Buying and selling cars – the web’s the place

Whilst all dealers whether independent or franchised will undoubtedly be finding the selling of cars tough at present, the challenge for these car showrooms is how to entice the smaller selection of customers who are interested in their cars through the doors.
The internet as an advertising medium has long been the route with which most dealers try to drive their showroom traffic, especially so for used cars. It is a well accepted fact that newspaper adverts have become passé and the Sales Managers boring job of updating his sold list to the local rag every Thursday in the hope that customers would call in on the strength of the 20 car list in the corner of the car section that weekend, now seems old fashioned.

This small advert – which would still cost a small fortune – didn’t provide any information as to whether any prospective customers were reaching the showroom as a result of the ad. The Sales Manager ends up not really knowing whether his budget is being effectively spent and actually what newspapers’ were giving him the best performance.

The internet changed all that and it is equally widely accepted that a car is 10 times more likely to be ‘clicked on’ with an image of the car included in the advert. Now, of course, even this has moved on and multi image ads are proving the way forward.
So as competition for business heats up watch out for ‘showreel’ type images to best promote a car showing all the best features of a car in “fade in fade out” format.

The benefits to dealers are obvious but for a customer they can save a lot of time and effort by receiving as much detailed information about specification and mileage and also see with their own eyes the comfortingly clear picture of the sat-nav “must have” as part of their potential purchase.

However, as many dealers have already found from bitter experience, the downside is that a customer is still relying on a human manually inputting information in a car description field on a database and until there is a universal way of guaranteeing that downloaded information about every car registered is correct, then you could still drive 200 miles for that dream car only to find the car has got the wrong coloured leather or (heaven forbid) no leather at all!

Yet information typo’s aside this form of competition over the web means that dealers are constantly updating prices and competing with each other for your business. In their quest to be the cheapest on the net – and with a customer being able to make a comparison with the click of a mouse – it should also mean that you, the customer, can have more confidence when negotiating a deal at the point of sale.

So happy clicking and don’t be afraid to travel you could save £000s!

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