New and Pre-Owned Vehicle Photos

Matthew Yost
Is picture quality of your inventory important to drive sales from your website? Is it worth to paying a professional photogropher?
Lindsey Auguste
Picture quality is just one more impression that affects your image of professionalism. It's important to get those vehicles merchandised quickly and online as quickly as possible, but you must take into consideration how it might affect your reputation if your images are all terribly blurring or out of focus. Hiring a professional photographer will depend on how quickly they can get to the car to photograph it and turn around a suitable image for your website. It will also depend on how expensive there are - it all comes down to cost per vehicle. You might want to check out Dennis Galbraith's most recent book, "Online Vehicle Merchandising." It provides excellent tips and processes for the entire merchandising of vehicles online.
Matthew Yost
Thank you Lindsey! I went to Mr. Galbraith's website and found some valuable information.I think I will order the book you suggested as well. Please disregard my improper grammar and spelling on original posting.
Matthew Yost
Here is what I am thinking. After spending close to $500,000 a year for website,SEO,Autotrader,Cars.com,BDC,Internet Manager etc. it makes sense to put the highest quality pictures out there in the quickest time possible?
Lindsey Auguste
"It makes sense to put the highest quality pictures out there in the quickest time possible?" You hit the nail on the head! As Dennis says, those cars aren't really for sales until they're merchandised online, so waiting around for a professional to handle that is not the best route. But finding the happy medium between getting those cars up and making sure they adequately represent your level of professionalism and brand is paramount. Speed to market is key.
Dennis Galbraith
Matthew, thank you for bringing up a favorite topic of mine. Online vehicle merchandising is to car sales what blocking and tackling are to football, fundamental. Yet the return need not be guess work. Any investment in producing more photos, better photos, and getting photos done faster will show results in the conversion from the Vehicle Details Pages (VDPs) to a contact (phone, email, chat, walk-in). It is hard to track walk-ins, but the percent improvement will generally be consistent with the improvement in phone + email + chat. Divide the added expense by the increase in contacts to get the marginal cost per contact. It usually takes about 3 months worth of data to have a large enough sample size to be sure of the results. For many dealers, this will prove to be the lowest cost per contact available. Of course, there is a point where you can over do it. That is why it is always important to measure.

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