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From: Jared Hamilton
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Bart Wilson

Bart Wilson Director of Operations, Media

Exclusive Blog Posts

Being a Relevant Service Department

Being a Relevant Service Department

The latest news out of the auto industry is that Amazon, everyone’s favorite online retailer, is investing $700 million into the electric truck a…

automotiveMastermind Talks Predictive Analytics

automotiveMastermind Talks Predictive Analytics

We conducted a lot of interviews with thought leaders at NADA 2019, and we will be posting them in the community for the next few weeks.   I…

[WEBINAR] Your GamePlan to Triple Your BDC Close Rate Without Breaking the Bank

[WEBINAR] Your GamePlan to Triple Your BDC Close Rate Without Breaking the Bank

Matt Weinberg, SVP of Consumer Experience at Drive Motors, presented our latest webinar.  He discusses the evolution of the Internet lead and shows …

Advances in Inventory Management

Advances in Inventory Management

 We collected a ton of interviews at NADA, and throughout the coming weeks we'll be releasing them.  John Hensman, General Manager at Hom…

3 Steps to a Better Hiring Process

3 Steps to a Better Hiring Process

Somewhere out there is the perfect candidate for your job opening, but finding that person can be a challenge. How much thought and time do you put into yo…

Connecting the Dots Between Effective Online Merchandising and Profitable Growth

This is a guest post from Russ Daniels, the Senior Manager, Product Marketing at Homenet. We're excited to have Russ presenting at the DrivingSales Executive Summit.  

 

  

Effective merchandising drives deeper interest from car shoppers, however, dealerships today do not know to differentiate their online inventory. 

In our dealer research, we found that 83% of dealers believe they can increase margin and reduce days to sell by improving online merchandising, yet just 12.0% feel their online presence was highly differentiated from their competitors. 

To begin understanding how to stand out, you need to understand how to measure several aspects of your merchandising. Below are three areas that I believe can provide the most insight into the impact of your current merchandising processes. 

Measure Merchandising Performance

Measuring the overall effectiveness of your online listings starts with tracking search result page and vehicle detail page views. Having an idea of the online engagement your inventory receives allows you see the impact your merchandising has on attracting shoppers.

For a deeper understanding of online engagement, track views for specific aspects of merchandising, such as videos, photos and 360 spins. 

In many conversations I have with experts across the industry, 125 VDP clicks per vehicle acts as a starting benchmark of measuring merchandising success.

Measure Time-to-Market

Used cars can take up to 11 days to be fully merchandised and online, but high performing dealers can accomplish this within three days. Use smart automation and technology to streamline this process as much as possible to save time and effort. 

Remember fully merchandised vehicles are going to drive consumer engagement. Listings with real photos get 349% more vehicle details page views than those with stock photos and vehicles with descriptions receive 27% more views than those without. 

Merchandising that Boosts Search Rankings

Industry leading classified sites like Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Cars.com and Cargurus are using merchandising completeness to drive which vehicles display at the top of the search results page. Now vehicles with real photo sets, video, descriptions etc. will be showing higher on the results page. This shift is aimed to drive a better shopping experience.  This also validates the need to measure the time it takes to merchandise your inventory and track engagement.

If vehicles are underperforming – it’s important to investigate where merchandising processes can be improved to maximize return on your advertising spend. For example, photos and thorough descriptions can be easily overlooked. By expanding the detail of your comments and taking more photos, you can give car shoppers more information to make a purchasing decision.

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