Photo Merchandising Strategies to Invest in Now

Photo Merchandising Strategies to Invest in Now

By: Shane Marcum, General Manager, Cross-Sell and Inventory Solutions 

A recent
study by PCG Research finds that the quality and quantity of new and used vehicle photos influences car shopper consideration. Because more consumers are researching online for new and used vehicles, high quality photos are essential to getting these vehicles noticed by potential buyers.  A professional, consistent presentation provides peace of mind and confidence that the vehicle is actually on the lot and available for sale. But dealers don’t always have the resources to effectively merchandise inventory with professional quality photos. That’s why partnering with professionals who know how to make your vehicles stand out is a smart investment.

Our dedicated, full-service merchandising consultants are on the lot at dealerships every day, providing professional photo, video and data services for nearly 200,000 vehicles each month. Our team of experts recommend and implement essential consumer-driven, photo merchandising strategies to ensure a professional presentation that engages car shoppers.

Stage vehicles for consistent presentation

Seek out and secure a clean, clutter-free location to stage and shoot your vehicles throughout the year. If weather is a factor, choose a location where photos or videos can be captured in rain or shine.  A location that shows dealership signage in the background is ideal, since it helps provide a consistently branded background. The less distractions in the background the better; the vehicles are the stars.

Ensure peace of mind with actual photos of both new and used vehicles

Custom photos are essential for attracting and engaging in-market car shoppers. PCG Research’s 2016 Auto Shopper Influence Study found that 74% of car shoppers prefer actual photos of vehicles that they are researching to buy. It is strongly recommended that dealers use actual photos of all new and used vehicles on the lot. It’s a disappointing consumer experience to arrive at the dealership and find out that the vehicle depicted online is not the same vehicle available at the dealership.

Post multiple photos that highlight vehicle features to engage car shoppers

Car shoppers need plenty of photos. A good rule of thumb is to post as many photos as it takes to accurately feature each vehicle – inside and out. Items to feature include navigation, safety equipment, custom wheels, and anything that makes the vehicle unique. Dealers looking to satisfy the majority of car shoppers should consider merchandising with up to 20 photos on new vehicle VDPs and up to 30 photos on used vehicle VDPs. When the same model (year and color), and similarly priced vehicle is found online at two different dealerships, 43% of new car shoppers and 64% of used car shoppers visit the dealership that provided the most photos, allowing them to see the vehicle’s installed features.

The investment dealers make in professional, consumer-driven photo merchandising can have immediate and measurable impact on VDP engagement.  Visit us at or contact us at 877.421.1040 to learn how partnering with Dominion Dealer Specialties will drive eCommerce success.

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