you need to keep your lot full and generate sales.
Our Price Advisor tool helps customers understand if they’re getting a fair deal. This takes the guesswork out of negotiating and puts the customer’s mind at ease knowing they’re getting a fair price.
The Trade-In Advisor tool tells customers how much their current car is worth and what they can expect to get if they trade it in. This makes it easy for customers to understand their trade-in value and get the best possible deal on their next car. By offering a fair trade-in value, your dealership can gain more customers and acquire more inventory at the same time.
Kelley Blue Book also offers listing enhancements that can help your dealership’s listings stand out. This includes adding photos, videos, and additional details about the car. This allows customers to get a better idea of what they’re looking at and makes them more likely to choose your dealership when they’re ready to buy.
Traditional marketing for car dealers is a great way to reach new customers, acquire more inventory, and grow your business. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can maximize your results and create a successful marketing campaign. Kelley Blue Book offers a variety of tools to help you with your traditional marketing efforts, so be sure to take advantage of them. With careful planning and execution, traditional automotive marketing can be a great success for your dealership. For more information on how Kelley Blue Book can help, read our blog here.
The automotive market is constantly changing, and car dealerships need to adjust their strategies to meet the needs of today’s consumers. Buyers are doing more research than ever before, and they are making decisions based on information they find online. Suppose you don’t understand the answers to the question “how do people shop for cars today?” and adapt your strategies. In that case, you will lose business by stocking the wrong inventory or not providing the information that today’s shoppers are looking for. In this article, you’ll learn more about the changes that have taken place in the automotive market and why it is so essential for dealerships to pivot their strategies to stay competitive.
The answer to “how do people shop for cars” has changed in recent years
The automotive market has changed dramatically in recent years, and buyers are doing more research than ever before. They are looking for information online and making decisions based on what they find. If you don’t fully understand how do people shop for cars, you can lose your business to competitors who understand the new consumer landscape.
Several factors have contributed to this change in the automotive market. These include:
The environmentally-friendly movement
With the rise in gas prices and the increasing awareness of climate change, more people are looking for cars that don’t negatively impact the environment. This has also led to an increase in the demand for electric vehicles. As a result, many dealerships have had to pivot their inventory to include more eco-friendly options.
The rise of online research
One of the main reasons the automotive market has changed so dramatically is the rise of online research. Today, buyers are more likely to do their research online before purchasing, and they also use social media to gather information and opinions from friends and family members. However, at the same time, dealers can also use online resources like Kelley Blue Book’s blog to research and understand what buyers are looking for. This allows dealers to acquire the proper inventory and answer customers’ questions before they even step foot in the dealership.
The growth of social media
Social media has also played a role in the changes that have taken place in the automotive market. Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow people to share information about products and services with their friends and followers.
These sites also allow businesses to reach their target audience more personally than before. People can post questions and get answers from experts, and share photos of their new car or truck with friends and family members who may be interested in buying one.
The advancement of mobile technology
Finally, the advancement of mobile technology has changed the way people shop for cars. Today, buyers can use their smartphones and tablets to research on the go. Technology like augmented reality allows buyers to “view” a vehicle in person without ever leaving their homes. As a result, car dealerships need to be prepared to offer a mobile-friendly experience that meets the needs of today’s buyers.
The impact of these changes on consumers
These changes have had a significant impact on consumers. As a result of these impacts, you should constantly ask, “how do people shop for cars in today’s modern age?”
How do people shop for cars #1 – Buyers are more educated than ever before
One of the most notable changes that have taken place in the automotive market is that buyers are more educated than ever before. They know what they want, and they aren’t afraid to ask for it. This means that you need to be prepared to answer questions about features, suggested retail pricing, and financing. You also need to provide information about the different models available on the market. Dealers will also need to be more focused on acquiring the proper inventory to meet buyers’ needs since they are educated and will likely not settle for a vehicle that doesn’t meet their specifications.
How do people shop for cars #2 – Shoppers are taking their time to make a decision
Another change that has taken place is that shoppers are taking their time to make a decision. Using research tools online, buyers can compare things like your dealership’s suggested retail pricing with other dealers in the area. In the past, buyers would typically decide on a car within a few days, and now, they are taking weeks or even months to make a decision. This gives you more time to make a sale, but it also means you need to be prepared to answer more questions and provide information about their vehicles.
How do people shop for cars #3 – The importance of online reviews
Online reviews have become increasingly important in the automotive market. Buyers are looking at review websites to get an idea of what other people think about your dealership or an individual car salesperson on your team. They are also looking for feedback on specific vehicle models.
Why dealerships need to adapt to the changes in the consumer landscape
The changes that have taken place in the automotive market are here to stay, and you need to adapt to these changes to continue doing business in the years ahead. The top reasons all dealerships need to adapt are:
The advancement of technology
Dealerships can now leverage technology to gather more information about potential buyers. You can now use tools like online chat, text messaging, and social media to connect with customers. This new data can help you readjust your inventory acquisition strategies and suggest retail pricing strategies to suit your target audience’s needs better.
The growth of online shopping
More and more people are shopping for cars online. This means that you need to have a strong presence on the internet, with a website that is easy to navigate and provides accurate information about your vehicles. You also need to be active on social media platforms and participate in online discussions. Online shopping gives dealers critical insight into the shopping habits of their customers. This allows dealers to increase profits by acquiring the proper inventory and listings in the right places to boost car sales.
The importance of online reviews
Online reviews are essential for dealerships because these reviews allow businesses to understand what other people think about them. If you have several bad reviews, this could be a turn-off for potential customers and hurt your bottom line. This means you need to be active on review websites like Yelp and Google My Business so that you can respond to negative feedback in real-time.
The growth of electric vehicles
Electric vehicles are becoming more popular, and this trend will only continue in the years ahead. You need to be prepared to sell and service these vehicles, and you need to have a solid understanding of how electric cars work and any special requirements that might come with owning one.
Dealership strategies to stay competitive in the automotive market
Sellers can use several dealership strategies to stay competitive in the automotive market. Some of the best strategies you can use are:
Research market trends
Researching market trends is an excellent way for dealers to understand what customers are looking for right now. Simple google searches like “How do people shop for cars today?” can bring up information that you can use to make changes within your organization, such as adding more inventory or changing to suggested retail pricing on specific models of cars and trucks.
Inventory optimization is one of the most crucial dealership strategies to stay ahead in the automotive market. You need to have an accurate picture of what inventory you currently hold at any given time and how much demand there is for each vehicle on your lot or showroom floor. With technology and social media, you can gauge customer interest in specific models before spending money on buying those vehicles.
Having a strong online presence
Dealerships need to have a solid online presence, and this means that you need to have an updated website with accurate information about your inventory and financing options available. You also need to be active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to interact with customers in real-time.
Offering a trade-in program
A trade-in program like the Kelley Blue Book’s Trade-in Advisor can benefit both dealerships and customers. You can offer a fair price for the customer’s old car, which will help them sell their cars quicker. The customer can then use that money to purchase their new vehicle. Dealers can use trade-in programs to acquire more inventory in the form of high-quality pre-owned vehicles at a lower price. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Selling cars online
More and more people are shopping for cars online. This means that you need to have a strong presence on the internet, with a website that is easy to navigate and provides accurate information about their vehicles, like special features and suggested retail pricing. You can upgrade their online listings to have high conversion rates using Kelley Blue Book’s Listing Enhancements tools.
Use technology to provide a great customer experience
Technology can be used to provide a great customer experience. This includes using tablets or iPads for customers to browse inventory, using video chat to allow buyers to communicate with salespeople from the comfort of their own homes, and having an interactive website that allows buyers to learn about the car they are interested in buying. In some instances, car brands use augmented reality technology to let buyers see what their vehicle would look like before deciding.
How Kelley Blue Book can help dealerships
Kelley Blue Book is a leading provider of new and used car information. The website provides suggested retail pricing data on cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans so that buyers can make informed decisions when purchasing their next vehicle. Kelley Blue Book also offers a full suite of tools that you can use to help stay competitive in today’s automotive market.
With Kelley Blue Book, you have access to:
Price Advisor - Provides vehicle pricing data based on make, model, and trim level. This is a valuable tool for suggested retail pricing.
Trade-In Advisor - Gives buyers an idea of what their current vehicle is worth. This helps them determine how much money they will have to put down on their next car or truck and enables salespeople to negotiate a better deal with customers by offering more for less.
Instant Cash Offer - Allows dealers to buy vehicles from customers for a fair price below suggested retail pricing. This is an excellent option for dealers looking to stock their lot with new inventory or for buyers who want to sell their cars quickly and easily.
Online Vehicle Listings - Allows dealers to post their inventory on Kelley Blue Book’s website, reaching a massive audience. Listings are rich with photos, videos, and detailed information about each car or truck.
The automotive market is constantly changing, and you need to be prepared for the new challenges that come with it. You must adapt your inventory acquisition, marketing, suggested retail pricing and sales strategies to keep up in this competitive market. Kelley Blue Book can help you fully understand the concept of “how do people shop for cars in today’s age?” This will ensure you’re ahead of the curve and maintaining a competitive edge. For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book.
Vehicle inventory recently hit historic lows. Consumers who wanted to buy new cars certainly felt the squeeze. However, those who work within the industry took the biggest hit. Far too many dealerships were unprepared because they didn’t utilize many of the best practices for auto inventory sourcing and procurement. This was disastrous for some.
Now more than ever, car dealers have a unique opportunity to implement inventory management strategies that can benefit them now and in the event of another industry interruption. Integrate these into your normal operations, and you’ll quickly see results.
1. Use fixed ops in auto inventory sourcing
Many dealers fall into the trap of thinking that best practices for auto inventory sourcing all involve marketing. As you’ll see in the rest of this guide, this isn’t an over-the-top assumption. However, it turns out your parts and service department can also be an incredible resource. These comprise the fixed ops of a dealership, and employees in this department see a constant flow of clients.
Dealers already understand how essential parts and service departments are. The National Automobile Dealers Association says that this revenue should cover 60% of a dealership’s overall costs. Since customers who visit this department often face large repair bills, though, there’s a prime opportunity for them to “trade up” to a new vehicle.
This is one of the best practices for auto inventory sourcing and procurement for several reasons. For instance, more people choose dealer service centers over general repair shops. Upcoming service appointments are also easier to track, so it’s simple to target clients who have high-demand vehicles. Let your service folks handle procurement for you!
Visit our guide on Increasing Fixed Ops Revenue to learn other ways your parts and service department can help.
2. Offer trade-in incentives
Many of the best practices for automotive inventory sourcing have been around a long time. Offering trade-in incentives is one of them. During the recent automobile shortage, we saw this tactic escalate dramatically. Not only did more dealerships start going this route, but many got rid of nearly every discount and rebate other than trade-in bonuses.
