By: Amanda Krause, Marketing Specialist
Currently, Amazon sits in the Northwest part of the United States looking for ways to expand their business. In the US, they purchased Whole Foods allowing them to sell groceries in addition to their current offerings while in countries like Italy and France, they have agreements with automotive manufacturers to sell cars directly to the consumer.1 For the time being, Amazon remains separate from the American automotive industry, but it is only a matter of time before the company expands and begins selling vehicles. Now is the time to get your inventory in order and start becoming the star in your market. If you are unsure on where to begin, look toward Amazon to learn a few tips and tricks.
Photos of the right features, and photos placed in engaging order creates a good shopper experience.
A large part of online shopping is finding the products you are looking for. Shoppers turn to products details, photos and videos in order to determine if something is worth buying. Rarely do consumers purchase something having never seen it. Amazon is sure to provide multiple images for items so consumers are never left uncertain about what the products looks like. The same thing should be done in regards to your dealership’s new and used inventory. Car shoppers want to know what their potential vehicle looks like inside and out – including high-end features. It is unlikely a consumer would ask for more information on a vehicle with no photos. Vehicle photos are used to help determine the condition of the vehicle and if it fits the needs of the shopper. It is vital that your dealership has multiple professionally taken photos in order to attract buyers during the online car shopping process. Photos of the right features, and photos placed in an engaging order creates a good shopper experience.2
In addition to the variety of photos Amazon provides, they are also sure the content associated with each item is unique to that specific product. If Amazon can sell thousands of products and have unique content for each, your new or used car dealership should be able to provide distinct content for each vehicle in your inventory. A new 2018 Acura should not have the same content as a 2006 Acura. One vehicle has more wear and tear than the other so the description needs to reflect the differences, especially when it comes to popular features that shoppers are looking for. You and your dealership staff are busy, so make sure your inventory management software has the ability to generate descriptions and comments for your vehicles and try to avoid having a single person manually type them.
Pricing can make or break a deal. Amazon is adamant about posting the price of something in a spot where it is clear and easily found. Your new or used car dealership needs to do the same. The prices listed on the dealership website and any third party sites need to be accurate. Your dealership loses leads the second a car shopper sees “call for pricing.” It is best to be upfront and honest with pricing like Amazon, and so many other online retailers. The more transparent the dealership is, the better the reputation and the more likely it is that car shoppers return years laters. A good inventory management system will help inform you and your staff as to what other similar vehicles are going for in the market so you can price accordingly.
As previously mentioned, Amazon is not able to sell cars on its site in the United States; however, it is able to do so in other countries. As the retailer giant waits to expand in the US, it has gone ahead and built additional pages on its site to help car shoppers called Amazon Vehicles. Amazon uses its connections to update the pages based on what new cars the OEMs have come out with each year, in addition to any features that have been developed since the last model. It also uses market data to give a general price point for every vehicle, whether it is new or used and provides reviews based on current and past owners of that vehicle. Amazon is one of the many sites car shoppers visit to get a better idea of what exactly they are looking for and how much it will cost.
Dealers can follow along the same lines as Amazon by purchasing market reports in hopes of getting a better idea of what car shoppers are buying in their local area. These reports can give dealers an idea of what vehicles they should have on their lots. It is better to have inventory you know will move quickly than to fill spaces with cars no one in your market is buying.
When car shoppers are doing their initial research, the most frequently accessed content on automotive shopping websites are model info (89%), vehicle pricing (88%) and photo galleries (81%) so it is important to make sure your VDPs are in tip top shape.3 Not sure where to start? Call 877.421.1040 and a product specialist will help guide you in the right direction.