Digital Car Marketing Made Easy
Car merchandising is essential for all types of automobile retailers, including individual sellers, marketplaces, and dealerships. The majority of your car customers are online, therefore, you ought to be as well. While there are many aspects that contribute to online auto sales, the main factor is how you present your inventory online.
Your merchandising solutions must be digital in order to be effective in this digital age. The majority of purchasers spend their time online, looking at possibilities and even making purchases. You require efficient digital merchandising solutions immediately because the competition is already pretty fierce.
This essay will walk you through every aspect of digital car marketing. Let’s get going.
What is automotive marketing?
Automobile merchandising is the technique of attractively showcasing your inventory to draw in potential customers. For effective vehicle merchandising, you need complete transparency in the way you display your vehicle inventory, i.e., offer all necessary information—price, features, colors, design, mileage, previous owner history, available finance options, etc.—upfront to the buyers. It includes strategies to expand your audience, increase footfall in your dealerships, build your brand, offer a transparent experience to consumers, etc.
Businesses used to prioritize offline and physical merchandising up until a few years ago. However, with the development of the internet and the widespread use of online automobile sales, digital merchandising has become crucial for the automotive industry.
But why does it matter? Let’s examine that.
The significance of digital vehicle marketing
Prior to visiting a dealership, 92% of automobile purchasers conduct online research. Not only that, but 61% of the contemporary car-buying process is conducted online! People search through hundreds or even thousands of online postings before finding the exact automobile they want (and a good value too). They ultimately choose just one of the available options.
What forces customers to choose that particular alternative out of the plethora of sellers and cars? The solution, however, is intricate. The most crucial element is the price (including bargains and discounts), which is followed by the photos and videos that are used to advertise a car, etc.
Buyers make purchasing decisions online based on the caliber of the photographs and videos, how descriptive they are, and how credible the sellers appear in their catalog. According to research, 90% of automobile buyers think that internet product images are crucial. Additionally, 64% of consumers claim that cutting-edge marketing techniques like 360-degree films would persuade them to buy a car without even giving it a test drive.
To get discovered by the right consumers, you also need auto digital marketing to advertise your car retail business (through paid promotions, effective SEO, etc.). Additionally, your online sales platform needs to be simple to use and compelling. If you don’t, you can lose clients to your competitors.
Benefits of Car Merchandising Optimization for the Digital World
The advantages of digitally enhancing auto merchandising are numerous. Here are a few instances:
1. Greater sales
Many automobile purchasers use the Internet to do their homework before making a purchase. They hop from website to website, comparing automobiles, costs, and physical conditions (if purchasing used cars) in an effort to locate the best match. You could attract online audiences and turn them into customers with the aid of effective online merchandising.
2. Get more people to look at your car listings
As was already indicated, with the right merchandising and product catalog optimization, an increasing number of individuals will find value in your automobile listings (and even online ads). As a result, more people will visit your website, which will ultimately result in more purchases.
3. Boost your business margins while fostering market trust.
Including all necessary details about each vehicle in your inventory gives your website a more genuine feel. The buyers’ trust is subsequently increased by this. Additionally, good merchandising gives your car business a more upscale air, which enables you to sell your vehicles for higher prices.
Characteristics of Successful Digital Automotive Marketing
Digital marketing may appear to be a simple process at first glance. You arrange a car photoshoot and produce a catalog detailing your inventory for possible customers. Then you could list your catalogs on your own website or a third-party marketplace for customers to check out. But there’s a lot more to it, and it’s harder said than done.
Your car business stands out online amid thousands of others thanks to a few specific elements of online commerce:
1. Personalize to the tastes of the customers
Every effective online retail platform makes use of technology that tailors the shopping experience to the browsing habits of the customers. Utilize these insights and data to hand-pick listings for customers based on their choices for features, spending limit, type of vehicle, and more. You can produce high-quality leads by doing this.
2. Enhance visual data
If you’ve only recently begun selling automobiles online, you could believe that all that is required to inform consumers is Automotive Marketing and lengthy, catchy descriptions. But that’s not the case. The visual information sources that customers prefer the most are high-quality automotive photographs and videos. They assist consumers in remembering information for a longer period of time, in addition to streamlining and improving the experience.
3. Keep everything open and honest.
One of the most important aspects of new and used car marketing, whether it be online or offline, is transparency. Always be upfront with your consumers about the process and never hide anything from them, from prices and deals that are available to the condition of your cars (showing off all dents and defects). Tell the customer upfront if there are any additional fees or terms.
A Successful Online Vehicle Merchandising Formula
You now understand what vehicle marketing is, why it is important, and what the key components of its effective tactics are. We discuss some of its essential components in this section:
1. Merchandising car images and videos
Without excellent photos and videos, online selling is worthless. They aid in attractively displaying your inventory and enhancing the user experience on your VDP (Vehicle Display Page), which boosts lead generation.
Trust between the buyer and seller must be established through the use of compelling automotive photos and videos. A high-quality visual catalog immediately establishes the seller’s authority, whereas cluttered, unprofessional, or stock photographs can give the impression that the merchant lacks trustworthiness.
All of your visuals must be of the highest caliber because you will also require photographs and videos for commercials and promotions.
2. vehicle specifics
There may still be a need for a textual description if one concentrates too much on the catalog’s visual content. Provide written descriptions of the car’s characteristics, warranty, ownership history (for used automobiles), price, and all other pertinent information in addition to visual representations.
Your VDP must have written descriptions if you want it to be search engine optimized. Make a list of pertinent keywords and use them to optimize your content. Make internal and external backlinks, and always write in plain terms.
3. Strategically placed CTAs on your website
What do CTAs do? The buttons, pop-ups, or slide-ins that nudge website visitors to take action are called calls to action. Depending on the nature of your business, this could be anything from a “buy” button to an inquiry form to get in touch with the vendor.
The goal of your listings, if you sell cars, is only achieved if the buyer makes a purchase from you. Missing out on strategic CTAs will harm your business because they are essential for attracting online shoppers and persuading them to make a purchase.
The ROI of Digital Merchandising for New and Used Cars
You’re probably weighing whether or not to invest in merchandise because it is costly. The investment seems considerably greater for used car sellers, which may have an even greater impact on profit margins. There isn’t really a straightforward way to determine the return on investment (ROI) in this situation. To achieve that, you’ll need to configure tracking across all of the web services you use.
developed a marketing campaign? Keep track of the price and effectiveness of your advertising across all platforms. rented a studio and employed photographers? Total the invoices. You must keep a record of all your marketing operations as well as the leads and visitors that come from each channel.
You may track your inventory with the aid of DMS (Dealer Management Systems), such as vAuto Provision, Dabadu XRM, DealerCenter, etc. This is also a crucial stage in your merchandising efforts. Then, you can determine the most accurate ROI for your vehicle retail firm by comparing your revenue to the total amount you spent across channels.
Top 10 Tips for Car Retailers on Online Merchandising
1. Spend money on professional inventory photography.
If your inventory photographs aren’t up to par, it doesn’t matter how well the website design and vehicle description are done—they will ruin the entire dish. Hire a skilled vehicle photographer who understands how to capture the best car pictures that sell online. If your inventory isn’t too large, you can hire a freelancer; if you have a sizable collection, you can hire a full-time photographer.
For a polished result, you might want to think about using a turntable in a studio setting. However, given the high expense of car photography, it can all be quite pricey. Not to worry. This list’s final item creates the ideal option for each car vendor.
2. Don’t just stick to pictures
Yes, automotive photos are crucial, but there are other factors as well. Videos are essential for vehicle marketing since they simulate a physical tour when it comes to the vehicle inspection process. These videos can take several forms, including 360-degree spin videos and in-depth walkarounds.
What, then, are these movies? Videos of a moving car mounted on a turntable are known as 360-degree spin car videos. It gives a good picture of how the car appears from different perspectives. On the other hand, a thorough walkaround video includes showing an automobile from the inside out, enabling viewers to virtually “feel” a vehicle. This makes your website seem like a virtual auto showroom and a digital extension of your dealership.
3. Utilize SEO techniques to rank your VDPs
Your VDPs’ content needs to be optimized for popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Your chances of making a sale will increase if you use an effective auto SEO approach to make your automobile listings visible on pertinent searches.
4. Personalization through behavioral targeting
Utilizing behavior-based targeting tactics is the best way to provide a tailored experience on your auto dealership website. With behavior-based targeting, you can collect information about a web user’s online browsing and shopping habits in addition to the more traditional cookie-based tactics.