Just think what this means for your dealership. For every vehicle you sell off the lot, you get a new one coming through. It’s hard to envision a shortage developing in such a situation. This is why offering high-level trade-in incentives is easily one of the best practices for automotive inventory sourcing and procurement.
3. Use data points to target priority customers
You’ll sometimes hear marketers and executives say “data is king.” This saying is one of the truest you’ll ever hear when it comes to targeting customers. For instance, what if your collected data showed that 98% of a particular vehicle’s sales were attributable to individuals between the ages of 25 and 35? Who do you think you should target your marketing at then?
Data is just as important when learning the best practices for automotive inventory sourcing. In this situation, procurement is less of a focus. While it’s still incredibly important, there are a variety of different procurement strategies you can use after finding autos. However, sourcing the vehicles is as simple as taking a look into your dealership’s data.
Look for clients who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Have high monthly payments or a high interest rate
- Make frequent visits to the service department
- Hold high equity value in their vehicle
In these situations, someone might have already considered a new car. Even if they haven’t, they’re likely at least amenable to the idea. This best practice for automotive inventory sourcing becomes even more powerful when you realize you can target certain vehicles. For instance, someone with high interest rates and an in-demand vehicle is the best of both worlds.
Data is king, and if your dealership hasn’t yet realized that, it’s time to make a change.
4. Utilize simple and proven acquisition tools
Consumers prefer simplicity. Perhaps that’s why one of every three car purchases now takes place online. There’s little doubt that perusing auto selections online is far simpler than visiting multiple lots. Fortunately, there are ways to offer this ease to consumers while also improving your inventory acquisition. It all comes down to using proven tools.
For instance, Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer removes the friction associated with consumers visiting dealerships not knowing what to expect. Instead, they can get an offer redeemable from Kelley Blue Book in just minutes online. This is easily one of the best practices for auto inventory sourcing because it simplifies things for those who want to sell or trade in their vehicles.
Of course, it offers an array of benefits for dealers as well:
- Connect with customers from Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book who are transaction-ready
- Lower your acquisition costs by avoiding things like transportation, auction fees, etc.
- Accessing vehicles online means you can source from anywhere
- Option to put the vehicle on your lot or sell directly to Cox Automotive for full offer value
Some of the best practices for automotive inventory sourcing require hard work. After all, getting started in data management isn’t a simple process for those new to it. That’s why using proven tools that simplify tasks for both you and consumers is ideal.
Instant Cash Offer is one of those tools, and signing up is easy and can bring quick results. This resource also comes with a variety of integrations that help in other areas — including data management — and that’s something you should look for in every dealer tool.
Visit the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer page today to see how much more successful you can be at inventory acquisition.
5. Let customers handle the heavy lifting
Wouldn’t it be great if your customers could do all the hard work at your dealership? Unfortunately, there aren’t many willing to do so. What they might be amenable to, however, is recommending your dealership to others. This is more than just one of the best practices for automotive inventory sourcing and procurement. Customer referrals are the backbone of many industries.
In a perfect world, happy customers would simply tell others about the great deal they got. This would convince their friends and family to visit your dealership when the time came to buy, sell or trade in a vehicle. Since it doesn’t always work like that, though, consider offering incentives to customers who get others to trade in or sell their vehicle to you.
Many of the best practices for automotive inventory sourcing involve getting the word out. Offering customer incentives is no different. By putting your customers to work for your dealership — particularly after they’ve sold a vehicle to you — you can make money on each client multiple times.
Use these best practices for auto inventory sourcing today
Auto sales and inventory will eventually bounce back. It’s important not to forget, however, the lessons learned from the vehicle inventory shortage. For one, such a move would leave you unprepared if similar problems arose in the future. More importantly, maintaining appropriate inventory levels can help your dealership succeed even when a pandemic isn’t going on.
Kelley Blue Book can help you in this endeavor. In addition to our Instant Cash Offer tool — easily one of the best practices for automotive inventory sourcing — our blog also offers a wealth of knowledge completely free of charge. The strategies provided in these pages can take your dealership to the next level. Visit our blog today to learn more.
There was a time when advertising a car dealership meant putting up billboards and running radio ads. As the technology evolved, however, promotional strategies became far more complex. One area that typically causes the most confusion is social media strategies for car dealerships. With just a little hard work, though, it’s easy to excel in this area.
Why is this important? It’s because social media is now the number-one way businesses connect with consumers. Unfortunately, about half of brands say the top social platforms are only “somewhat effective” for promoting their business. This doesn’t mean social media strategies for car dealerships aren’t adequate — it simply means many dealers need guidance.
This guide provides exactly that. Whether you’re trying to improve sales or beef up your inventory acquisition program, the best social media marketing strategies for car dealerships can help.
The best social media platforms for car dealerships
Do you know the best social media platforms for car dealers? If you ask some dealers, they’d answer “all of them.” This is certainly a bold and motivated position, but there are more than 250 social platforms currently in existence. Even if you only focused on the most popular, you’d still be wasting resources with some social media strategies for car dealerships.
This is because not every platform is ideal for every type of auto marketing. TikTok may not be effective at improving inventory acquisition by getting customers to trade in their vehicles — and Twitter might not be ideal for short-form videos (yet). Because of this reality, it’s best to focus on the following platforms when building social media strategies for car dealerships.
Facebook for wide reach
Facebook boasts over 2.8 billion users around the world. This makes it one of the best social media platforms for car dealerships. Whether your focus is bringing in new inventory, getting clients to schedule service or unloading all your fall inventory — most of the folks you’re targeting are on Facebook.
This platform is great for just about every form of content and the audience targeting tools make it easy to market to specific demographics. You’ll also have access to data that can improve your marketing endeavors.
View the Data First guide on Kelley Blue Book to see how this can help.
Twitter to share useful content
While Facebook may hold the top spot for deploying social media strategies for car dealerships, Twitter isn’t far behind. The latest research on this platform found that it contributes to more than $700 million in yearly auto sales. Use Twitter to share blogs, articles and visual content geared toward the car buying experience.
Instagram to connect with younger audiences
Millennials are leaving Facebook in droves for Instagram. While the latter platform isn’t at the top of the social mountain, it does offer a great chance to reach young adults. Pictures and videos are the name of the game on Instagram.
Sharing images of cars in beautiful destinations will appeal to the adventurous. Conversely, videos of customers getting a check for a trade-in will make the “hustle generation” take notice — especially if you include a caption explaining how easy the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program makes the process. There’s no shortage of great Instagram social media strategies for car dealerships.
YouTube to showcase video content
YouTube is one of the best social platforms for selling vehicles. This is where you should put all your video content. Those in the market to buy cars will want videos that discuss safety features, comparisons and connected devices. Walkarounds are also vital tools to appeal to customers. And while folks are gaining insight from your videos, it doesn’t hurt to announce a trade-in offer to help with inventory acquisition.
LinkedIn to reach a professional audience
You can share any type of content on LinkedIn, but it’s best if you’re targeting potential fleet customers or a professional audience. Most people use this platform for business purposes, but if you offer luxury vehicles or fleet services, you can find your audience on LinkedIn.
Pinterest to further expand reach
Many people don’t think of Pinterest when considering social media strategies for car dealerships. This is a mistake. This platform centers mostly on visual content, but it can also boost your search ranking if you include links to blogs, landing pages and inventory photos.
This is also a great opportunity to utilize specific marketing tactics that target females, as they make up most of the users on Instagram — and they’re also involved in 85 percent of all car-buying decisions.
Best social media strategies for car dealerships
Recognizing which platforms to use for specific marketing strategies is a great start. Unfortunately, this isn’t all you need to know. After all, simplifying trade-in deals with the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program and knowing the best platform to promote it doesn’t magically mean your content will appeal to potential clients.
The following strategies are how you accomplish this. You can use these across all social media platforms for car dealers. This means that—even if you’re using sites not mentioned on this list—these tips can help you appeal to those in the market to buy, sell, trade-in or even those who just need an oil change.
1. Automate social media strategies
There are many things you can’t automate—ranging from auto service and repair to pre-delivery inspections—but posting to social media platforms for car dealers isn’t one of them. The following automation tools will help you schedule your posts well in advance so your marketing strategies don’t falter when you have a particularly busy day:
- Zoho Social
- You can automate nearly all of your dealership’s social media tasks. Check out our Inventory Acquisition page to see how you can automate even seemingly complex processes.
2. Tell stories on social media platforms
Whether a marketer is promoting a breakout pop star or crafting new social media strategies for car dealerships, they’ll often swear by the phrase, “content is king.” This is very true. People seek out valuable and engaging content, but storytelling has also become an integral part of any effective promotional endeavor.
By including storytelling in addition to typical marketing tactics, you’ll humanize your brand and build a connection with potential customers. Share images of your employees taking part in charitable events or post videos of your staff conversing with clients.
Anything you can do to show real people work at your dealership will appeal to viewers.
3. Include customers in your social media posts
Any business can claim that they take customer support seriously. If you can show consumers real examples of this, however, they’ll know it’s more than just talk on your part. Consider posting videos and images of your customers — with their permission, of course — to drive up engagement.
There are many ways you can do this. For instance, improve your inventory acquisition marketing with a video testimonial from an excited customer who just received their check. You could also post an image along with a customer’s unique story of why they chose to buy from you.
The possibilities are endless.
4. Engage your followers
Even the most effective social media strategies for car dealerships can falter without engagement. Sure, this means posting engaging content is a top priority. Unfortunately, that’s not quite enough. You also need to engage your followers after the fact.
How do you do this? It’s simple: respond and converse. Don’t let a comment on your post go by without a response. Don’t make a customer who posted to your wall feel unappreciated by not commenting. It takes a bit of work, but keeping the conversation going increases your visibility.
5. Provide content that offers value
Your social media profiles need to remain active and up to date. It’s important to remember, though, that simply posting isn’t enough. You need to share content that provides value to succeed.
This means providing your followers with something they can use. A blog centered on car buying tips is a great idea. A how-to video on getting an offer through the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program is another prime example. Even a photo gallery of new vehicles in your inventory provides value to someone.
The simple fact is this: you will get no value on social media platforms for car dealerships if you’re not offering value to those who see it.
Now’s the time to put social media strategies to work
Whether you’re actively seeking new inventory or simply trying to take advantage of high demand, social media is key to helping your dealership succeed. While this may seem like a major investment upfront, there’s no denying that effective marketing on social platforms offers a great return on investment. It all comes down to persistence and making the right decisions.
