Since 2009, the gap between list price and transaction price has steadily declined. To overcome profit margin compression, you must reduce overhead, free up dealership resources to focus on profit centers, and sell more cars at a faster rate. Here’s how to do it.
About 2 weeks ago, I wrote a piece about the importance of boosting your dealership’s brand over 3rd party brands on your website. I laid out the reasons at a very high level, but the primary reason for focusing so heavily on your own brand is to ensure you stand out to consumers during their online shopping so you're not lost when it’s time to finally buy.
This week, I thought I’d go into a little more detail about how you can fully accentuate your brand on your dealership’s website. Here are 3 effective steps you can do to boost your dealership’s brand:
One of the first (and arguably easiest) things you can do is integrate your brand into your website’s trade-in tool. Although a number of trade-in tools offer a varied number of customization options, you might be able to work with your software provider to add branded elements to the trade-in experience. Depending on who your software provider is (I’ll try not to be too biased), you might be able to go the extra mile and add multimedia elements to the experience. Videos that explain the trade appraisal process and even unique questions that ask about specific preferences can distinguish your dealership from others.
Now, if you have the resources, another might consider simply building your own trade appraisal tool. With a fully customized trade appraisal integration, you would be able to customize the experience to your heart’s content. The more you customize your trade appraisal experience, the most engaged your consumers would be and they wouldn’t feel a need to go elsewhere.
Although the trade appraisal tool is the most common and quintessential of automotive website tools, there are other types of interactive experiences that you can throw on your website. One of the best ways you can really put your dealership's brand in the spotlight is to have consumers engage with your website in unique ways. Interactive experiences like assessments, quizzes, and games are all great ways for consumers to learn more about your brand, and in turn, capture valuable information from your consumers for follow-up with.
Aside from obviously being able to integrate your brand’s logos and slogans into those experiences, the experiences themselves are memorable and help consumers retain more information. If you’re thinking of dabbling with interactive experiences, reach out to a reliable website or software provider that can help you create the experiences you want. Simply put, these types of interactions create depth in the conversation between your website and website visitor. That depth allows you to say more in a more meaningful way during their interaction.
The last thing I’ll cover regarding boosting your dealership’s brand is the concept of branding your price — something I discussed in-depth in my January 14th blog post. In a nutshell, branding your price literally means appending your brand to a car’s listed price. Whether you’re a “one price” dealership or intend on allowing some room for negotiation, branding your price is a great idea.
By “branding your price,” you’re essentially taking responsibility for the what way your inventory is priced. To ensure there’s trust between you and your consumers regarding this final price, you can leverage videos and images that explain how such prices were calculated. You likely put a lot of work into pricing your inventory competitively. By building value in that price with your brand and explanation of what extent you went to calculating it, you can build trust with consumers.
Not only does this reduce the need for negotiation, but your dealership immediately becomes memorable and it keeps consumers on your website. This separates you from the competition and keeps you in the running for when its time to leave the computer and visit a dealership.
Every dealership is unique and has something special to offer its consumers. That being said, it’s important for your dealership to let folks know, not only that you exist, but that you’re worth looking into. How does your dealership boost its brand?