Archive for category Automotive Product

Online Car Selling Checklist for Automotive Marketing

Online Car Selling Checklist for Automotive Marketing Professionals

 

Online Car Selling Checklist

Can a computer sell a car?

While much of the online car selling process is automated these days, the answer is still no. To successfully sell a car online, there are a few essential points that auto dealers and individual sellers need to remember. Mere hours of work, invested by a few people, can dramatically improve your vehicle sales online.

Before you post your vehicles on the internet, double-check Strathcom’s Online Car Selling Checklist:

1. Do you have great descriptions to hook your reader?

When you’re selling online, you need to engage your reader the same way an author does, in the first paragraph. Do you have detailed, complete vehicle descriptions? If not, don’t expect to sell cars.

*Pictures and descriptions can lower a bounce rate by up to 60% (Bounce rate is the percentage of people  that leave your site without clicking through to another page)

Tips:

  • Be descriptive — “soft, heated leather upholstery” sounds better than just “heated seats.”
  • Use safe terminology — avoid words like “mint” or “new.” A car isn’t new if it’s three years old. Rather, use ambiguous or interpretive terminology like “very clean,” which won’t cause problems down the road.
  • Use words people relate to — “well maintained,” “local,” and “accident–free” are examples.
  • Paint a picture — help readers picture a car in their minds. A good description for a convertible: “This cabriolet turns heads cruising in the sun.”
  • Tailor descriptions — is it summer? Then describe the efficient A/C system. Winter? Mention the vehicle has a car starter and heated seats.
  • Instil confidence in the reader — use words like unique, rare find, great find, very successful, award winning, economical, powerful, safe, beautiful, stunning, eye catching, head turning, best-selling, etc. Customers want to know they’re making a great buy.
  • “What’s in it for me?” — Highlight the benefits of each element you are describing to your customer. Don’t just say “has silicone wiper blades,” but rather add “Silicone wiper blades last three times longer and perform better than ordinary rubber blades. They offer resistance to fuels, oils, acid rain, washer fluid and road grime.”

The industry is changing. Things like “Tilt” and “ABS” are no longer selling features. People now want to know the MPG or L/100km they will get on a tank of gas. Honesty is important too; if a vehicle has high kilometers, admit it — but focus on its spotless service record.

Bottom line: writing good descriptions will increase the amount you get paid for your vehicles.

2. Have you posted pricing for all of your vehicles?

While some dealers feel that more people will call if there is no price, this is never the case. You should at the very minimum post a MSRP for new vehicles and make it easy for a consumer to submit a lead for more information. Pricing should always be posted for used vehicles — no exception.

3. Are your descriptions legible?

Ensure that your listings have proper spelling, grammar and easy-to-read fonts. Avoid wild colours, OVER-CAPITALIZATION (AKA “caps lock syndrome”), and fancy fonts as these elements will not give you more attention, but rather annoy the reader.

*Car buyers now physically visit only 1.3 dealerships before buying. Don’t give them a reason to go to the competition

   

4. Are you consistent across all postings?

Complete descriptions, detailed photos, proper prices — all of the elements that make a good vehicle posting need to be applied across the board on your listings to capitalize on return traffic. Consumers will research for 3-6 months before making a purchase, meaning they will return to your site multiple times; you should convey the correct brand message on each visit.

5. Do you have photos for all of your vehicles?

Having good vehicle photos should be common sense; customers want to see a car before they buy it. Do you have pictures for all of your vehicles? Do you have them online as soon as a car hits the lot? You should, or you could be losing sales to the competition.

*According to Kijiji, ads with pictures were twice as likely to get a reply than those without

Tips:

  • Highlight selling features — focus on what matters to your buyer. Selling a minivan? Focus on interior and safety.
  • Timeliness is extremely important — get pictures online within 48 hours of the unit arriving.
  • Include a variety of photos — give your customers an online walk-around of the vehicle.
  • Take Interior & Exterior Photos — get every angle: under the hood, the dashboard, seats (front and rear) and the exterior.

Side-by-side, which looks more appealing: no-name pop, or Coke? Which would you pay more for? Having vehicle photos is like branding. It makes customers more confident in your product, and increases sales while allowing you to ask more for a vehicle.