Over the last couple of years, the car buyer’s journey has drastically changed. With a myriad of automotive research websites and tools now available, buyers are no longer confined to just a few sources when it comes time to buy their next car. With increased options and opportunities for customers, you must find a way to separate yourself from the rest.
According to Deloitte’s Global Automotive Consumer Study, 78 percent of current vehicle purchasers consider the customer experience “somewhat important” or “very important.” Dealerships that don’t mesh their sales processes risk losing automobile consumers to competitors that do. To adequately meet customers’ needs, it is imperative that you correctly understand the car buyer’s journey.
Before you can begin increasing sales, you must ask yourself, how do people shop for a car in 2022?
Step 1: Car discovery
The first part of the car buyer’s journey is to realize that they need or want a new vehicle.
The car discovery phase usually consists of car buyers in the market for a new car and are starting their research.
During this phase, car buyers look for general information about vehicles and what is available. They may also be considering specific makes and models that they are interested in.
To reach these car buyers, you need to ensure your dealership’s website is up-to-date with the latest models and that you have an active social media presence. It would help if you also considered advertising such as search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
It’s important to note that car discovery doesn’t just refer to people buying their first car – it includes those who are replacing a vehicle they currently own and those who are upgrading to a newer model.
There are many different ways to reach a customer at this stage. Some of those employ a mix of digital and traditional marketing methods.
In terms of digital marketing, using a company such as Kelley Blue Book can significantly help your dealership become top of mind in this stage of the car buyer’s journey. Kelley Blue Book offers advanced ads designed to reach customers who match the perfect demographic for your ideal clients. Kelley Blue Book provides multiple advertising types: advanced ads, alpha elite ads, eLot ads, dealer showcases, and spotlight ads.
For customers looking to replace their car, Kelley Blue Books Trade-In Advisor can be a valuable resource to show car buyers the potential value of their vehicle. This allows them to make a more informed decision when car shopping. This also will enable dealers to gain more inventory as people trade in their cars for a new one.
Step 2: Car research
After the buyer has realized they need or want a new car, the next step is to research different makes and models. This can be done in various ways, but your dealership must be easily accessible online and offline.
Car buyers are likely to visit your website, read online reviews, and check out prices at other dealerships. They may also take a test drive or look at financing options.
To make sure you’re reaching as many car buyers as possible during this phase, you must have a robust digital marketing presence. This includes having a well-designed website that is easy to navigate, SEO-optimized content, and social media profiles that are regularly updated. You should also be actively engaged in online review sites such as Yelp and Google My Business.
Having the proper inventory in stock is also a great way to win a sale. When clients are in the research phase, they are likely looking at a specific make and model. If you don’t have that car in stock, they will be more likely to buy from a dealership that does.
Kelley Blue Book can not only help you acquire more inventory, but it can also help incentivize potential car buyers to purchase from your dealership through its Instant Cash Offer. This tool is what your dealership needs to draw in more inventory and close more sales.
Instant Cash Offer can easily be added to your website and is a great way to stand out when potential clients are conducting research on your website.
Step 3: Point of purchase
The next step in the car buyer’s journey is to decide on the vehicle they want to purchase. This is typically done when the buyer is at the dealership.
At this stage of the car buyer’s journey, customers are looking to buy and narrow their choices to a few specific vehicles. They may also be considering financing or leasing a car.
Your dealership must have an efficient sales process in place to make the sale. You should also ensure a wide selection of cars available for test drives. This means it is essential to focus on acquiring inventory for your customers.
It’s also essential to have knowledgeable staff who can answer any questions potential car buyers may have.
Various management tools and software can help you track and manage clients that come to your dealership. With higher turnover rates in car sales, dealerships can gain more data on which cars are selling to their demographic, and this gives a clear idea of which makes and models to acquire when acquiring more inventory.
Step 4: Vehicle purchase
The fourth step in the car buyer’s journey is to purchase! While step three involves narrowing down and test driving the vehicle, that is far from a purchase. In this stage, it is your job to ensure the customer is satisfied and that their questions have been answered.
This is also the most challenging step in the car buyer’s journey for a dealership! Purchasing a vehicle is a big decision for a customer, and there are multiple criteria that your dealership must meet to close the sale. Some of those include price, financing, and trade-in value.
The car buyer’s journey is not complete until they have successfully purchased a car! Kelley Blue book will help ensure that your dealership is successful in every stage of the car buyer’s journey.
Step 5: Customer follow-up
Once the customer purchases their vehicle of choice, the car buyer’s journey is not yet over. Customer service is more important than ever before. You must have a system in place for customer follow-up. This can include automated emails, text messages, or phone calls.
Kelley Blue Book offers a variety of tools to help you improve your customer service. These tools include car buying guides, car care resources, and even tools to help consumers schedule service.
Down the road, when customers would like to exchange for a new car, upgrade, or sell their vehicle back to the dealership, they will remember how you treated them during their initial car buying process. This can help dealers increase sales with new purchases and regain inventory from trade backs or buybacks.
Understanding the car buyers’ journey is one of the best ways for your dealership to increase its sales in 2022.
The ways of traditional purchasing are becoming more obsolete, and customers are looking for simple and convenient ways to buy a car.
Kelley Blue Book can help you reach these potential customers with a suite of products and services that cater to each step of the car buyer’s journey. Kelley Blue Book has you covered, from market research and lead generation to sales optimization and customer service follow-up.
It’s important to make your dealership’s trade-in program as simple as possible, and personalization can help in this process. Offering simplicity has always been necessary, but during the most recent inventory shortage, it became absolutely essential. Unfortunately, many dealerships overlook how important personalizing the car trading experience is in the process. This can be a major hurdle to inventory acquisition.
Luckily, this isn’t a shortcoming you have to live with. By simply taking a few proactive steps, dealerships can make their trade-in process easier and more appealing for customers. In addition to helping build inventory, personalization will also benefit your overall sales and brand reputation. Personalizing the car trading experience may be the best thing you ever do for your dealership.
Simplifying the car trading process
When you personalize the car trade-in experience, you can greatly increase your ability to maintain inventory. All the personal touches in the world mean nothing, however, if you’re not also providing a simplified process. The fact is that 25% of consumers are willing to switch auto brands to get what they want, and a fair and simple deal on their trade-in falls into this category.
Before you dive into the task of personalizing the car trading experience, ask yourself if you’re offering a simple process for your customers. This can be a difficult question to answer since simple is a subjective term. By utilizing the following strategies, though, you can remove complications from the entire trade-in procedure.
Make the process easy to understand
A chief complaint among consumers trying to trade in their vehicle is that they don’t understand the process. It’s not that trading in a vehicle is inherently complicated, but there is no uniform procedure used by dealerships across the country. If you’re trying to create a personalized car trading experience, you must first start by ensuring your customers know what’s going on.
The easiest way to do this is to use simple and clear language. Take time to break down the process step by step. You can even fully explain it on your website so anyone trying to trade in or sell their vehicle knows exactly what to expect before ever coming to the dealership. And by using tools like Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, consumers will have all the information they need before ever visiting.
Offer tools to simplify the process
The Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program does much more than just prepare consumers before they come to your dealership. It also allows them to enter all their information from the comfort of their homes. This helps customers find the value of their car for a redeemable offer — with minimal effort on their part — that lasts for seven days.
While this adds to the simplified and personalized car trading experience, it also makes the job of the dealership much easier. The friction that’s typical of the trade-in process is removed entirely since everything gets done digitally. The offer is also backed by Kelley Blue Book. Once you accept a vehicle, you can choose to put it on your lot or sell it to our partner for full trade-in value.
Make scheduling an appointment easy
If someone calls your dealership interested in selling or trading in a vehicle, it’s simple to provide them with the right information. In a world where the overwhelming majority of consumers visit websites before ever contacting a company, though, you want to make sure they can do as much on your company’s page as possible.
This is why you should put “Sell My Car” and “Trade In My Car” links in obvious places on your website. Don’t hide these links in hierarchical navigation menus — although you should also feature them there.
Make an offer during service and maintenance
Even when there’s a shortage of automobiles in the market, dealerships can still make money through their fixed operations. While this is beneficial for both dealers and their clients, it also offers the opportunity to simplify trading in a vehicle. Once the mechanics have finished up with a customer’s car, it’s simple to make an offer right on the spot.
This can be a powerful moment for a personalized car trading experience. Dealer reps already know what type of vehicle the person enjoys, and they’ve likely had conversations about what the customer doesn’t like about their car. This information can prove invaluable if there’s something in inventory that would meet the needs of the service client.
Check out our Fixed Operations Blog for other ideas on how your service department can work magic.
Personalizing the car trading experience
As long as your dealership utilizes the above strategies, you’ve done almost everything possible to simplify the trade-in process. This is typically enough for many dealerships, but the shortage that began during the pandemic proved more is needed. Customers looking to trade in their vehicles are in the metaphorical driver’s seat, so you have to stand out.
You can accomplish this by personalizing the car trading experience. There are plenty of ways to do this — some more effective than others. The following strategies are those which have proven successful both before and during the vehicle shortage. In short, there’s no reason to think such approaches won’t continue to work in the future.
Adapt to the customer’s schedule
One of the most important things you can do to personalize the car trade-in experience is to work on the customer’s schedule. The pandemic changed nearly everyone’s daily routine. The end of the pandemic may alter a lot of things, but most people’s new routines would not. Individuals found freedom in having flexible schedules.
It’s imperative that you personalize the car trading experience with this in mind. If a customer can only come in during the morning, make sure someone can see them. If they can’t arrive until 30 minutes after the dealership closes, consider bending the rules a bit. Trade-in personalization means respecting a client’s unique time constraints.
Put more of the process online
Dealers who focus on personalizing the car trading experience often dwell too much on active measures they can take. It’s important to remember, however, that it’s clients themselves who can best personalize their experience. By utilizing online tools like 360° walkarounds and the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program, you can let customers create their own experience. Consumers can also upload up to six images of their vehicle, so this makes the entire process more transparent on all sides.
Utilize social media targeting
If you’re vigilant about your dealership’s social media presence, you’re ahead of the game compared to some car sellers. Targeted social media marketing is one tool, though, that even the most attentive professionals sometimes overlook.
With platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you can do more than just “boost” individual posts. You can literally target specific demographics — including age, gender, geographic location, income level, and more — in order to personalize the car trading experience.
After all, having a traditional SUV owner see your trade-in deals doesn’t accomplish much if your dealership sells luxury vehicles.
Know your customer’s personal situation
It may seem tempting to get customers in and out of your dealership as quickly as possible during an inventory shortage. After all, it’s difficult to even keep vehicles on the lot. If someone walks away with their trade-in to consider their purchase options, there’s a good possibility that someone else will swoop in and buy the vehicle they were looking at.
