Evolving the Car Sales Process
Let’s face it, change is difficult. It means trying new things that may or may not work. And that’s almost scarier than dealing with a worldwide pandemic. No doubt this is part of the reason why the majority of the car sales industry has clung to an in-store sales model as opposed to online sales. Interestingly though, this pandemic may have just permanently moved the needle further in favor of online sales. According to experts, offsite test drives and sales will likely be the new normal.
Should this be a shock? Not at all. About a year ago, a friend of mine purchased a Cadillac on Carvana. He raved about how easy it was, and he highly recommended their service to me. He’s not the only one looking for alternatives to the traditional car-buying experience.
The Beepi Consumer Automotive Index in 2016 found that “87% of American adults dislike something about the process of purchasing a vehicle at a traditional car dealership.” That same report showed that “of the 35-44 demographic, 24% stated they would rather get a root canal.”
But the perception of the car shopping experience is only part of the equation. Let’s also factor in advertising. Now that many people are stuck at home, something very interesting has happened to ad traffic online. Ad traffic on Google and other search engines have dropped, while ads on video search engines have increased dramatically.
(Charts courtesy of WordStream)
What does this mean for your dealership?
It means that having a good virtual showroom is more important than ever, and the channels you use for marketing online may need to be adjusted to make sure that shoppers are finding you.
It is widely known and documented that video is the most consumed type of online content today. With so many people stuck at home, this has understandably increased. Even as things settle down, taking advantage of this medium will continue to be one of the best ways to market yourself and your brand.
How to use video
There are two key ways to do this. 1) Create inventory videos for your website, YouTube, and 3rd party sites like AutoTrader. 2) Create videos to follow up with your customers. Let’s discuss how each of these can be accomplished.
1) Inventory Videos
You might be wondering, as long as you have photos of your inventory why would you need videos? As we have already discussed, videos rule online content. If you look back at the charts, notice the major difference between YouTube ad traffic versus standard Google Search traffic.
In addition to creating the video, you also need to make sure that it is shared out on all relevant platforms, doesn’t bog down your website, and
produces good SEO results. For this reason, we recommend Dealer Video Inventory (DVI) platform and service since it does a great job of managing all of these key pieces.
DVI is available as a Lot Service or as a DIY option if you want to keep things in-house. More information on DVI can be found here - Dealer Video Inventory.
2) Customer Videos
As much as I recommend creating customer videos, I’m also the first to recognize that creating video content is not for everyone. The key to making this work is finding one or two people on your team who have the right personality. These people typically smile a lot, have good conversational skills, and are not afraid of technology.
In addition to having the right person, having the right tool for the job makes a big difference. There are a wide variety of camera and video editing apps out there. If you want something that is specifically designed for automotive sales, we recommend Dealer Video Suite (DVS).
DVS enables your staff to create Follow-Up, Thank You, Testimonial, and Promo Videos. It integrates with your CRM, and it allows you to reuse your inventory videos. Click the link for more information - Dealer Video Suite. Right now, there is a 30-day free trial for both DVS and the DVS Training course.
How to get started
Creating your own video content to follow up with leads, build lasting relationships, and promote your brand is the part that most people are on board with. Many managers agree that following up in a more personal manner on platforms that get a lot of traffic is the way to go.
Talking about making videos is exciting and easy. However, the actual process of creating videos is where we often lose people. So how can you bridge this gap? We created a special training course called LESA-U that focuses on creating marketing video content specific to dealerships. Learn more by clicking the link - LESA-U.
Taking the next step
As mentioned at the beginning, change is never easy. However, change is not impossible and it is a requirement if we want our businesses to continue moving forward. We have seen examples of this time after time.
Let’s be honest, though we are all feeling the effects of a changing market, each individual market is responding a little differently. In some cases, Video may be a no-brainer. However, in other markets, it may not be the best first step. If you are stuck on what step to take next, contact us for a free consultation, and we will be happy to help you find options that will work for your situation.
“We are all in this together.” That seems to be the catchphrase everyone is using, and it’s true. None of us has all the answers, and none of us have the ability to navigate this alone. Together we can evolve to create new opportunities and better results.