The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on the automotive industry and that requires dealerships, advertisers, and consumers to adapt to how cars are sold. Hidden fees, misleading messaging and other deceitful practices have been on the FTC’s radar in the past few years, and they are working on making changes to create a more transparent buying experience.
The cookie-less future is creeping closer and closer into our reality, resulting in business-to-consumer transparency becoming more prevalent. Itemized statements and paperwork from dealerships will need to explicitly state what fees are being processed so consumers can have a better understanding of where their dollars are being spent. Hidden fees are a thing of the past as customers are demanding an open door into what they are purchasing.
Advertising transparency needs to be monitored to ensure that vehicles advertised are vehicles that are eligible to be sold. False promotions and rates cannot be used to bring customers in the door because consumers are then misled and aggravated on being sold inventory they were not looking for. Transparency is key in maintaining your clientele and reputation.
1st Party Data Solutions
Consumers are reluctant to share data because privacy is important. However, this does not mean that advertising is dead. Advertising with 1st Party Data, or data acquired through lead generation, transactions, etc., is even more effective in reaching customers who know or are highly interested in your brand. Additionally, providing users with how their data is being collected through your website is crucial. Many websites have pop-ups or banners at the top or bottom of their page explaining the use of their data with terms to accept or decline. Allowing users to opt-in or out gives them control of their information and user experience.
Technology like AutoMiner, a solution made by dealers, for dealers, provides clean data to utilize in advertising campaigns. Acquiring more qualified leads at a lower rate is the goal, and this tool can assist in advertising and spending efficiencies. AutoMiner allows dealerships to stay compliant with 1st Party Data regulations, so utilizing this tool can keep you ahead of your competition by running campaigns while others are working through updates and changes in the system. Digital to Dealer Direct utilizes AutoMiner with our clients to produce the highest quality leads at the best price while maintaining reputability as a dealership following regulations.
With the FTC’s regulation proposals, website changes need to be made in addition to showroom changes. When a customer walks through the door at your dealership, they have a salesperson guiding them through the process, where and what to sign, and sharing information. With a transparent future, customers can get direct answers to their questions while face-to-face with a team member. However, with digital retailing tools, online car buying is the leading choice for many due to its simplicity and capabilities of being done anywhere at any time. This means that any changes made in person need to be reflected in the online car buying experience presented on your website. Consistency can turn a one-time sale into a lifetime customer.
It is no surprise that with the evolving times, come updated policies and requirements. Stay compliant with regulations and provide open and honest communication with your clients to maintain good standing as a dealership in your community and online. These changes need to be enforced both on the showroom floor, as well as on your website, and through your digital retailing tools.
As an automotive advertising agency, it is our goal to stay ahead of changes for our clients. Digital to Dealer Direct is focused on helping dealerships succeed in a well-rounded way. To learn more about how you can improve your advertising, strategies, sales and on/offline reputation and presentation, contact us today.
After graduating from the University of Delaware with a major in Media Communications, Leigh began her career working in advertising. Two years of agency experience in account management and digital marketing as an intern and full-time employee, have given her the knowledge and experience to grow in this field. She enjoys creating campaigns that drive leads and traffic for clients, in addition to optimizing and strategizing for best results.