Even with this being the case, salespeople should still get to know every potential customer’s personal situation. Not only is this essential for personalizing the car trading experience, but it will provide invaluable information you can use to point the customer toward a new vehicle if necessary.
If the vehicle they want gets sold, though, make sure you openly communicate. If they decide to trade in a vehicle for something you had on the lot, it can be a rude awakening if they show up and it’s gone. Let them know this is a possibility so they don’t feel blindsided, and give them a call if someone does buy the vehicle. This will help maintain the relationship.
Start offering a personalized car trading experience today
Whether the auto market reaches normalcy or continues experiencing supply crunches, the fundamentals never really change. When inventory acquisition becomes as important as it did during the pandemic, though, those fundamentals became far more important. Fortunately, everything you’ve learned in this guide focuses specifically on improving in this area.
At Kelley Blue Book, we do more than just provide market prices to consumers. We also strive to help dealerships become as profitable as possible. We’re happy to offer a variety of tools to help simplify and personalize the car trading experience — including resources that bring transaction-ready consumers right to your lot!
The Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer tool is one great way to improve personalization, so take the time to learn how this tool can help your dealership trade-in program today.
There are a myriad of tools that can help dealerships succeed. From augmented reality showrooms to virtual test drives, tech has surely done some amazing things within the auto industry. Without proper promotion, though, these resources are meaningless. This is why utilizing effective car dealership marketing is essential.
Unfortunately, the old way of advertising simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Radio ads and billboards once worked wonders for everything from selling cars to inventory acquisition, but things have changed as consumers have evolved. Luckily, the same fundamentals still apply.
Each of the following strategies takes these fundamentals into account to make marketing your business a simpler task.
1. Create an engaging website with solid content
Car manufacturers have long recognized the importance of an online presence. If you run a small local dealership, though, you may not think there’s a necessity. This couldn’t be more wrong. In recent years, one-third of auto sales have taken place online. Even if you can’t sell online yet, customers are visiting your website before choosing to buy.
This means you must provide easily navigable pages with engaging content that offers value. This can include images of your inventory, 360-degree virtual walkarounds, a step-by-step trade-in process with Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, how-to maintenance videos and more.
This car dealership marketing tip will do more than just bring folks to your website. You’ll also rank higher on Google when people spend more time on your page. Your website should also have the following:
- What makes your dealership unique (e.g., locally owned)
- Contact information
- Customer testimonials and other third-party validation
- Calls to action (e.g., “Visit today for our best deals…”)
- Current special offers
- Guidance on your processes
Each of these falls under the umbrella of essential car dealership marketing tips. The final listed point, however, is particularly important. People think buying a vehicle is complicated, so you need to make it as easy as possible for them. Offer step-by-step guidance on what someone can expect when they visit your dealership. This is important whether you’re trying to sell a vehicle or buy one to improve inventory acquisition.
You can also provide tools that simplify these processes. For instance, featuring the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer tool on your website can prove invaluable. It walks consumers through the process of getting a trade-in offer — sometimes before they even know which car they want to buy. Simplifying the lives of consumers is the best car dealership marketing tip out there.
2. Run social media campaigns
Although having a great website is an essential task, it cannot be your only online presence. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have also become increasingly important. Many guides on car dealership marketing tips focus entirely on social media promotion. This isn’t surprising, since over 3.6 billion people use such platforms.
Unfortunately, this isn’t “set it and forget it” marketing. You can’t simply create a page on a social platform and just leave it to sit. If someone comes across your social media pages and there are no recent updates, they may very well believe you’re no longer in business. This can negatively affect your fixed costs, new car sales and ability to acquire new inventory.
Keeping these pages up to date is one of the best car dealership marketing tips we can offer. What should you post? The following content types consistently prove effective for auto dealers:
- Photos of employees with introductions
- Images and videos of current inventory
- Links to your latest blog posts
- Any deals and promotions currently offered
- How-to videos for common issues (e.g., changing a tire)
- Event announcements
- Customer testimonials
- Customer appreciation posts
These car dealership marketing tips for social platforms are essential, but this list is far from exhaustive. The right posts could also vary based on what you’re trying to accomplish. During a supply crunch, for instance, it’s smart to create a customer appreciation post for someone who traded in a nice vehicle. This lets you celebrate your clients and provides an opportunity to discuss how easy the process is with Instant Cash Offer.
Your goal should be to take the basics and apply them to your unique situation. As a local dealer, you will face different challenges than other dealerships, but if you stick with the fundamentals, you’ll succeed.
3. Don’t overlook paid media
If you keep looking online for car dealership marketing tips — or tips in really any industry — you’ll repeatedly come across the term organic marketing. This form of promotion includes strategies where you’re not paying to have content seen. This is a great approach, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking paid media can’t be beneficial.
Paid media is a form of marketing that involves paying to promote content. This can include social media ads, branded content, sponsored placement on Google and a variety of other approaches. Yes, consumers would be able to find your business easily in a perfect world. In some situations, though, it’s necessary to give your brand a boost.
There is one significant benefit to this approach: it saves time. While many of the best car dealership marketing tips will build brand awareness over time, a paid ad can immediately put your local car lot in front of consumers online and on other platforms.
4. Send out email blasts
As technology progresses, many marketing tools get left behind. While strategies like newspaper ads and billboards are certainly still in use, there’s no denying that they’re less effective than in the past. Some people believe email has already gone in this direction, but in reality, it’s still one of the best car dealership marketing tips we can offer.
You still check your email every single day, right? We know that because almost everyone does. You can also bet your bottom dollar that folks researching cars online are keeping track of their inbox. This makes sending out email blasts a necessary step in promoting your local dealership. This is the case even if you think you don’t have anything to say.
For instance, consider the vehicle shortage during the pandemic. If you don’t have any vehicles on the lot, any recommendation to send out a “Come buy a car” email would be a less than ideal car dealership marketing tip. Of course, sending out a trade-in promotion or an offer to buy a customer’s car via email would make sense from an inventory acquisition standpoint.
If you’re going this route, make sure to check out Kelley Blue Book’s Inventory Acquisition Resources.
5. Automate every car dealership marketing tip
One of the most common excuses for not marketing a car dealership is “I’m too busy.” You’ll hear this excuse across many industries. There’s no denying that effectively promoting a local dealership — especially if you’re up against international brands — requires a time commitment on your part. Fortunately, you can automate many of the tools you need.
For instance, remember how important we made email sound as a car dealership marketing tip? Several online resources allow you to automate these and schedule them far in advance. Mailchimp, Autopilot, SendinBlue and HubSpot are just a few of the most popular options. Here are some non-email tools that automate other marketing processes:
- Referral Rock
If you’ve ever thought implementing car dealership marketing tips would take up too much time, these tools may be the answer to your concerns. The best part is that many of these resources offer free versions of their services. This means even small local dealerships can get started on improving their marketing strategy.
And, if the point comes when you need a paid version of these programs, it simply means your success has outgrown your expectations. That’s a good problem to have!
Take these car dealership marketing tips seriously!
Effectively marketing a car dealership takes commitment, but it doesn’t have to be all-consuming. The strategies discussed in this guide are meant to simplify the process. While there are countless other resources and strategies available, these will give you the biggest results for the effort expended. Having the right tools on your side can do wonders.
Providing those tools is what we’re committed to at Kelley Blue Book. In addition to offering car dealership marketing tips and other promotional resources, we also supply an array of products geared toward increasing profit. Whether your goal is to improve sales, fixed costs or inventory acquisition, you’ll find everything you need with Kelley Blue Book.
Inventory acquisition is critical for a strong start to the year, especially with today’s supply chain constraints. Tax season is upon us and spring is around the corner. If history is a reliable guide, sales are about to pick up quickly. Have you got the inventory you need for the spring buying season?
Acquiring more inventory for your dealership in 2022
The inventory shortage advantage
On the surface, it appeared that the automobile inventory shortage resulting from new security measures and shipping concerns might wreak havoc on car dealerships in 2021. The numbers, however, tell quite a different story. Through July of 2021, car dealerships pulled in a reported $42 million, and those figures reflected an increase compared to the $36 million in sales during the same period the previous year.
This year, with vehicle inventory still tight, effective vehicle acquisition will be the key to profitable sales. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips for you.
How to acquire more inventory for your dealership
The good news is cars are flying off of lots as we have rarely seen before. The bad news is many dealerships can’t keep up and can’t keep inventory.
One of the most effective approaches to keeping your inventory full is to employ multiple inventory acquisition techniques. The more avenues of acquisition a dealership can use, the better because the old problem of too much inventory is of little concern in today’s market.
Don’t forego the means of traditional inventory acquisition.
While manufacturers struggle to meet demand, face security shipping delays, and a myriad of other related issues, dealerships have felt the strain. Many dealerships report vehicles arriving, but they aren’t ready to move. Others are simply not getting orders met, and some have even experienced months-long delays.
Although car dealerships have no recourse to remedy this problem, it is still essential for dealerships to maintain the pipeline of inventory acquisition.
Creating a diversified sourcing strategy doesn’t omit traditional inventory acquisition methods; it merely means adding to them. That also means continuing to use traditional techniques such as wholesale auctions. From here, dealerships will need to utilize new strategies, processes, and technology.
“Inventory is the lifeblood of the dealership, and dealers must find unique ways to acquire good car inventory.”
– Randy Kobat, Vice President of Operations for Inventory Management Solutions at Cox Automotive
Using new strategies to acquire more inventory for your dealership
More car shoppers are taking to online avenues to find, search, and even purchase their next vehicle. Using your website for more than a marketing medium can offer inroads to help acquire more inventory for your dealership. Engaging with customers and potential customers can position your dealership to find and procure more quality inventory throughout the year.
Here are some innovative ways that you can acquire more inventory for your dealership in 2022:
1. Create sales events
Creating sales events and connecting with consumers outside of traditional dealership channels will provide more options to acquire more inventory for your dealership. Car shoppers ready to buy are one of the most viable resources for adding quality vehicles to your existing vehicle inventory. These are routes that Kelley Blue Book can assist your dealerships with to ensure your vehicle inventory is maximized.
Here are some ways you can promote your sales events:
- Run social media advertising campaigns
- Set up banner advertisements on Google
- Include giveaways, draws, or raffles for those who attend
2. Using tech and data solutions to acquire more inventory
Technology has become an essential tool for many car dealerships. These tools aid dealerships in defining and establishing a consistent appraisal process, and they enable dealerships to offer online appraisals and much more.
One way to collect more data on your customers is implementing a CRM. CRM’s collect and store customer data to make better-informed decisions on purchasing behavior.
