When the world shut down almost six months ago, so much of the way we live was impacted. These changes trickle down to the very cars on your lot… or, I should say NOT on your lot. As manufacturers across the world shut down, inventory development came to a screeching halt. Now, as we approach the busiest time of the year for car sales we wonder if the inventory will arrive in time and, if so, when. As you know, a successful marketing plan cannot survive without the inventory to sell. So, here are a few tips for getting inventory in COVID-19 world.
Share with your Sister Stores
Most dealerships with multiple points already do this. So, this should be an easy one. However, if you have multiple rooftops, and you aren’t doing this, it’s time to start! Preowned inventory is hot right now for many reasons. If you don’t share a used car inventory feed on all of your websites, go ahead and do this. We don’t always recommend this as it can depend on your website set up and also how far away your locations are. When sharing inventory across different stores, make sure your marketing team is keeping a close eye on how it populates on the websites. You don’t want it to be confusing or misleading, and you have make sure there is an easy to navigate filter for narrowing down users choices by make and model. You’ll also want to do your best to have a vehicle ready at the dealership the customers plans to visit. Make sure they know where the vehicle is located or bring it to the store closest to them if your points are spread out. It might seem like a lot of work, but it will go a long way with a car buyer!
Expand your Horizons
It sounds cliché, but those exist for a reason! Now is the time to expand your inventory horizons. If you typically only attend a certain auction to buy vehicles, now might be the time to check out different auctions whether online or in person. Maybe there’s one a little further away that you don’t typically have the time to get to. That time could very well be useful now. The right cars are driving off the lots very quickly, so a long day at an auction could mean 5 or more additional sales within the next two weeks. Your automotive digital marketing agency might have some data insight into what cars are selling in your market to help you make your purchasing decisions.
Give Customers a Reason to Sell
One way to boost preowned inventory is to incentivize customers to sell their vehicle to your dealership. Try offering extra money for the trade, a gift card for every vehicle traded in, a donation to a charity for every vehicle traded in, or complimentary service on any car purchased with a trade-in. These are all little ways you can try to entice people to trade-in their vehicles. Make sure your sales team and used car managers are ready to handle the possible influx of trade-ins and do their best to get the vehicle when the person comes in. You will also want to make sure you are getting the word out there! Be sure to add this to any email correspondences, social media campaigns and posts, and put your offer on multiple spots on your website.
Swap, Swap, Swap!
This is probably going to be most difficult one since most dealerships are in the same boat with inventory, but if you can, try to swap for that vehicle you need. You never know what other dealerships might be looking for, and sometimes customers want something specific that another dealer can’t move. Chances are slim here, but it’s certainly worth a shot if you get that vehicle!
Digital to Dealer Direct has been working tirelessly to help our dealerships navigate this ever changing COVID environment. For more information on our services, or for assistance marketing your trade-in offers, contact us today!
Christine has spent the last 13 years strategizing, executing, and optimizing digital campaigns. She is certified in a variety of digital tactics including SEO, SEM, Social Media, Display Advertising, Email Marketing and Mobile Advertising and has been published several times on PRDaily.com. She has hosted digital trainings, been a guest lecturer for Graduate classes, and has spoken at the Digital Dealer conference. Outside of the office, Christine is a roller derby coach and also teaches Digital Marketing at William Paterson University.
For more information on how D2D can help, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org