Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
The more people that are shopping for a car that you can get in front of your inventory, the more cars you're going to sell. Some would say it's a bold statement. Others would say that it's pretty obvious. Depending on which side of the coin you're on, you'll either need to be convinced or you're already doing it.
Let's start with the disclaimer. Everything our company does is geared around driving more VDP views. Search, social, and even our partner products like LotLinx are all "inventory drivers" for our clients. We don't believe in coaxing people to these pages. We're going after intent.
With that out of the way, let's get into the hard facts. People have so many choices when it comes to finding their next vehicle purchase. There are more third-party sites vying for their attention than dealers in any given market. These sites try different things in order to generate revenue. Some sell subscriptions and placement like AutoTrader and Cars.com. Others sell listings themselves like Craigslist and eBay. Others sell leads. They all know that the automotive industry is lucrative and they want to make money. There's nothing wrong with that.
A recent trend has been for many dealers to focus specifically on generating their own leads. They don't want to be part of these other listing sites. They don't want to buy leads. They are finding that the highest quality comes from people who are visiting their own site and they would be correct. However, there's an important fact to note before cancelling all of your third-party subscriptions.
The reason that the leads from a dealer's website usually convert so much better than other leads is because they are often a captive audience. Most of your search traffic is coming from searches for your dealership by name, which means that they want to consider doing business with you. There are fewer barriers to overcome to sell them a car when they are already inclined to like you, so the lead quality will always be higher here.
This is why we recommend to dealers to still participate in other sites while focusing on their own. It's why we partnered with LotLinx. It's why we push SEO so heavily and it's why we position our social media product to be specifically geared towards driving people intending to buy a car to your website.
The reason that driving shoppers to your VDPs will increase sales is the same reason that putting people behind the wheel will sell more cars. It's excitement. When they're shopping, they're in the early stages of excitement, but it's still present. They can picture themselves driving it. They like to look at pictures. They want to read the specs. They want to scrutinize the history report, compare the prices, check out the features, and imagine what Toreador Red would look like in their driveway.
As dealers move forward with their evolving strategies, it's important to look at the numbers. There are no tricks to this, really. Regardless of where they are on the internet, there's a chance that you can get them in front of your inventory. The advertising possibilities are endless. Don't get caught up in complicated strategies. Get more people in front of your cars and you will sell more of them.