Another strategy is implementing the Kelley Blue Book price advisor on your website. This will allow customers and clients to see the vehicles listed below market value, leading to an increase in sales.
3. Present fair and transparent offers
In Missouri, the General Manager of Chuck Anderson Ford was cited saying, “You make money when you buy a car, not when you sell it.” That truth is most evident when working with customer purchases and trade-ins. This is where the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer tool can make a difference and afford dealerships more opportunities to improve inventory acquisition numbers.
Kelley Blue book helps dealers build trust by providing a transparent experience, instilling confidence in consumers. This trust and transparency can help to close more deals and acquire additional inventory.
Ensuring your inventory is full
Having a complete inventory and a substantial selection of vehicles is the lifeblood of every car dealership. Contact Kelley Blue Book to learn more about how to acquire more inventory for your dealership, not just today, but every time there is an opportunity.
Selling cars is the goal of every dealership, and that begins with your vehicle acquisition strategy and practices.
Are you looking to join the most anticipated auto show of 2022? Look no further! NADA Show is the place for you. Held every year, this event brings together dealers, suppliers, and many other industry professionals under one roof. With thousands of attendees and more than 550 participating companies, NADA Show is the perfect place to learn about the latest industry trends, make new connections, and get inspired. It’s hosted by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and set to take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 10–13, 2022. If you’re looking to stay ahead of the automotive industry curve, you need to be at NADA Show 2022. This article will give you a sneak peek of what to expect at the show.
What is NADA Show?
This event is one of the largest gatherings of dealers, suppliers, and other industry professionals in North America. Among the attractions at NADA Show, Kelley Blue Book is excited to once again be an exhibitor at the show. As a leading authority on automotive values and trends, Kelley Blue Book will offer live demonstrations of its industry-leading tools and services.
Registration is now open
If you’re planning on attending NADA Show 2022, make sure to register now. Registration rates start at around $580 and may differ depending on your role in the automotive industry.
What to expect at NADA Show 2022
Now that you know what NADA Show 2022 is and when it’s taking place, let’s look at some of the things you can expect.
One of the biggest attractions of the NADA Show is the exhibit hall. This year, over 550 companies will participate in the show, so there will be plenty of products and services to check out. In addition, there will be several keynote speeches and panel discussions from industry leaders covering topics like dealerships of the future, sales and marketing strategies, and more. If you’re looking for some inspiration, this is the place to find it.
NADA Show 2022 is a jam-packed event with something for everyone. Here are just a few of the things you can expect:
Keynote speeches from industry leaders - Get insights from some of the biggest names in the automotive industry.
The exhibit hall - Check out the latest products and services from 550+ companies.
Networking events - Get to know your fellow dealers and suppliers in a more informal setting.
Lab sessions – Catch short 20-minute TED-style talks on the latest industry trends.
Dealer franchise meetings - Meet with the franchisors of your choice to learn more about their dealership models.
Who should attend?
Many different people attend NADA Show 2022, but it’s especially beneficial for the following groups:
Dealers – Dealers are always looking for new products and services to offer their customers, and NADA Show is the perfect place to find them. This is also an excellent opportunity to network with other dealers and learn from their experiences.
Suppliers – Suppliers can expect to meet potential buyers from all over North America at NADA Show. It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase your latest products and services, build relationships with dealers, and get feedback on your offerings.
Service providers – If you’re a service provider, NADA Show is the place to be. This is your chance to connect with dealers and learn about their needs. You can also promote your services and build relationships that lead to future business opportunities.
General management – If you’re in a general management position, NADA Show is an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest trends in the automotive industry. You can also network with other professionals and gain insight into how dealers operate.
Marketing and sales – If you’re in marketing or sales, NADA Show is where you want to be. This is your chance to learn about the latest strategies and tactics working for dealers. You can also meet potential clients and partners at the show.
Finance and insurance professionals – Finance and insurance are two critical aspects of the automotive industry. If you’re in this field and have financial instruments or products that you want to promote, consider getting a booth at the show.
Digital professionals – If you’re in digital media, NADA Show can put you in front of those you need to meet. Content creation, social media, and website design are essential aspects of automotive marketing. You can either learn from the experts at NADA Show or show off your skills to potential clients.
Body shop professionals – If you’re in the body shop business, NADA Show is an excellent opportunity to meet with suppliers and discuss potential partnerships.
Exhibitors you will find at the show
There are many different kinds of exhibitors at the NADA Show 2022. Some exhibitors at the show include:
Cox Automotive is a leading provider of automotive services and products. They offer a variety of solutions for dealers, including advertising, software, and inventory management.
What Cox Automotive offers:
Marketing: Cox Automotive provides various marketing solutions, including digital marketing, SEO, and more. Cox provides a proprietary data platform that gives dealers access to rich customer data. They also offer the opportunity to build a digital showroom that can be used to increase leads and sales.
Software: Cox Automotive offers a suite of software products that help dealers manage their operations more efficiently. This includes a CRM and DMS. A CRM allows dealers to manage customer relationships, while a DMS helps dealers manage their inventory.
Sales services: Cox Automotive also offers sales services to dealers. This includes eCommerce solutions, digital retailing, and more. With these services, dealers can quickly sell their products and services online.
Kelley Blue Book
For generations, Kelley Blue Book has been the industry-standard for trust and transparency providing vehicle valuations, expert ratings and reviews and editorial content.
What Kelley Blue Book offers:
Inventory acquisition: Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer allows dealers to acquire more inventory by buying cars from consumers. This gives dealers access to more vehicles without going through an auction or other selling process. Sellers need to input information about their car on Kelley Blue Book’s website, and they will get an offer for the car.
Improve your bottom line: Kelley Blue Book’s online inventory solutions like Trade-In Advisor help dealers improve their bottom line. Kelley Blue Book offers a variety of pricing tools that allow dealers to get the best prices for their vehicles.
More leads: Kelley Blue Book’s solutions also help dealers reach more leads. Use tools like LeadDriver to capture more lead information and increase your sales pipeline. In addition, you can also enhance your vehicle listings with more information, photos, and prices to be more transparent and attract more buyers.
How to get the most out of your experience at the show
Attend the right sessions: When you attend a trade show, it’s essential to participate in the relevant sessions for your business. At NADA Show 2022, there are a variety of sessions that will help you learn about new technologies, trends, and best practices. A list of the daily speakers can be found here.
Network with other exhibitors: Another great way to get the most out of your experience is to network with other exhibitors. This allows you to exchange ideas and learn from each other. You can also find potential partners and clients at the show. A list of the exhibitors can be found here.
Lab sessions: If you’re looking to learn more about a specific topic, consider attending one of the lab sessions. These sessions act as 20 minute TED talk-style presentations that will help you learn about various topics. A list of the lab sessions can be found here.
NADA Show 2022 is the perfect place to learn about new technologies, trends, and best practices in the automotive industry. Make sure to attend the proper sessions and network with other exhibitors to get the most out of your experience. It’s essential to have a goal for the show and be prepared before you attend. There are hundreds of exhibitors and many speaking events you may miss if you don’t plan.
The Kelley Blue Book booth is always a popular stop for attendees at NADA Show 2022. This year, they are focusing on online inventory solutions that will help dealers improve their bottom line. Schedule a demo here to learn more about the Kelley Blue Book platform before the show.
If you’re in the business of buying and selling vehicles, you’ve no doubt felt the squeeze of the auto inventory shortage. New vehicles simply aren’t available due to a chip shortage, and this has driven demand for used automobiles through the roof. Of course, this means they’re in short supply as well. So, what are car dealers doing to survive the current shortage?
Unfortunately, not all of them are surviving. Many smaller dealerships have gone out of business due to the shortage. Most car lots have managed to get by, but very few are thriving without taking proactive measures. Luckily, there are many of these measures available. If you use a few simple strategies, the vehicle inventory shortage may become a non-factor for your dealership.
Increased focus on fixed operations
Not every approach for dealing with vehicle shortages will involve increased inventory. The primary goal is to keep revenue high, and selling vehicles isn’t the only way to accomplish this. Research found that fixed-operations departments accounted for nearly half of dealership revenue in 2017. This number has likely increased due to the current vehicle inventory shortage.
There are a variety of ways to leverage fixed ops at a dealership. One of the primary ways is to redirect some of your marketing investment toward fixed ops campaigns. While this would typically decrease inventory visibility, the shortage makes this less of a factor. With many dealer lots sitting empty, those who want to buy a vehicle are going to find you regardless.
Also consider advertising special offers on parts, service, and maintenance visits. This will help increase sales even during a vehicle inventory shortage. This equates to improved dealer margins and the ability to turn a profit even when you don’t have many automobiles to sell. Laying this strategic groundwork now will continue to offer benefits even when the shortage is over.
While the shortage persists, though, you should also use your service department for inventory acquisition. Once a customer’s service appointment is complete, offering them an Instant Cash Offer is a great way to get a quality vehicle on the lot. If nothing else, service representatives can subtly communicate that you’re ready to buy whenever they’re ready to sell.
Read our full guide on why you should Invest in Service and Repair to safeguard your dealership.
Continued communication with clients
Every dealer knows that client communication doesn’t stop after the sale. Once someone buys a new or used car, messaging continues via email, phone, SMS, and other methods. This could be something as simple as an oil change reminder, or it may be time to offer an existing customer an upgrade along with a great deal on their trade-in.
Of course, the latter of these communications can be difficult during a vehicle inventory shortage. After all, what can you offer clients if you don’t have vehicles on the lot? Even so, this is no excuse to cease communications. Your customers need to know that they’re still on your mind. If you drop the ball during this time, it will be hard to pick it up when the shortage is over.
In some instances, these communications will be nothing more than service reminders or a quick “thank you.” You can also send inventory, pre-order, and vehicle delivery status updates to clients who have expressed interest. Messaging and communication are vital for customer loyalty in every industry, and this doesn’t stop simply because there’s a vehicle inventory shortage.
Utilize vehicle inventory acquisition technology
The strategies discussed thus far have not focused on inventory acquisition. Still, this should be a top priority as long as the shortage persists. There are a variety of ways to do this — ranging from creating “We Buy Cars” programs to contacting private sellers. For every acquisition approach integrating inventory acquisition technology can prove invaluable.
By utilizing acquisition software platforms, you can automate many of your dealership’s most important processes. This is essential during a vehicle inventory shortage, and if done correctly, you may barely notice the shortage. This is essential to attract the 48 percent of consumers who decided to postpone their vehicle purchases due to the inventory shortage.
What makes the difference is having a selection that’s more diverse than what’s offered at other dealers. This is even more important since 25 percent of people planning to buy a vehicle say they might switch brands to do so. By utilizing inventory acquisition software, you’ll simplify what could be the most essential process in the current market.
