Tracking sales is one of the most notable difficulties of selling cars on the internet, and also one of the biggest hurdles faced by online retailers and internet marketing companies which promote vehicles for sale across the web. It’s fairly unlikely that any given vehicle will actually sell over the internet (with somebody paying for the vehicle and completing the purchase online), however it behooves auto dealers to take full advantage of online marketplaces. Reading an article in a recent issue of Automotive News reiterates this point.
The article, “Group 1 discounts cars on eBay”, gives an interesting account of the state of online vehicle marketing. The just of it? Well, it’s alive and kicking – to say the least.
eBay and Group 1 Automotive, Inc, the fourth largest dealership group in the country, have been testing the effects of listing certain vehicles on eBay’s Daily Deal website at discounts ranging from 5 to 26 percent off sticker price. One discounted Corvette received 11,000 views in the first 2 hours of being listed. Even though the Corvette may not sell over the internet, there are many benefits that trickle down as a result of the listing just being present online.
Dealerships in Texas and Oklahoma that participated in the trial run have seen a huge increase in calls, emails, and visits to their dealership. This traffic not only results from the vehicles they listed on the Daily Deal site, but also from the rest of the vehicles in their inventory. You see, the dealers pick and choose specific vehicles which they want to promote, and that they’re able to promote at a great price. These vehicles grab the attention of the consumer and get them engaged. Within the listing the consumer has the ability to view more vehicles in the dealer’s inventory, which might spark their interest even more.
While the sale of some other car in the dealer’s inventory, say a more affordable Camaro, might not be tracked back to the Daily Deal, it’s very likely that the Camaro would never have sold had the discounted Corvette not attracted their attention in the first place. This is a result of the halo effect, where consumers see one outstanding deal and, in turn, perceive the other cars in that dealer’s inventory to be great deals as well, even if the rest of the cars in inventory are in fact listed at book value.
This isn’t really news to us, though. LotVantage, our online vehicle marketing software, works in virtually the same way to drive consumers from a specific vehicle page to the dealer’s inventory, thus exposing the consumer to many more buying opportunities. It’s this method that leads the online car shopper to find something which interests them and pushes them to follow up with the seller, whether it be through a contact form, a phone call, or a visit to the dealership.
We already know where today’s consumer is looking for their next vehicle. Online marketplaces like Craigslist are busy shopping destinations. The question is, are you getting the most out of your vehicle listings?