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“…But your website says you still have the car?”

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Article Highlights:

  • Don't use stock photos and general information on your website.
  • Encourage your internet and inventory managers to work together.

According to NADA Data, dealerships spend an average of $321,001 annually on internet advertising. With that price tag, how often are you spending money on advertising vehicles that aren’t on your lot?

We all know the story: a customer calls your dealership inquiring information about a vehicle he found on your website. After asking about details and the price of the vehicle, you realize the car he wants has already been sold and isn’t on your lot anymore.

How often does this exact situation happen at your dealership? According to Autotrader, 88% of shoppers use the internet for vehicle shopping. Do you think customers will choose your dealership if the vehicles they find online aren’t the actual vehicles on your lot?

Here are three tips to help your dealership manage its online inventory to prevent situations like this from happening.

  1. Don’t use stock photos and general information on your website.

Using stock photos and general information on your website creates an unprofessional appearance for your dealership. If customers are looking at images and information that doesn’t match the car on your lot, they’ll feel deceived and turn away from your dealership. By taking the time to upload actual images of the vehicles on your lot, regularly changing the information and details about the vehicles, and adjusting price listings as they change, your website will generate more traffic and bring in more customers to your dealership looking to buy a vehicle.

  1. Invest in a solution that helps you maintain your website and third-party sites.

If you can’t find the time to manually maintain your online inventory, or can’t afford to hire staff to do so, invest in a solution that does it for you. There are solutions for your dealership that will customize descriptions of individual vehicles, keep the website organized and consistent, upload the actual photos of the vehicles on your lot, and more. The solution will then take those descriptions and images and automatically upload them to third-party sites your dealership uses to display its vehicles.

  1. Encourage your internet and inventory managers to work together.

Your dealership’s website serves multiple purposes—to showcase your dealership’s brand and to give your customers information. By encouraging your internet manager and your inventory manager to meet on a weekly basis, you can ensure your website not only looks good, but has completely accurate information as well. If your managers work together, they can use both of their expertise to determine which vehicles have recent customer interactions and which do not. They can use this information to effectively price vehicles more competitively, offer specials, make price adjustments to make the vehicle more attractive, and change the descriptions of vehicles not getting attention. When your managers use effective collaboration and work together toward the common goal of inventory turn, your dealership will meet more goals and increase sales.

Looking forward:

According to Autotrader, car buyers spend 59% of their time researching online before stepping foot in a dealership. Don’t let a consumer spend over half of their time on your website, and then come to your dealership and discover the car they wanted doesn’t exist. Use your website to your advantage and keep it accurate.

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Product Planning Manager, Vehicle Inventory applications

Andrew is Product Planning Manager at Reynolds and Reynolds for Vehicle Inventory based applications. Andrew, a graduate of Northwood University, has been with Reynolds for over 20 years and has held various positions in the Service, Support, Education, and Product Management departments.

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