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The Continued Shift Towards VDP Marketing

For the last couple of years, the act of driving more people to vehicle details pages has been a focus for many dealers and marketing companies. From PPC to SEO, social media to website plugins, technologies within the automotive vendor world has been in a constant shift towards driving more traffic directly to the inventory.

The concept has been pretty universal but the data has been more obscure. Many of us "feel" as if VDP views are driving more business for dealers but a lot of the facts surrounding this shift have been a bit hazy. Form submissions are dropping for many. Phone calls and chats are often relatively flat, growing for some, dropping for others, but definitely not increasing at the same levels as the traffic on most websites that we've analyzed. That's not a universal statement - there are plenty out there who are seeing more form submissions, phone calls, and chats - but in general dealerships are getting fewer tangible leads while seeing an increase in overall sales.

There has been a lot of buzz around the automotive industry about Lotlinx lately. A lot of industry people and vendor partners (including us) have been touting the service for a while and it's been getting traction. This is not a sales pitch for that or any other product, but it's a focus on the eye-opener that compelled us to focus our efforts on VDPs through them and other marketing efforts.

When more people look at cars in inventory, sales seem to increase. Leads aren't increasing at the same pace. Does this mean that the shift towards VDP marketing is coinciding with a shift by consumers to find vehicles online and just drive in and see them?

I'd love to hear from others on this. We are putting a large portion of our efforts for clients on getting more people to the inventory more quickly and it seems to be working, but there's a gap in tangible data. What have you heard or seem about this trend? Is it possible that the old sales pitch used by AutoTrader and Cars.com reps when dealers ask to see real results actually gaining credibility?

Are VDP views enough to drive more business while people bypass the lead process?

Views: 106

Tags: Inventory, Marketing, VDP, Vehicle Details Pages, Vehicles

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Comment by Alexander Lau on March 21, 2014 at 8:33am

Oh yeah, it also can be pushed to Facebook, etc. 

Comment by Alexander Lau on March 21, 2014 at 8:31am

Blown up, as you can see I changed the preferences, which indeed, does change the listing of cars available to you and it saves it. Whatever a user wants, a user gets.

Comment by Alexander Lau on March 21, 2014 at 8:27am

Excuse the sizing, I wanted to show all of the attributes which can be crunched and set as preferences. These preferences are also saved and indexed by Google. Therefore, when a similar search for preferences is done via Google, it's already indexed! BAM! Killer........

Comment by Alexander Lau on March 21, 2014 at 7:12am

I don't think it's really a shift, it's been heading this way for the last 10 years. It's why we're launching a new inventory system in the very near future that goes after user preferences ONLY. 

:-)

Comment by Erin Ryan on March 20, 2014 at 6:15am

You're welcome Tyson! :)

Comment by Tyson Madliger on March 20, 2014 at 6:14am

Thank you Erin for your comments!

Comment by Erin Ryan on March 19, 2014 at 11:45pm
Hi Tyson! Great post and question!

VDP Marketing is definitely increasing and showcasing Inventory aids savvy consumers through their buying purchase or at the very least keeps the dealership top of mind.

Consumers have evolved and more capable in doing the research on their own. So while VDP views and Sales are up most consumers seem to skip the lead forms and go straight to the showroom floor.

Perhaps it is to make purchasing a speedier process... today consumers quickly know the vehicle that they want prior to going to the dealership and this might have to do with all their virtual comparisons. (People don't want to fill out an array of forms.)

This then would indicate that VDP Marketing becomes the lead generation for dealers. Gaining the direct link between the two (data wise) may still be difficult for some but not entirely.

I'd love to hear what dealerships think about this.

Socially Yours,
Erin Ryan

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