While this shortage has led to significant changes, the fundamentals remain the same. You need customer loyalty and an impressive selection. Kelley Blue Book can help you in this process. Review our Inventory Acquisition Resources today to see how improved technology can improve your bottom line by reaching clients who are ready to sell or trade-in.
Leave aggressive negotiations at the door
When car sales were high, it was easy to aggressively negotiate the price of sales or trade-ins. There were plenty of cars to go around, and taking a trade-in was often just a tactic to close a sale. Thanks to the vehicle inventory shortage, though, bringing in additional inventory is an absolute necessity. This means dealers need to be more amenable in their negotiations.
This doesn’t mean you should bend to a customer’s every demand. A shortage in inventory is no excuse to make a bad deal. Simply convey to your sales team that it’s okay to be flexible in negotiations. You don’t want prospects to go to the competition. If they can get what they want elsewhere, you should ask yourself why they can’t get it with you.
Don’t let the auto inventory shortage cause lasting damage
Even the most pessimistic of analysts know that the shortage of sellable vehicles will not last. Unfortunately, the damage caused by this shortage could last over the long term. Dealerships that do not properly respond to these issues may be able to scrape by, but it could prove difficult to fully recover even when things go back to normal.
Visit our Industry Solutions page today to learn more about how Kelley Blue Book can help your dealership thrive.
Discover new ways to grow your dealership and connect with new customers. If you’re considering a new campaign to increase your inventory and reach a new audience segment, consider offering a “We buy cars” campaign. Learn more about the benefits of car dealerships’ buy cars campaigns to see if this strategy may work for your dealership.
Increase used car inventory
Across the nation, dealerships sold approximately 8.3 million light-duty vehicles in the first half of 2021, according to a midyear report by the National Automobile Dealers Association. Whether you’ve seen an increase in used car sales or are struggling to keep up with sales projections, a car-buying campaign can help you acquire profitable inventory. Expanding your inventory can be a benefit whether you have a few cars or thousands across multiple locations.
Some dealers are offering incentives to their sales team to find used cars. This aggressive strategy can increase your inventory but can take more time and can be more of an investment. A campaign offering to purchase used vehicles at your dealership may be a more convenient and effective way to increase your inventory.
Even if you’re not dealing with the current inventory shortage, expanding your used car inventory can help you offer more options for your customers, increasing opportunities to attract new customers to your dealership. Don’t just expand your inventory, but you can utilize vAuto Provision strategy to find the most competitive vehicles for your dealership.
Purchasing a new vehicle from a “We buy cars” campaign can also be more convenient than reaching out to customers on your service department lists or lessees. These customers may be interested in upgrading their vehicle or ending a lease early, so still reach out to these customers for diverse opportunities to build up your inventory.
Hone your inventory options
Not looking for a diverse range of used vehicles for your lot? A car-buying campaign can also be a competitive way to focus your inventory. Simply offer cash or trade-in value for any vehicle, and sell the vehicles you don’t want to carry wholesale. Wholesale is becoming a competitive option for dealers, as the price of used cars at auction rose more than 5% in September 2021, according to the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index.
Your car-buying campaign helps you increase the number of used cars coming to your location, which you can then sort through by choosing which vehicles to keep on your lot and which ones to pass on and still earn a profit. Use the increase in inventory to make decisions on trending makes and models of cars.
Tap into a new market segment
When car dealerships buy cars, they offer powerful incentives for new customers to connect with them. Customers who are interested in selling their vehicle may not be the same ones that are likely to visit your dealership and review your inventory.
When you run a car-buying campaign, you can offer these new customers a cash offer and a trade-in value. As long as these offers are competitive, they can attract consumers looking to sell a used vehicle or update their current ride.
You can benefit from both situations. If your buying campaign ends with a cash sale, then you’ve increased your inventory. A trade-in helps you diversify your inventory with a used vehicle and helps you land a sale on a new or used vehicle.
Use the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer tool to power your car-buying campaign. This convenient tool makes it easy to offer a competitive rate for a cash or trade-in offer. You don’t need to calculate the value of a used vehicle on your own, but simply offer to buy a vehicle at the stated value of an Instant Cash Offer.
Establish consumer trust
As a car dealer, establishing consumer trust is essential. An aggressive sales strategy can turn away many buyers, so a car-buying campaign is a great way to incorporate a buying strategy with your sales model. Start by building a relationship with your customers and use a trade-in strategy to show that you’re interested in a mutually beneficial relationship with your customers.
You’ll continue to promote deals on your new and used inventory, but offering cash or trade-in value for used vehicles can help change the conversation. Your customers may not feel as pressured to buy when you start the conversation with an offer to buy their vehicle.
Using a third-party valuation tool also helps you maintain a high level of trust. When you work with a tool like Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, then you can point to a third-party price estimate as you offer a fair value for trading in or selling a vehicle.
Consumer trust takes more than a few tools, so you should also work with your sales team to promote your car-buying campaign. Lead with an offer to inspect a vehicle for a cash offer or trade-in valuation. This lead can be a great way to start a conversation and lead a customer down the sales funnel.
Promote trade-in opportunities
If you’re experiencing fewer vehicle sales in recent years, then you’re not alone. There were approximately 3.4 million car sales in 2020, according to Statista. This is significantly less than the recent peak in 2016 of over 17 million vehicles.
Some car dealerships buy cars to encourage trade-in opportunities. Use the Kelley Blue Book Trade-In Advisor to expand leads from your website using this same strategy. Customers who aren’t willing to sell their vehicle may still be interested in trading it in for a newer model.
Trade-ins represent a significant profit for many dealers. If you aren’t promoting a trade-in model for your customers, then you could be missing out on an opportunity to earn more from each transaction.
Trading in a used vehicle can also be a convenient option for your customers. When you sell a customer a new car without purchasing their used one, then they may try to sell it to a private party. Vehicles for sale by owner are difficult to advertise and time-consuming to sell. Be sure to mention how a trade-in can be convenient for your customers as you discuss the value of their vehicles.
Some trade-ins are best sold at an auction, while others are suited for your lot. Both options allow you to earn a profit, so don’t let these differences hold you back from launching a car-buying campaign. Advertise your willingness to purchase used vehicles and review them on a case-by-case basis to determine the best way to sell them.
Shift your branding focus
You can even use your car-buying strategy as an opportunity to shift the branding focus of your dealership. Don’t just offer to purchase vehicles as an afterthought, but proudly promote this new shift in sales to your team and customers. Focus on trade-ins and other services that are beneficial for both your team and your consumers.
A shift away from a sales model to a buying model works well with building consumer trust. This makes conversations with your sales team feel less like a sales pitch and more like an opportunity to earn money on their used vehicles.
Expand customer testimonials
A new customer is a new opportunity for a testimonial. Satisfied customers are great advertising, particularly as they tell their friends and family about the deal they got at your dealership. Tap into this opportunity by promoting your car-buying campaign.
Buying a used vehicle for cash or trade-in value brings in customers who may not have otherwise visited your location or offered a testimonial. Be sure to work with your sales team to make these first impressions positive ones. This can increase your reputation in the local community and attract more leads for sales, trade-ins, or new car purchases.
Prepare to buy used cars with Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer
From a few used trucks to a full lineup of light-duty cars, find out how you can expand your inventory, build your reputation and earn more with a car-buying campaign. See why so many car dealerships buy cars before using the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer tool to promote your own car-buying goals. Contact the team at Kelley Blue Book and read our blog to receive answers to any questions you may have about acquiring cars and using the Instant Cash Offer tool.
Automotive marketing is a complicated and nuanced process that can be difficult for dealerships to get right. With so many channels, messages and tactics available to them, it’s easy for dealerships to spend too much time focusing on the wrong ones. But suppose you want your dealership to succeed in this competitive market. In that case, you must run an effective marketing campaign and employ the best strategies possible. In this article, we will give 11 of our favorite strategies for automotive marketers.
1. Put together a newsletter campaign.
Newsletters allow you to reach out directly to customers without resorting exclusively to paid advertising methods like Google Adwords and Facebook ads. You should consider using Constant Contact or SendGrid, as they both offer tools that will help you build relationships with your target market while also driving sales at the same time.
2. Optimize your website for mobile devices and SEO rankings
It’s no secret that mobile search is on the rise, so it’s essential to make sure your dealership has a mobile-friendly version of its site available at all times. Start by using Google Analytics to track how many visitors you get from both desktop and mobile sources. You can also use tools like Moz or SEMrush, which will help you learn more about how people find your dealership through searches online. They also help optimize various pages of your website to improve their ranking on local search results pages (SERPs). Try out different keywords and see what kinds of responses you receive before changing the actual content itself. Get creative when thinking up new titles for your site’s pages that will help them stand out when people search online.
3. Use CRM software to increase the number of leads you generate.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools can be an incredibly effective way for dealerships to keep track of all their incoming leads, including inbound phone calls and emails. Some examples are LeadMaster or Salesforce, which will help your dealership’s marketing team stay more organized. They also provide a wide range of features that make it much easier for marketers to take action on these incoming requests at any level within your business. This is one area where investing some time into proper research could pay off big dividends down the road if implemented correctly. However, be sure not to use too many different platforms, as this can cause confusion when managing customer records across each one.
4. Use video to market your dealership on various social media platforms.
As consumers are increasingly flocking towards visual content providers like YouTube, Vimeo and other similar services, it’s become easier than ever before for marketers to generate new leads by using short videos which highlight certain features or benefits associated with different vehicles. Using this type of marketing strategy will allow you to get better results from each campaign instead of only relying solely upon text-based posts across Facebook, Twitter and more. If done right, this could be one strategy that drives higher engagement rates and potentially converts into additional sales down the road.
5. Create an online community for customers and prospects
Creating an online community or forum for all of your dealership’s consumers to discuss the various currently available vehicles is a great way to build loyalty among current customers. This type of strategy will help ensure that both existing and future clients are exposed to positive information about your business. This also helps with providing potential leads with additional opportunities to learn more about what makes you stand apart from everyone else.
6. Evaluate ongoing performance through relevant metrics
It can often feel like there isn’t enough time in any given day when working at a car dealership. It can be easy for marketers who aren’t used to using many data and analytics tools to overlook one of the most important aspects of any successful marketing strategy – evaluating where you’ve been to make better decisions going forward.
One great way for dealerships to get started with this is by using software like Kelley Blue Book and Google Analytics, which will allow your business’ marketers to more easily assess what’s working well and what could be improved upon from a performance standpoint. This might include looking at everything from bounce rates on various landing pages right through referral traffic sources that are driving consumers into becoming leads in the first place.
