If car dealers haven’t got the internet message yet it might be too late

The speed at which the internet is evolving the marketing of used cars is increasing rapidly. It is something we often highlight and because many car dealers rely solely on net advertising for the marketing of their stock it is perhaps even more alarming that many are missing a trick when it comes to the quality of these ads.

Research is now telling us that the amount of quality imagery and the accuracy of the descriptions of the cars are vital and what the car buyers of today crave and the car buyers of the not too distant future will demand.

Ironically in the past dealers only wanted to give just the very briefest of descriptions and the smallest amount of info per car advert. In that way customers were forced into engaging the dealership to pursue their interest and gather any more meaningful information, meaning control was always with the dealer.

Today however, with the web being such a powerful tool, it is in car dealers very best interest to give as much quality information as possible so that when a customer does pursue their interest in a particular car a dealer can be sure that most of the hard work has already been done by the quality of the advert. And, of course, if they don’t the car buyer will pursue their interest with someone who does.

It stands to reason that the further a buyer can take the process via the web the quicker and more likely they are to complete the purchase when visiting the showroom.

By having more images which are better quality, with inside-outside shots and even a small movie of each car customers really can almost make up their mind before coming to the showroom. This will ultimately ensure that the time spent by a salesperson going through hours of qualifying and information gathering will be cut dramatically, leading to a much more streamlined and efficient operation.

We’re not saying that creating and maintaining a car dealers web presence is quick or easy but with good planning and the creation of a single point of contact for web operations within the dealership the whole process can be built into existing procedures.

The reality that many have yet to grasp is for most people it’s a website that best answers who, what, why, how and when a business can help them. For the business it is the best chance they have to fully and completely express who they are, how and why they are special and best able to provide the value people are looking for.

Another thing to consider is the British culture. In the US there is no doubt usage of the internet is more advanced but Americans as a rule are far happier to engage with salespeople face to face. Give the average British car buyer the opportunity to take the car buying process as far as they can without actually having to talk to anyone and they’ll probably take it.

The truth is if these businesses don’t keep up with and aim to exceed their potential customer’s expectations when it comes to their internet marketing then they probably won’t be around in 5 to 10 years.

Finally if anyone reading this article is in any doubt as to the growth of the internet and what the future holds they probably need look no further than Google. The search engine is now so ingrained in our culture that the name has become a verb, like Hoover and Xerox. Not only that, but the most astonishing thing is that in a little over ten years they went from a university project which only a handful of people had heard of to complete and utter global domination, from zero to generating 22 billion dollars and employing 20,000 people worldwide. Any way you slice it up it’s pretty breathtaking.


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One Response to If car dealers haven’t got the internet message yet it might be too late

  1. Dean January 27, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Great Article. I’d have to agree with the worrying fact that alot of car dealers aren’t embracing the internet as a marketing tool. For years the industry has utilised the internet, even been selling cars entirely online. Take ourselves, Creditplus.co.uk, as an example, we do all our car deals electronically and distance sell most of our cars. If youve ever looked at Autoquake’s website, you will see the effort they put into photographing their cars, it makes such a difference. There are agencies out there that will be able to photograph your cars professionally.

    Although Autotraders website builder service serves a purpose, we highly recommend you hire a professional web design agency to develop a bespoke website that make your site SEO friendly and therefore likely to appear in Google’s lisitngs. Make sure you get your web agency to add your website to Google’s local listings.

    A 2006 study by Nielsen//NetRatings showed that 70% of the web users would search online for a local business. And most consumers are much more likely to buy a product offline once they have seen it online.

    If don’t embrace the internet this year, it may be too late…

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