The principles are the same online as they have always been offline. If someone came in to buy a Cadillac Escalade, you wouldn’t bring up gas mileage. The point is to tailor your photos and descriptions to each vehicle. This is the best way to build quality leads that will make you a lot more money.

– Michael Fisher with Stuart Bendall and Trish Rowsell

 

 

via Online Car Selling Checklist – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Enhanced by Zemanta

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Do New Car Photos Really Make a Difference from Stock Photos? – Automotive Marketing Professionals

Do New Car Photos Really Make a Difference from Stock Photos?

ADM Forum Question Posted by Kim Essenmacher

I have to ask this question because each seminar, webinar and research study that I have read is stating this to be the case. It increases VDP’s, time on the site and in turn increases sales.  Here is a study from KBB:

Shoppers Want Actual New Vehicle Photos, Not Stock Photography on Dealer Web Sites

According to a new study conducted by Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research among in-market car buyers, 90 percent of vehicle shoppers would prefer to view actual photos of new vehicles currently on the dealer’s lot than view stock photography of a vehicle they are interested in buying.

When it comes to purchasing a used vehicle, viewing photos of the exact vehicle, its options, condition and mileage help a potential buyer make a purchase decision. But, when it comes to buying a new vehicle, in-market shoppers say they want to have that same luxury; seeing photos of the exact vehicle on a dealer’s lot before driving to the dealership. Today, most dealerships use stock photography of new vehicles provided by the manufacturer to showcase current model-year vehicles.

Recent market research shows nearly 70 percent of today’s new vehicle shoppers are turning to the Internet for new vehicle research. Nearly half of these shoppers visit at least one dealership Web site during the research process, making the information found on the dealer’s Web site crucial in garnering a new customer. In fact, 74 percent of vehicle shoppers say they are more likely to visit a dealership if they are able to view a picture of an actual vehicle currently available on the lot, rather than stock photography. What’s more, 53 percent would be more likely to buy that particular vehicle from a dealership offering actual photos of in-stock vehicles.

CDMdata Inc., a Kelley Blue Book Company, offers products and services that aid dealers in easily marketing both their new and used vehicles online with photos. CDMdata’s DigitalLot® Solution is a device that collects vehicle information by scanning the VIN, takes multiple photos of the actual vehicle and then uploads all of the information to the dealer’s Web site (and up to 150 retail Web sites) with the simple push of a button. The DigitalLot Solution can take up to 32 photos of each vehicle, and the in-depth VIN explosion allows consumers to instantly and accurately view all of the detailed information about their prospective new or used vehicle. For dealers who prefer to have someone else doing the book-in work, CDM Dealer Services provides a company representative to come to the dealer’s lot to upload the information and photography for them.

“The online automotive shopping and buying process must continue to evolve, and the DigitalLot Solution is a critical tool to help dealers improve their relationships and build more trust with online shoppers,” said Mike Romano, chief operating officer for CDMdata, Inc. and vice president of dealer strategy for Kelley Blue Book. “Whether using the solution for new or used vehicles, the DigitalLot quickly and easily automates the process of uploading dealers’ online inventory, allowing them to ultimately sell more cars faster.”

About Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com)

Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com is America’s most used and trusted vehicle pricing, values and information resource. The top-rated Web site provides the most up-to-date pricing and values for thousands of new and used vehicles, including the New Car Blue Book® Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. Since 1926, car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed automotive decisions. The company also reports vehicle prices and values via products and services, including the famous Blue Book® Official Guide and software products. Kbb.com has been rated the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings and the most visited auto site by J.D. Power and Associates eight years in a row. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than kbb.com; nearly one in every three American car buyers perform their research on kbb.com.

SOURCE: Kelley Blue Book

CONTACT: Robyn Eckard, +1-949-268-3049, reckard@kbb.com, or Joanna
McNally, +1-949-268-3079, jmcnally@kbb.com, both of Kelley Blue Book

Web site: http://www.kbb.com/

 

However, the largest dealer group in our state doesn’t use custom photos. My GM is afraid that if customers see new car photos that the customer won’t think that they can custom order a vehicle and we will lose sales!

I told my GM if he is worried about losing custom photos, we could put in the comments “Call if you don’t see what you are looking for?”

Also, how do we know that new car photos wouldn’t help increase the largest dealer group’s sales?

 

I am still trying to figure out which is the best way to go?