7. Develop your own app
While not every dealership will have the necessary time and resources to invest in creating a full-blown custom application for their consumers, there is a lot of value from doing so. It can be an effective way to drive additional leads into your business. Apps are becoming increasingly interactive, which means that they’re much more likely to keep visitors on target regarding providing them with information about both current and upcoming vehicles available at your location. If your dealership doesn’t have the current budget to develop an app, consider using mobile platforms already built like Kelley Blue Book to showcase your inventory.
8. Invest in marketing automation software
Marketing automation is one of the most important aspects of any successful dealership using online marketing strategies to generate additional leads and sales. By creating personalized campaigns with email providers like MailChimp, it’s possible for marketers at your business to keep better track of how their efforts are performing overall. Which means they can make necessary changes when something isn’t working quite as well.
9. Maintain a consistent presence through regularly scheduled posts
It doesn’t matter what type of content you’re planning on providing consumers with moving forward. Whether this includes weekly blog posts about common problems associated with your industry or perhaps monthly reviews focused around particular vehicle makes/models – it’s always going to be essential to come up with a schedule and stick to it.
10. Create a contest or sweepstakes with prizes that people can’t refuse
There are countless ways to use contests to generate leads at your dealership, but there’s no denying that the best types of these strategies provide consumers with an opportunity that they’ll be hard-pressed not to take advantage of. A few great examples might include a chance for people who sign up early enough to win free oil changes each month or perhaps even monthly giveaways related to various car products available through your business.
11. Give back to the community.
Some of the best leads you’ll ever generate will come from consumers who are interested in donating their time or money to one of your dealership’s charitable causes. By setting up an online fundraising page through platforms like GoFundMe, Rallybound and more, it’s possible for marketers at your business to get started with this type of strategy fairly quickly while making a difference within your local community.
How Kelley Blue Book Can Help Your Dealership
Kelley Blue Book is a handy platform that dealerships of all sizes can use to generate additional leads at the dealership. No matter which marketing strategy your dealership ends up using, sellers will ultimately need to visit your location or website to learn more about what you have to offer.
With Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer, you can streamline the car buying process by enabling your customers to get a quote on their vehicle with a few clicks of a button. This removes any negotiation friction and makes it easy for your customers to get a price on their car without visiting your location.
Kelley Blue Book also allows dealers to analyze customer behavior on their platform so you can understand how to better engage with your customers and know exactly which users are ready to make a purchase, trade-in or sale. To find out more about Kelley Blue Book’s platform and how it could help your business, click the link here.
When it comes to change, is your dealership a leader, a follower, or a laggard that prefers to maintain the status quo? Take our quiz to find out where you stand, and then learn how Kelley Blue Book can help you achieve business goals no matter where your dealership falls on this spectrum.
Read each question and choose the answer that best fits your dealership.
How active is your dealership on social media?
- Extremely active. We post daily or more on various platforms and encourage people to DM for a fast response.
- Solidly active. We have a couple of active social media profiles, post regularly, and try to respond to some comments.
- Somewhat active. We have one or two social profiles and try to post often but don’t always keep up with the habit.
- Inconsistently active. We use our social profiles to make product announcements and let people know about sales.
- Not active at all. We don’t use our social profiles regularly.
You notice a large amount of new condo and townhome construction near your dealership. What do you do?
- We consistently watch for new trends and changes in the local community and launch targeted direct mailers, social media, and other ad campaigns.
- We request permission to put sales flyers in the community areas of the new development and may send direct mailers.
- We might sponsor a cookout welcoming our new neighbors to the area and inviting them to check out our inventory.
- We already plan sales events that are well advertised in the local area and hope new residents partake.
- We would enjoy the fact that our dealership is visible to so many potential new customers.
How do you decide what vehicle selection to keep on your dealership lot?
- We utilize sophisticated inventory management software that helps us appraise, source, and price vehicles.
- We have relationships with numerous partners that support our inventory selection and procurement processes with expert knowledge and technology.
- We rely on various data sources, including industry reports, to understand current trends and how they might impact inventory selection.
- We have regular sales meetings to provide feedback about what customers are asking for and what needs our sales staff perceive. Then, we pair that with past sales figures and information from sources like social media.
- We strive to choose inventory that matches overall current market trends and our business goals and budget.
How do you appraise trade-ins?
- We use a third party tool that utilizes local market data to determine a valuation.
- We have saved searches and access to databases to generate comprehensive pricing information.
- We look at what our competitors set for their trade-in pricing.
- We use a printed guide to car values.
- The manager or someone else takes the car to the back and assesses value manually.
How often do you update or add content to your dealership’s website?
- Our website updates in real-time, particularly with inventory
- Multiple times a week
- Multiple times a month
Do you incorporate app technology into your advertising, sales, or customer service processes?
- We have our own CRM apps and work with third-party sales and advertising apps.
- We work with third-party apps regularly.
- We have at least one app involved in these processes and rely on it regularly.
- We’re starting to use apps or consider how to integrate them into these processes.
- We don’t use apps for these processes.
What’s your approach to customer retention after the sale?
- We use technology to automate customized, personal touchpoints with customers to promote dealership services and future sales and then help them manage vehicle care.
- We use our email and direct mailing list to send helpful information and remind customers about service needs. We also encourage sales staff to use technology to send holiday/birthday cards and customized follow-ups.
- We have a monthly email newsletter that includes updates about our inventory, links to helpful articles for vehicle owners, and coupons for service.
- We provide every buyer with a limited number of free oil changes and options for a longer warranty if they use us for vehicle maintenance.
- We introduce the customer to our service department and provide the first oil change free.
Score Your Results
Score each answer using the numbers below. Then, total the results and find your range to learn more about what type of dealership you have.
A = 5
B = 4
C = 3
D = 2
E = 1
30-35: Innovator. Congrats, you’re a leader of the pack. You’re open to trying new tools and technology and may be an established dealership in a metro area with a second- or third-generation owner. You’re always on the lookout for better ways to serve customers and improve revenue, and you’re not scared of being the first to try a new opportunity.
24-29: Early Adopter. You’re also a leader among dealership peers, and you know that partnerships and communication are essential to success. You show up regularly on message boards and dealership network events to find out what others are doing. You’re equally eager to try things that work for others and let peer dealerships know what’s working for you.
18-23: Early Majority. You’re more a follower than a leader. You will make changes to how your dealership does things, but you want to see many other businesses make the change first. Keeping up with competitors is important, but you’re happy letting someone else take the major risks before you dive in.
10-17: Late Majority. The status quo has worked for you this long, and you’re not risking change without some definitive proof of ROI. You’re not on the search for innovations that cause significant change for your staff.
Below 9: Laggard. What you’ve always done has worked, and you’re not sure you need to change anything at all. New technologies and processes typically need to become older tech and processes before you’re willing to try them.
Kelley Blue Book Can Help, Whatever Your Goals Are
Scoring as a Laggard but know you need to move toward being an Adopter to remain successful in the modern market? We can help. Scoring as an Early Adopter or Innovator and looking for the next big change to explore? We can help there too.
Read our Inventory Solutions blog to learn more.
The automotive industry was one of many that were forever impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dealerships across the nation were affected by this pandemic in many different ways, but they continued to persevere. Dealership owners and managers had to find new strategies for attracting customers; otherwise, their businesses would fail.
While COVID-19 has played a role in the way consumers make purchasing decisions, the trajectory for the dealership industry has not been significantly altered. The business was already at a crossroads and social distancing has only accelerated changes that were already underway. Dealerships are already working on the new challenges they face in this volatile environment. Finding ways to adapt to changing consumer preferences and expectations while developing new income streams is critical to long-term success
Here are three of the most significant challenges that dealerships are set to face moving into 2022 and beyond and different ways that you can address these issues.
Challenge 1: Increasing Demand for Online Sales
With the massive shift towards online shopping, traditional dealership models are being challenged by the rise of decentralized marketplaces. Dealerships need to find ways to adapt their showroom spaces and sales techniques to meet this demand for more convenient purchasing experiences to avoid losing out on vital revenue streams.
According to Cox Automotive, 64% of shoppers want to do more online purchase process the next time they buy a vehicle. This shows that dealerships need to capitalize on this trend by providing their customers with online sales portals. Dealers can also create apps for mobile devices where consumers can purchase vehicles and schedule test drives directly from the app without ever stepping foot in a dealership showroom or meeting with a salesperson. Dealership owners should also be using tools like Lead Driver that Kelley Blue Book offers.
Strategies to Help
While online sales will add barriers to purchase for many dealerships, there are some great ways to overcome this challenge.
Create an “Omnichannel” Sales Presence
An omnichannel sales presence combines all of the dealership’s sales channels to provide a cohesive, user-friendly experience. Dealerships are increasingly tailoring their digital experiences for customers on different devices and making online services available through smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
Dealerships need to offer an attractive combination of traditional face-to-face interactions with staff members and personalized customer service over phone calls or emails. As a dealership, you also should ensure you offer modern digital options like interactive websites that display vehicle inventory alongside pricing details and extensive information about each model line. This is especially important given that most car buyers will begin looking for cars online before entering showrooms at some point during the purchase process.
The more seamlessly you can combine these avenues into one single, streamlined platform, the more likely customers will remain loyal to a single dealership.
Install an Augmented Reality Showroom for Your Dealership
Companies such as Mini Cooper have now created augmented reality experiences that can be downloaded to a phone for customers. People can view all of the mini cooper’s vehicles in their own home or office and walk around them from different angles in the app.
Provide Online Sales Calls or “Consultations” for Customers Who Can’t Visit Your Dealership
Digital sales channels aren’t the only option available to dealerships. Dealerships need to invest in developing online sales call services that potential buyers can initiate over a video consultation with a staff member. This way, your sales staff can answer questions without the customer having to drive to the dealership. Using this approach, even those unable to make it out into showrooms will still have the opportunity of being exposed to dealer-provided information about inventory and pricing options.
Challenge 2: Inventory Shortages
One of the primary challenges that dealerships are now facing is a shortage of inventory. According to NADA, new light-vehicle sales have declined nearly 13% YOY. This is being accredited to the global microchip shortage. The shortage has lasted far longer than industry experts had predicted and there is still no immediate end in sight. CNBC has reported that this microchip shortage is estimated to cost the automotive industry $210 billion in revenue in 2021.
While the vehicle demand has increased in recent months, the capacity to produce semiconductor microchips has not been able to meet demand. Dealerships are now finding it extremely difficult to find vehicles on the lot, let alone have enough inventory for customers. Dealership owners need to adjust their strategies for this challenge by focusing heavily on marketing and sales tactics that generate leads rather than closing deals with prospective buyers.
Strategies to Help
This is a perfect opportunity for dealerships to figure out how to best leverage digital channels over traditional ones to boost revenue despite the low supply of cars available at your dealership.
