April was a stellar month for our industry. Automakers sold 1.45 million light vehicles, a 4.9% year-over-year gain that marked our best April (on a daily sales basis) since 2002. These exceptional results are the product of a perfect storm of low interest rates, improving employment opportunities, and eye-catching brand redesigns. The good news is that pent-up demand for new vehicles and the larger economic trends that make low rates look likely for some time to come, add up to a bright future for sales in the coming months. A strong focus on digital marketing is essential to stay in the game.
Today’s consumers increasingly rely on digital channels to move through the purchase journey. Research shows a typical shopper will visit more than 24 different websites during a 45-day period, and during that time perform a staggering 84 inventory searches. With these numbers it’s not just critical, but essential, to meet possible buyers on their turf and that place is your vehicle details page. Below are a few tips to help you as dealers make the most of your car sales in May:
- Promote Anywhere and Everywhere
Great VDPs won’t do much good if consumers can’t find them. When you grab more eyes you sell more vehicles more quickly. Research from Cobalt Group found that VDPs with 20-30 page views spend 29% less time on the lot. Those with more than 30 page views spend 44% less time languishing. In this climate, it’s obvious that dealers who win more views win more sales. To get more views, you have to promote your inventory anywhere and everywhere. At LotLinx we have over 39 million VDPs viewed monthly across our partner sites.
- Give as Many Details as Possible
Since the average shopper is checking out 84 vehicles online before buying, it follows that richly-detailed Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs) are more important than ever. Again, this is especially true for attracting and retaining Millennials. This generation is more concerned with if a car has the features, quality, and brand attributes they want, and less concerned with where the car was manufactured. In this environment, detailed and engaging VDPs are a no-brainer. Along with listing all standard and optional features, consider including full-motion video test drives, multiple photos from every angle, incentive information, VIN, links to online reviews, and yes, even price. This kind of “give to get” strategy based on transparency is what will compel in-market shoppers to contact you and engage in meaningful digital conversations.
- Pictures are worth a Thousand… Bucks
Pictures are perhaps one of the most important parts of your VDP. Because so many VINtenders now go to the VDP page first, think of it as your calling card. There’s been a lot of debate over the correct amount of photos and where they’re placed on the page, but conventional wisdom calls for between 30-40 pictures on your VDP. Make it easy on visitors by enabling thumbnails they can scroll through quickly to find the details they’re looking for and of course, ensure all photos are professional and high-quality. There’s also some discussion about making everything fit above the fold, much like a website page.
April was a banner month, and economic conditions point to continued strong growth for our industry. Don’t miss out on your dealership’s share of the profits. Jump on digital marketing tactics today to spark meaningful digital conversations, gain control of online merchandizing, and move more metal more quickly.