Any thoughts and additional research is appreciated.

************************************************************

Ralph Paglia Replies to Forum Question Posted by Kim Essenmacher: 

this is a similar question to “should we put our inventory online”, which was quite the debate up until about ten years ago… There is no question about the effectiveness of actual vehicle photos versus stock images. all the research shows anywhere from double to 4 times the lead volume on inventory with photos versus stock images when half the inventory has one and the other half is the other.

Honestly, this is one of those irritating issues that is a qualified for me on whether or not I want to work with a dealer or group… If they have not yet progressed to the point where the acknowledge that actual vehicle photos work better than stock catalog images, then they probably haven’t switched to broadband from dial-up yet.

Now, with that said there are alwys the economic considerations… let me explain. If you sell a brand of new vehicles where demand dramatically outstrips supply and your biggest problem is how much to mark up new vehicles above MSRP, then do not bother incurring the expense of taking inventory photos. heck, for that matter, save electricity and don’t turn on the lot lights at night!

I have done the “actual vehicle photos” comparison at several stores. This is where we run a 3 month test by taking actual photos of all new vehicels that have a stock number ending in an even digit and do not take photos for new vehicles with stock numbers that end in odd digits.  Having done this “test” at at least 6 dealerships over time, rarely do we get to the end because the cars with actual photos get all the leads and phone calls.  Then, when people start showing up on the showroom with the VDP printed out and in their hands, the whole thing turns into a big joke… Sort of “No shit Sherlock” actuial photos work better than catalog images… Again, the only debate os about the expense and the work flow.

Actual photos of new vehicles make almost as big a difference in lead volume as they do for used cars… Ever try advertising used cars with stock photos? It rates a Twitter “EpicFail hash tag.

Real photos generate more leads than catalog images. Can you tell which one of the following images is real… and which one is Memorex?

The new 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LT Black Diamond and 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LT Black Diamond inventory images above are from the same dealership and for two different vehicles of exact same model and trim… Also, consider that “Real videos” generate more leads than “Real Photos” alone… Real Photos generate more leads than “Stock Images”… get the drift?

However, before incurring the expense of implementing real photos of new vehcile inventory, there is a genuinely valid question that should be sincerely and realistically answered first: “Does your sales department effectively convert leads into showroom visits and sales?” Because, if the dealership is deficient in handling customer inquiries, and does a poor job of converting leads into sales, and/or does a poor job of converting traffic to the showroom into sales… Then don’t waste time and money on inventory photos. You have more serious problems to deal with.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Deutsch: Audi Autohaus in Dresden

Deutsch: Audi Autohaus in Dresden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Will Car Buyers Pay More For Green Technology? – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Will Car Buyers Pay More For Green Technology?

Market Research: Americans Go Slower, Choose Green Options Like Ford Fusion EcoBoost with $295 Auto Start-Stop Technology

  • Recent survey shows 82 percent of Americans are paying more upfront for green products that save money longer term, as many drive slower and take other steps to conserve fuel
  • New 2013 Ford Fusion offers hybrid-based Auto Start-Stop technology that shuts off the engine at stops to reduce fuel consumption in stop-and-go driving conditions
  • If just 50,000 customers add the $295 Auto Start-Stop Fusion option, it could save more than 14 million pounds of CO2 emissions and nearly 1 million gallons of gasoline annually
  • New Fusion is the first vehicle ever to offer the power of choice with fuel-efficient EcoBoost®, EcoBoost with Auto Start-Stop, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 12, 2012 – Energy-efficient washers and dryers, solar panels, and the fuel-efficient 2013 Ford Fusion look to be hot green products this fall as a majority of Americans say they’re paying more upfront to save money over time.
The all-new Fusion provides the power of choice – an automotive-first lineup of fuel-efficient EcoBoost®, EcoBoost with Auto Start-Stop technology, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrain offerings.
The Fusion with 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine is Ford’s first gasoline-powered vehicle in North America to offer the Auto Start-Stop fuel-saving technology – derived directly from advanced Ford hybrids, and a $295 option – with the convenience of a six-speed automatic transmission.

Click graphic to download PDF.

