To help dealers take better advantage of strong online buyer activity, Michael Holmes, Executive Director Dealer at carsales outlines nine easy tips for enhanced sales performance.
1. PUBLISH ELIGIBLE STOCK ONLINE
“If a stock item is not published to carsales, it’s invisible to Australia’s largest and most engaged audience of in-market car buyers,” says Holmes.
If you’re unsure about what stock can be published to carsales, contact your OEM.
2. PRICE TO SELL – FAST AND PROFITABLY
With resources at their fingertips, many car buyers will have an understanding of what constitutes a ‘fair price’ for a vehicle. As a consequence, optimistic or gut-feel pricing which lands above the market price will limit exposure, detailed views and enquiries on listings – leading to greater holding costs and more aged stock problems.
Holmes explains: “Executing a dynamic, market-targeted pricing strategy that is backed by real-time insights, helps to minimise holding costs and increase stock turnover. This strategy is possible when equipped with a holistic view of the market like that provided by LiveMarket, which empowers the dealer to immediately recognise where their stock sits relative to competitors."
3. ADD PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS
Professional photos are critical to capturing the attention of buyers and provide incentive to explore listings in greater detail. Ensure that all listings are accompanied by a minimum of 20 photos that show off all key angles of the vehicle—inside and out— and its unique selling points.
“Whether it’s colour, condition, kilometres or options—no two purchase options are truly equal. Professional photos not only differentiate a listing and add greater context to pricing and comments, but also help to build more trust in your business.”
4. ADD INFORMATIVE COMMENTS
The most effective comments must reinforce professional photos. Ensure that all key selling points are highlighted – such as immaculate condition, low kilometres, accident-free history, long warranty, long registration and attractive options.
“The comments section is also a great chance to market your business and why it’s the best and most trustworthy place to buy a car. It’s important to highlight services that you offer that makes a purchase option an even better decision, such as Australia-wide delivery, sales incentives and additional warranty.
“When talking about features, technology and options, it’s best to cut out jargon and clearly state their practical benefits,” says Holmes.
In general, try to avoid spelling mistakes, take advantage of easy-to-read bullet points, and use capitals judiciously.
5. RANK HIGHER IN BUYER SEARCHES
Ranking higher in search results is critical to growing sales opportunities. Upgrading carsales listings with Promote tools can help dealers receive up to 4.7x more views and up to 2.1x more enquiries per week.
“Set and forget Promote purchasing is also now available with the new Automation tool, which uses real-time market intelligence to purchase Promote upgrades automatically on the right stock, and within your budget. It lets your stock do the work for you,” adds Holmes.
6. ADD BRANDING TO NEW CARS
Brand New Cars in Stock (BNCIS) listed on carsales now automatically feature a dealer’s key information and location—in addition to the applicable OEM logo.
“If you have an active New Car account with carsales, you’re not required to do anything extra to activate branding on your new cars – simply ensure that you have published them to carsales,” explains Holmes.
7. FOLLOW UP BUYERS – QUICKLY
Buyers are impatient, and tardy follow up costs sales, as buyers turn to competitors to continue their purchase journey. 15% of enquiries to carsales convert within 24 hours – underlining the importance of quickly establishing contact and building a relationship. However, more than 25% of buyers are left hanging after 24 hours.
Aim to contact all buyers within 30 minutes via the channel that they enquired through, or alternatively try an SMS. 98% of all text messages are opened – so get texting.
Holmes says: “It’s not surprising that more buyers are contacting dealers via SMS, now that 80% of traffic to carsales is via mobile.5 An SMS sent from the AutoGate Mobile App is an effective way to quickly connect and engage a prospect – anytime and anywhere.”
8. IMPLEMENT AN AFTER-HOURS STRATEGY
Buyers will enquire on stock listings at all times of the week. 39% of enquiries on carsales occur outside of 8am–6pm business hours; while 12% of enquiries occur on a Sunday. This buyer behaviour makes an effective after-hours strategy critical to dealer success. Engaging a buyer with prompt follow-up to their enquiry not only helps them feel immediately acknowledged and excited to set up an appointment, but can stop the buyer turning to a competitor vehicle.
“A presence on carsales means that you’re open for business 24/7. It’s important to ensure that you have strategies in place that immediately acknowledge a buyer enquiry, such as auto responses via SMS and email.
"Staggering staffing hours may also enable you to better cater to this evolution in buyer behaviour.”
9. CHANNEL YOUR INNER SPIELBERG: VIDEO LISTINGS
In an Australian automotive classifieds first, dealers can now generate and publish video to their carsales listings directly via the AutoGate Mobile App.
‘Video is one of the most exciting user experience developments for many years. It will enable dealers to convey unparalleled emotion and transparency around individual stock items, bringing to life key selling points such as exterior and interior features, sounds and condition," Holmes concluded.
EXAMPLE VIDEO LISTING
CONTACT YOUR PERFORMANCE MANAGER FOR MORE INFORMATION