Success in the 21st century auto world boils down to three words: online car sales.
Yes, the majority of buyers still want to go to the dealership in person to take a test drive, ask a few questions, and, hopefully, drive away in their new dream car. But they want it to be as fast, easy, and convenient as possible. That’s why they want to take care of the hard work online -- researching, comparing models, looking into safety features, and deciding on must-have tech. Building your digital presence is the key to making more sales on the lot.
Tips to Increase Online Car Sales
You think we’re going to say “deliver relevant, informative content,” don’t you? Content is king, and it does rule over your online presence. But you’ve heard it before. You know that the average car shopper spends 14 hours researching online, scouring 18 different sources of information. More than half -- 62% -- say that web content is the most influential of these sources. Your online content makes or breaks sales; and when it’s research-oriented and educational, you’ll find it makes far more than breaks.
So, if we’re definitely not going to say “deliver relevant, informative content” again, what are we going to say? Here are four other tips to help you master the digital landscape.
Fortify your website
Don’t think of your website as just a pretty face. Its beauty goes far deeper: it can be a powerful marketing, educational, and lead generation tool. The first step is to look at the nuts and bolts: make sure each page is optimized with targeted keywords and that its structure facilitates conversion (e.g. easily searchable, user-friendly, clean and uncluttered, visually pleasing, etc.). Also, create a tight link structure so your visitors can easily navigate from piece to piece or page to page with ease; this enables them to find the answers they need without leaving your site.
Keep in touch
The buyer/dealership relationship does not end when the customer purchases a car. Repeat customers are the lifeblood of auto dealers. Whether they need to purchase a new car, trade-in their older model, buy safe transport for their child, or set their spouse up with a sweet ride, auto customers tend to leverage existing relationships and visit the same dealers. Stay connected with these customers by sending targeted content (e.g. “How to Maximize Trade-In Value for Your Car,” or “10 Tips to Maintain Your Vehicle,” etc.); delivering personalized emails with carefully tailored offers; and sending “real” mail with a promotion and personal note. Target people by their needs, budget, demographics, etc.
Bring your referral programs up to date
It’s not uncommon for dealers to offer a monetary incentive for customers who refer their friends or family. Go beyond this, and use social media to help. For example, tell customers that if they refer your dealership on Facebook and get over 25 likes, they can get a free oil change from your service department. Have an Instagram content; post pics of new owners and their cars. Whoever gets the most likes gets a free detailing. Be creative.
Do some tune-up
There are several smaller steps you can take to achieve results. These include:
- Taking a look at your CTAs. Are all of your calls to action clear? Do visitors know what you want them to do? Make sure CTAs are focused (i.e. asking visitors to complete one action) and noticeable.
- Updating your website/social media profiles. These should reflect your current inventory, as well as give visitors a glimpse of what’s coming soon.
- Using hover ads. No one likes pop-up ads, but hover ads -- which give the control to the visitor -- are a different story. Use these to provide more details on promotions and specials.
- Integratings lots of visual content. This includes stills and video, which enable leads to visualize themselves in your vehicles. Visual content is also ideal for social media posts.
- Conducting A/B testing. This is simple testing to determine which elements perform better. For example, test the text on Banner A with the text on Banner B. If Banner B wins, try Color X against Color Y. You can A/B test everything from visual elements to copy.
- Engaging with an experienced digital marketing agency. The right partner will help you develop and implement additional effective strategies.
Boost online car sales with a strong digital presence. Today, the lines between online and offline worlds are all but erased. Your internet efforts yield results on the lot, in the showroom, and in your profit reports.