“As American consumers continue to get greener, Ford is rapidly introducing more fuel-saving technologies to expand the power of choice for leading fuel economy across our lineup,” said Ford group vice president for Global Product Development Raj Nair. “The new Fusion with Auto Start-Stop technology is an affordable way for consumers to enjoy some hybrid benefits including improved urban fuel economy and cleaner air.”
A Ford-commissioned survey by leading market research firm Penn Schoen Berlandalso found many American drivers are slowing down, coasting more to stops, and in some cases even slipstreaming behind larger vehicles to save gasoline.
Based on $1,000 of discretionary income to spend on energy savings, 25 percent of the survey respondents would buy a vehicle with hybrid technology, with almost equal numbers choosing energy-efficient appliances or solar panels.
Survey says…
The study shows the significance of this greener attitude shift, as seven out of 10 drivers have changed their driving habits to become more fuel-efficient.
This recently released research of American driver attitudes indicates the following trends:
  • Saving money and helping the environment are top drivers of energy-efficient purchases
  • Almost all respondents agree on the importance of fuel-efficient vehicles (95 percent), followed by energy-efficient appliances (93 percent) and light bulbs (85 percent)
  • Seven of 10 respondents have changed their driving habits to save fuel
  • Sixty-four percent drive less frequently, 41 percent have slowed down, and 10 percent say they draft behind larger vehicles to save fuel
  • Thirty-two percent have done research to find cheaper fuel
  • Twenty-one percent have purchased a new vehicle with improved fuel economy
How it works
Ford’s Fusion represents the first North American non-hybrid Ford application of the Auto Start-Stop feature and the first to combine this technology with a gasoline engine and the convenience of an automatic transmission, making this accessible to the widest possible range of drivers.
Auto Start-Stop switches off the gasoline engine when the vehicle is stopped in congested traffic, at stop signs and traffic signals. Seamlessly restarting when the driver releases the brake pedal, the system helps to save fuel and conserve the environment.
Ford Auto Start-Stop can provide up to a 10 percent improvement in overall fuel efficiency, with a corresponding drop in tailpipe emissions.
“This affordable system can provide real-world benefits such as saving money and helping preserve air quality,” Nair said. “For urban drivers, the more they stop, the more they save.”
Start, stop, repeat, save
Auto Start-Stop saves the fuel typically wasted when a car is standing and running at idle. Savings vary depending on driving patterns, but owners who spend most of the time in urban areas and city traffic will benefit the most – up to 10 percent.

Click graphic to download PDF.

On average, Auto Start-Stop improves fuel efficiency by about 3.5 percent. If 50,000 Fusions were equipped with Auto Start-Stop, the improved efficiency would reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than 14 million pounds and 1 million gallons of gasoline.
More broadly, a study by the United States Department of the Treasury estimates that congestion consumed an extra 1.9 billion gallons of fuel in 2011, approximately 5 percent of all the gasoline used. Studies show drivers encounter an average of 10 to 15 red lights and stop signs on a typical 20-mile commute, which can add from five to 15 minutes of idle time and wasted fuel.
“We expect the average Fusion driver with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and Auto Start-Stop can recover the $295 cost of this technology through real-world fuel savings in less than 18 months,” said Samantha Hoyt, Fusion Marketing manager. “That’s more cash in their pocket and more time saved with fewer trips to the pump.”
The Auto Start-Stop engineering team has filed more than 25 patent applications for innovations developed in the electronic control strategy to ensure smooth and robust restarts.
The system also monitors climate control settings and cabin temperature and humidity to ensure a comfortable environment for the driver and passengers.
Power of choice
On sale this fall, Fusion offers customers the power of choice with the broadest selection of fuel-efficient powertrains in the midsize car segment – two EcoBoost-powered gasoline engines, a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. Fuel economy includes:
  • 2013 Fusion 1.6-liter EcoBoost with Auto Start-Stop: Delivering a projected 37 mpg highway
  • 2013 Fusion Hybrid: Delivering at minimum a projected 47 mpg – 4 mpg better than the Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • 2013 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Delivering at minimum a projected 100 MPGe-plus rating – making it the world’s most fuel-efficient midsize sedan when it becomes available early in 2013
The story behind the new Fusion
For more on the new Ford Fusion, check out http://FordFusionStory.com, a special mobile site featuring articles, videos and graphics that are easily shareable directly from a smartphone, tablet or computer browser to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and blogs.
# # #
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 168,000 employees and about 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: