Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
I have had this ongoing debate with my GM that having custom photo's for our new vehicle inventory is a big old waste of time. here are my points
1. By the time the customer is farther down the buying cycle at my site, they probably have already seen pictures of exactly what models color and trim that they are looking for.
2. Taking photo's (unless you are shooting professionally) will esthetically degrade the look of the vehicle in compassion to the perfect looking images from the OEM site. bad lighting equals a blue car that looks black and etc...
3. How many picture taken also are far less then the default stock photos. 2-6 custom compared to 10-30 stock with 360 walk arounds.
I have over 600 vehicles at our dealership here in Vermont and can't keep up with the demand which results in a lack of attention towards the issue.
I just wanted to thank you for the great chuckle that I got out of this post this morning. I also re-read it to my inventory manager and she got a good laugh as well.
I will give you my two cents, and you can do with it what you wish.
I have been on the Internet side of the business for seven or eight years at this point. As far as I know, it was at least four years ago, or more when actual photos of new cars became an industry best practice.
With that being said, there are probably a couple of reasons that you are fighting this.
1. You don't want the extra work, or do not have the resources to accomplish such a task. You personally would probably not be able to accomplish taking photos of 600 new cars.
2. Customers are farther down in the cycle when they get to the site, so that is exactly when they want to see the actual vehicle. Consumers know not to trust the data they see in the VIN explosions and want to know does it have the sunroof? what wheels? back-up camera? what does the space in the back seat look like between the first and second rows? The questions could go on and on as to what a customer can determine about the vehicle with actual photos.
3. About the quality of the photos, you are correct. Most dealers do not have the extra money lying around to spend $10-12k on a photo booth. However, taken the right way, the photos can still look good. Does it devalue the car, no.
4. IF YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO TAKE 2-6 PICS, DON'T BOTHER.
Just my thoughts....
Nicholas - what Amanda said. Data PROVES that photos of new cars make nearly as much of a difference as photos of used cars. Hopefully it's your full-time job if you're doing your own cars, though. There are several services that shoot and/or host the photos. PM me for some reputable ones I have worked with.
You want AT LEAST 16-20 photos PER CAR. It would SEEM that stock art would be the same, but because of some quirk in human nature, buyers like to see the ACTUAL CAR! FYI. Usually it's a $10/hour job for a dealer employee or dealers contract it out.
Hey thanks! Its hard to see the logic when I have a pictures of vehicles covered in snow and other lovely things Vermont throws at us.
Photos need to be done, and I'd have a discussion with the GM about logistically what system the dealer will have in place to make sure it's done efficiently/effectively. Cobalt just came out with their 2014 Inventory Shopping Experience Study, and 70% of buyers will not click on a stock photo listing. That's a lot of missed opportunity for the dealership.
One of the absolute critical things that needs to happen in order to get a buyer to buy is the assumption of ownership in the buyers mind. Actual photos will make that happen, and put your leads even closer to purchase when they contact you. I've worked as the IM for a large RV dealership, boat dealership, and auto dealership. What you put into your vehicle listings, you will get out of them. If done effectively, the listings will do most of the selling for you.
Thanks David that does help ton.