Want To Double Your Used Car Sales In 2017? Pull One Of These 3 Levers.

Jan 10, 2017 | Sales and BDC

Why are big dealer groups like Penske and Asbury Automotive investing in used-car standalones? Because according to Auto Remarketing and Autotrader, the new-car market’s “affordability issue” is creating big demand for the used market. What’s YOUR dealership’s strategy to move more pre-owned inventory in 2017?

Whether you’re looking for new solutions or refining tried-and-tested ones, use any of these 3 ways to get more immediate Pre-Owned sales at your dealership.

Lever 1: Add Pre-Owned Campaigns To Your Paid Search Strategy

AdWord campaigns are a quick and easy way for you to get eyes on your inventory. But don’t stop with your new cars—remember, consumers first turn to Google when they’ve decided they’re ready for a different ride. Both your New and Used inventory should be there to answer their search queries.

Here are some ways your dealership’s PPC can sell more Used cars:

Lock in your strategy.

Managing and marketing your used vehicles relies on a dialed-in strategy. Before you even consult your agency/vendor, take into account your pre-owned gross profit, return on investment (ROI), days to turn, average cost of sale, seasonality, and realistic guidelines for evaluating and appraising trades.

Think quantity.

You don’t want to put ad spend behind models with low inventory (1 or 2 vehicles). Stick to the models you have in abundance, and have your vendor link to your SRPs instead of the VDPs to provide your users with options.

Review buying trends, your local market, and seasonality.

Always consider which vehicles are most appropriate for your market. When trucks have a higher demand than fuel efficient vehicles, advertise your trucks! And beware: Avoid advertising hard-to-move inventory on Google. If your current showroom visitors aren’t interested, Google searchers probably won’t be either.

ALWAYS include current promotions.

Add lease offers, financing offers, cash back promotions, holiday sales, and other incentives to your Text and Display campaigns. And please, make sure your agency/vendor is going a step further than OEM or “cookie-cutter” promos. You’re competing against local dealers. Make sure your PPC campaigns are helping you stand out.

Don’t forget Display and Retargeting Ads.

When possible, use on-lot photos of your pre-owned inventory, or direct to 360º virtual walkarounds to help establish trust with your prospects that your used cars are in good condition. Lastly, be sure your Retargeting budget is adjusted according to your unique visitor volume.

Mobile, mobile, mobile.

We can’t say it enough: make sure all of your ads are optimized for mobile. A whopping 81% of car shoppers use smartphones to do their research, and Think With Google found that 1 in 3 shoppers who use their mobile device as part of the car buying process located or called a dealer from their phone.

HEADS UP! Your PPC vendor or agency should include AdWords strategy, display, retargeting, YouTube advertising, Gmail ads and more in your package. Get the FULL list of everything your PPC solution should include at no additional cost HERE).

Lever 2: Post Your Inventory On Craigslist

Craigslist is ranked #2 in the U.S. for inbound traffic and brings in over 60 million unique shoppers per month. (Google is #1, which is why a paid strategy is so effective!)

If you want your dealership to double used vehicle sales, advertising on Craigslist is a crucial ingredient. Follow these tips:

Never use stock photos.

Use actual photos of your used vehicles to build trust with your shoppers. Consumers want to see the actual vehicle before making the commitment to call or come to the lot. (We recommend leaving your photos unbranded to help them blend in with other local listings.)

Don’t be “single car minded.”

Once a customer calls in about a particular car you’ve posted on Craigslist, pull up ALL vehicle listings that are similar to it. This will give you multiple options to show them that vary in price and availability.

Post based on your local market.

In essence, Craigslist is the virtual form of local listings, and therefore is contingent upon local trends and interests. Be sure your Craigslist posting tool uses science and data to understand which days are best to post, what vehicles are trending, and how to optimize each listing so it resonates with your specific local audience.

Don’t show price.

Craigslist shoppers are lower down the sales funnel, making them more ready-to-buy than other shoppers. Because of their high motivation, however, Craigslist shoppers can be turned off by price quickly. Unless you know you have the BEST price in the area, only give away dollar signs once the shopper has called or walked into your dealership so you can offer them multiple options.

Lever 3: Use Facebook’s Data Targeting and Custom Audiences

Go beyond “In-Market” data.

Most Facebook Advertising vendors boast about providing In-Market Shopper data from POLK and Datalogix – but your options don’t stop there. You can now reach Shoppers interested in your specific model lines, shoppers who have owned their current vehicle for 4+ years, and Facebook users with specific credit levels.

Use your existing Customer List.

Have your Facebook Ad vendor load in lists from your CRM to match customers with existing Facebook accounts, and then create a Trade Up or Buy Back campaign to bring them through the doors again.

Promote Your Pre-Owned “Why Buys.”

When it comes to Facebook Advertising, always try and differentiate your dealership’s brand from every other dealership in your city. What makes you different? What’s your story? Are you home of the “one-owner” vehicles, do you offer crazy guarantees, or incredible Certified Pre-Owned deals?

Retarget website visitors with your inventory.

By adding just one line of code to your dealership’s website, you can start bucketing traffic to retarget on Facebook. Use Carousel Ads displaying multiple on-lot photos of your Pre-Owned inventory and directing to the SRPs.

That’s All Folks: A 3-part Strategy Guaranteed To Move Your Pre-Owned Inventory

What does your current used-car strategy look like?

By focusing on any (or all) of the channels above, your dealership will surely hit a homerun this year—and my guess, more than double your used sales! So why not give it a try? The worst that will happen…you’ll actually sell more cars.

Ready for the tri-fecta? Give our team a call at 941-366-6760 or message us here to start putting together the right 2017 Pre-Owned strategy designed to help your dealership double its used sales.

Blog Author - Cara Lane

Written By Cara Lane
Cara's hybrid love for marketing and sales has made her our beloved Inbound Marketing Manager here at Dealers United. Outside the office, she's busy doing mom things, like chasing her kids around the playground and sipping lots (and lots) of wine!

Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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