A consumer who frequently visits several car-selling platforms to read evaluations of SUVs is definitely interested in purchasing an SUV, which is an example of behavioral targeting in action. Utilize the information after you have it! Create fresh content pieces, such as customized emails and advertisements, to engage customers!
Use Automotive Solutions to make sure that client data is utilized in all parts of how you manage your business, from sales and service to marketing and financing.
5. Develop campaigns based on trends
Taking advantage of current trends to market your brand is a fantastic idea. Pay attention to Social Media auto-trends and adjust your advertising/promotional strategies as necessary. In addition, you might promote holiday discounts on your cars to draw in more customers.
6. Embrace your audience
To draw in more clients online, it would be beneficial if you also had a strong social following. Make sure that every social media post is appropriate for the platform—Facebook is excellent for sharing photos and videos. Similar to how Instagram works best with gorgeous photographs and clips, Twitter is better suited for brief messages. A strong brand image can also be developed with the aid of a savvy social media strategy.
7. Make your website mobile-friendly.
Over 294 million people in the US now use smartphones, making them an indispensable component of most people’s lives. You can’t expect visitors to move to a desktop or laptop simply to visit your website because the majority of consumers use the internet on their mobile devices and tablets. Make sure your online dealership is mobile-friendly if you want your online auto sales business to expand.
8. Update your online stock regularly.
Additionally, you must frequently update your online automobile listings. If you want to retain transparency, you must do this. You should also update the accompanying VDP whenever a vehicle is added to your lot, rolls off the lot, or receives maintenance or repairs.
9. Reports on the current state of the vehicle (for used cars)
The car’s current state effectively conveys that it has been well-maintained, but that is not sufficient by itself. Customers who buy used cars want to be sure that their car won’t suddenly need expensive repairs, forcing them to spend a lot of money.
It is ideal to get an authentic vehicle condition report because it makes it simpler for buyers to comprehend how an automobile is doing. An excellent CARFAX vehicle report can do wonders for persuading customers to trust you with their next used automobile purchase.
10. Utilize state-of-the-art AI for automotive marketing.
You might have gotten the impression from the first two items on this list that automotive merchandising is a costly endeavor. In actuality, that is the truth! Taking pictures and making videos of cars can cost thousands of dollars. What then is the answer?
Auto dealers can accelerate their merchandising efforts at a reasonable cost with the help of AI-based photo editors for cars like SimpSocial. They make the entire cataloging process simple by eliminating the requirement for expert automobile photography and production setup.
All you need is a smartphone with a decent camera, and you’re good to go! Through the SimpSocial AI smartphone app, you can receive guided photoshoots where you have to match the car to the overlays on the screen. The technology automatically adjusts the photos after the shoot is over! SimpSocial allows you to:
Choose from more than 100 professional backgrounds for your vehicle, including studio and outdoor settings, as well as the opportunity to upload your own.
For a more realistic look, add shadow effects to the backdrop and the floor.
To get rid of all the junk and useless items, make the floor into a studio turntable or a simple, streamlined floor.
The car’s windows and windshield should be tinted. It removes any unwelcome shadows or reflections from the glass, producing a professional result in a matter of seconds.
Doesn’t that sound like a ground-breaking merchandising platform? We advise using our AI photo editor for yourself.
SimpSocial is a platform for cataloging that uses AI to make it simple and quick to list your automobile inventory online. With the aid of this cutting-edge, clever solution, you can take flawless automotive photos on your own, followed by automatic image editing.
The advantages of using SimpSocial to create digital car catalogs are as follows:
1. Quicker time-to-market by 80%
You can drastically speed up the entire cataloging process with guided photoshoots and automated image editing. SimpSocial has reportedly sped up the online car listing procedure for our clients by up to 80%!
2. Cost savings of 75%
You don’t require expensive studios or expert photographic teams! The solution is a basic smartphone with a nice camera. According to the company we’ve helped expand, SimpSocial’s AI cataloging services are much less expensive than conventional methods—on average, 75% less expensive!
3. Increased sales conversion by 40%
The ability to improve sales by fostering consumer trust in your brand is the largest advantage of having high-quality photographs for your car listings. SimpSocial AI-edited photos have increased conversion rates for our clients’ VDPs by an average of 40%.
4. 100% reliable outcomes
No matter how many photos you process, SimpSocial AI always produces consistent results. In an hour, the system can alter hundreds of photographs while maintaining the highest levels of quality. In striking contrast, manual editing can result in lower-quality output if the effort is increased.
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