Implement Price Matching Strategies
Dealerships whose inventory mainly features new cars must remain competitively priced and continue providing incentives such as low financing rates or extended warranties. Dealerships should consider implementing price-matching strategies for new vehicles so they can still compete in the market.
Provide Free Incentives and Perks
It isn’t just about price matching your competitors when faced with increased competition from other car lots. Dealerships also need to provide exclusive perks like free pick-up service for people purchasing online. Hence, customers have peace of mind knowing their vehicle has been safely delivered at no extra cost before purchase completion.
Provide Unique Services to Stay Ahead of the Competition
By providing unique services such as buying customers’ cars or free pick-up service, you will be providing a more convenient experience for buyers and encouraging them to come back to your dealership. Dealerships need to invest their resources into developing new strategies that set the customer’s mind at ease before purchasing from another dealership.
Challenge 3: Increased Competition for Consumers’ Attention
With industry giants such as Carvana, Vroom, and Carmax offering low-cost strategies and ease of access, dealerships are finding themselves with a lot more competition than ever before. Dealerships need to find ways of remaining competitive in the market or risk losing customers at an alarming rate.
Strategies to Help
Dealerships should focus on digital marketing and sales tactics that encourage consumers to visit their dealership rather than simply purchasing online from another competitor.
Focus on Customer Service and Follow-Ups
The data shows that individuals who purchase a car from a dealership are more likely to return for a future purchase. Dealerships need to provide excellent customer service, so buyers remember their experiences and return when they are in the market again. It would be best to always prepare your Dealership staff with information about warranties, financing rates, or additional services that may interest potential customers.
Integrate CRMs To Increase Prospecting Initiatives
Many of today’s Dealerships are integrating CRM software into their business. This allows the dealership to be proactive in upcoming deals rather than reactive by allowing access to a large volume of information about individuals who visit their lot or express interest through online forms.
Dealership staff can also use this data to follow up with potential customers and schedule test drives when they’re most likely interested in purchasing a vehicle.
Use Display Advertising
Display advertising is a great way for Dealerships to draw leads, as it can be highly customized and focused on location. Dealership owners should focus advertising efforts on individuals who may fit the target market of their dealership and encourage them to visit in person. if you are looking to get started with display advertising, contact Kelley Blue Book today.
The dealership industry is facing constant challenges. From increasing competition to a lack of inventory due to global shortages, dealerships must be proactive to remain relevant in the market. Dealerships should focus on digital marketing and sales tactics that encourage consumers to visit their dealership rather than simply purchasing online from another competitor.
While challenges will always exist in the automotive industry, being well informed of trends and preparing your staff for a rapidly changing market will allow dealerships to succeed in an ever-evolving environment.
Expand your inventory and connect with buyers looking to trade in their used vehicles this holiday season. Don’t let the news of a car production shortage have you worried over the holidays, but find out how Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer can help you reach out to motivated car sellers. Find customers looking to sell their used car quickly in a competitive market or trade it in for a newer model in your inventory over the holidays.
Reasons To Promote Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer This Holiday Season
Accepting offers as a Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer participating dealer is a competitive strategy for your dealership any time of the year, but this holiday season is a great time to promote this solution.
Promote Your Program Over the Holidays
While inventory may be low, the holidays are an excellent time to offer deals and end-of-the-year sales events on your inventory. You can combine holiday car deals and Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer to encourage consumers looking to buy, sell or trade to visit your location.
Some consumers first visit your lot to purchase a vehicle, not necessarily to sell theirs. Try promoting holiday discounts to attract potential buyers, then discuss the benefits of a Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer as they review your inventory.
Increase Discount Used Vehicle Inventory
The recent inventory shortage has disproportionately affected lower-priced vehicles. Approximately 19 percent of used vehicles in June 2020 were priced between $10,000 and $15,000, according to Statista. This category fell to less than one percent in June 2021. These affordable vehicles help bring in customers who may be willing to consider higher-priced vehicles and are also a cost-effective way to build up your inventory.
Use Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer this holiday season to avoid a sales slump or empty lot. Keep your sales team moving and your inventory growing with integrated tools and consumer insight resources.
Purchasing used vehicles at a discount can be a risk if you aren’t using these helpful tools like Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer and vAuto Provision®. With these, you can be confident about which vehicles are best to hold and which ones should be sold to Cox Automotive. Hold the right cars and sell them at the right time to balance gross profits and inventory levels.
How Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer Works
Car owners in your area can use the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer tool to get a sight-unseen appraisal. This motivates customers to bring in their vehicle for sale or trade at your dealership. Feel confident about a sight-unseen appraisal with this data-driven tool, which can help calculate the value of a specific used vehicle in your area.
The process starts with an online questionnaire about the vehicle. After the customer inputs information about the make, model, mileage and overall condition of the vehicle, they receive a Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer. This offer is valid for seven days and is subject to a review by your in-house team.
By becoming a Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer Participating Dealer, you can connect with customers who are motivated to sell their used cars. You can also access Kelley Blue Book branded marketing materials to promote your inventory.
Benefits of Offering a Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer
Promoting your Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program this holiday season gives you, as a dealer, a better way to acquire inventory. In addition to your promotion of the program, you can connect with transaction-ready customers who are ready to sell their vehicles during the holidays.
Dynamic Inventory Opportunities
Connecting with customers through this opportunity gives you an expanded network of new inventory possibilities. This service is a competitive option for connecting with customers who are motivated to sell their vehicles.
A Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer can be used to increase or diversify your inventory. Customers looking to earn cash from their used vehicle can bring their vehicle to your dealership and redeem the offer. This is a great way to increase your inventory after securing an appointment with a customer.
The offer can also be to trade in a vehicle toward another one on your lot. This dynamic Kelley Blue Book tool works to increase or maintain inventory levels, while lowering acquisition costs by sourcing inventory directly from customers.
Low Acquisition Costs
Prospective customers already have the estimated offer, site unseen. This means that anyone who does drive to your dealership with a Kelly Blue Book Instant Cash Offer is a highly motivated consumer ready for a trade or sale.
Kelley Blue Book is the number-one most trusted third-party automotive brand ?, which takes the friction out of the trade-in process. Your team can still review the vehicle and adjust the offer based on its actual condition.
Flexible Inventory Options
Receiving too many Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer holiday requests? While too much inventory isn’t a common issue with the recent car production shortage issues, it may be a concern for your dealership. That’s why Cox Automotive offers to purchase any inventory you’ve acquired through the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program for the full trade-in amount.
This standing offer reduces risk involved in accepting a Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer. As long as you verify the condition of the vehicle when a customer brings it to your location, you can purchase it for cash value and send it to Cox Automotive. This makes Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer a competitive, low-risk strategy to get customers to your dealership and in front of your sales team.
Issues with low inventory are more common these days, so you may wish to keep vehicles you purchase or trade for. Clean and repair any vehicle that you accept through the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program and resell it for a profit.
Improve Your Bottom Line
Combine it with vAuto Provision® to identify the best strategy and listing price for your new inventory. This powerful combination of tools helps you find the right vehicles, reach out to customers and earn more from your inventory.
Third-party tools give customers peace of mind that you’re offering a fair price on a trade-in, which may be all your sales team needs to make a sale. They also help you improve the accuracy and consistency of your trade-in valuations, which helps your team create a consistent and transparent appraisal process and creates trust with the customer.
Learn More About Inventory Acquisition Tips for the Holidays
The Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer holiday push is just one strategy for improving your inventory acquisition. If you’re not part of this competitive program, consider joining the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer Dealer Program today. Unlock the potential of your dealership with powerful, data-driven tools. Request a demo today.
If you have an awful lot of pavement showing at your dealership — asphalt that was historically covered in vehicles — you’re not alone. Over the summer of 2021, for example, a Michigan dealership that could normally point to around 1,500 vehicles on hand only had 30 cars in stock.
While the White House and others are working to address supply chain issues across all types of industries, most experts agree we’re in for continued shortages through 2023 at least. Meanwhile, what can you do to improve inventory, drive efficiencies and cost savings and ensure your dealership is prepared for the future?
One way is to become a regular reader of the Kelley Blue Book Inventory Solutions blog. Read on to learn what you can expect from this resource and future posts.
If you’re ready to improve your inventory, find out more about Kelley Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer today.
Great Tips on Obtaining Inventory
We know inventory acquisition is a huge challenge for dealerships operating in today’s market. But inventory is always a business concern, so what you can learn now may help you safeguard dealership success in the future.
The Kelley Blue Book blog will bring you stories of dealerships that are successful in acquiring inventory and giving you the inside scoop on how they do it. On top of those proven tips and tricks, look for helpful information on acquiring the good quality used inventory you need to drive continued success as well as out-of-the-box tactics you can test in your business.
Have the inventory but want to improve your sales connections with online buyers? Discover more about vehicle listing enhancements on KBB.com and Autotrader.
Insider Info & Industry Stats and Research
Did you know that the average discount across the nation off sticker price as of September 2021 was just 4.3 percent?
Your salespeople may be pushing back if you’ve instituted stricter discount rules as a way to protect profits as inventory gets harder to obtain. They may also be getting pushback from consumers or believe that they’ll be unable to make the sale without discount flexibility. Arming yourself with information about national discount rates helps you assure sales staff that your dealership is in a similar boat as all others.
On the Kelley Blue Book blog, you can expect even more specific insights and research from Cox Automotive to help you guide decision-making and grow your business.
Learn How to Drive Efficiencies in Your Business
Our blog posts won’t all relate directly to inventory, because we know it takes more than just cars on the lot to create a successful dealership. You can also expect tips, tricks, and how-to content aimed at helping you gain more efficiencies in your business to drive productivity, profits, and cost savings.
Tips for Getting More from Tools You’re Already Using
Re-inventing the wheel certainly doesn’t drive efficiencies, which is why we’ll also take a look at common tools dealerships are already using and provide tips and tricks for getting more out of them. Look for insider advice for increasing the functionality of tools you’re already using, reviews, and comparisons to help you make decisions about what tools are right for your dealership. You also get tips and tricks from dealers like you on making the most of existing tools and technology.
Acquisition Strategies and Other Tips for Improving Profit
Finally, we’ll bring you regular data and education about acquisition strategies and other efforts that help you improve profits, even in challenging times. We’re not talking about basics, like selling stock at well above sticker price when you can get away with it, but tips about acquiring stock in a way that lets you price it competitively and consumer-facing tips that help you bring in consumers ready to make an automotive purchase decision.
Come back soon to discover all this information on the Kelley Blue Book Inventory Solutions blog! And if you can’t wait for more information or you’re ready to invest in services to improve performance for your dealership, contact us today.