Dealers should look to their physical businesses for inspiration for their online used car offering.
Elements to focus on online in the used car pages on dealers’ websites include a list of available and searchable stock, finance offers, a picture of the dealership and owners/dealer principle and clear location and contact information.
The advice comes from Razsor, a new digital marketing company, part of the Trader Media, the parent of Auto Trader.
It offers to build websites for franchised dealers, allowing them to customise and manage their websites from a range of packages, each offering simple designs.
Alastair Thornton, head of digital marketing at Razsor, said: “Our insight demonstrates how important the right, easy-to-use website is to the business’ bottom line.
“Dealers are advised not to replicate their new car web offering for their used business, but to look much closer to home – their own physical premises, which as years of experience have taught us, are effective in attracting customers.
"So, put your stock out front and easily searchable, putting cars together in a logical way (by brand, segment, price etc), make finance offers easy to see and judge, present the dealership and staff in images, and explain why people should do business with you.
"Finally, make it very easy to find and get in touch with you, so location map, telephone numbers and email address to the fore.”
Razsor has already built web platforms for 1,874 independent used car dealers.
Ahead of the launch to the franchised sector Razsor conducted insight that uncovered a real need for a better selection of dealer websites in the market.
Results showed that over half (55%) of potential car buyers expected to be able to check out a vehicle on a car dealer’s website if they had seen it advertised elsewhere, and 60% would be ‘put off’ a potential purchase if the dealer didn’t have its own website.
“10% of survey respondents said they would not be prepared to buy a car from a dealer that didn’t have its own website,” said Thornton.
“Dealers operate in a tough market and now more than ever they need to ensure that they use the very best tools available to reach their customers and make sales.
"Razsor aims to help dealers by discussing their specific problems and then presenting a cost effective solution to create a strong online presence.”
The study also highlighted the following:
- Six out of ten (60%) are very likely to search local car dealers’ websites before leaving the house
- Nearly a third (32%) would look at other vehicles that they had noticed on the site
- Over half of potential car buyers (55%) would be annoyed if they arrived at a car dealership to find that the car they wanted to buy had already been sold.
Razsor offers a range of packages, including ‘enhanced’ and ‘enhanced plus’, as well as offering custom built websites for dealers who want a more bespoke website.
The Razsor offering includes:
- the stock export standard tool allows dealers to export to other ‘free to advertise’ classified websites including Oodle, Preloved, Vivastreet and Gumtree without having to re-enter the information for that stock
- an SEO pack using information provided by the dealer to ensure that the website text is optimised for conversion. Details are submitted to online business directories to further optimise the website
- a homepage video allowing dealers to display a video, developed by a third party, on the website homepage
- featured stock allowing dealers to highlight specific stock on the homepage. When directed through from a search on autotrader.co.uk, the relevant stock will be displayed to continue the user’s search seamlessly
- forecourt banners to give space on the website homepage for dealers to promote any offers and services they wish to bring to customers’ attention.
- premium stock export allowing dealers to upload stock to ’pay to advertise’ classified sites as well as the sites included in stock export
Features available as part of the enhanced and enhanced plus packages - or as optional extras - are:
- Insurance quotes
- Featured stock
- Forecourt banners
- Showcase vehicles
- Social network links
- Suggested associated vehicles
- Stock export standard
- Premium stock expert
- CVI professional
- Homepage video redesign
> Explaining the mysteries of digital marketing is the topic of two AM breakfast roundtables for franchised dealers, in association with Razsor. The first is on Wednesday, June 22 in the Leeds area; the second on Tuesday, June 28 near Newbury (venues to be confirmed). There is no charge to attend either. There is only a limited amount of space left to attend this free event.
The meeting will be attended by up to 12 fellow retailers, with the start at 9 with a full English breakfast and ending no later than 1pm.
Key areas of focus will include what digital marketing should deliver (in the dealer's terms), how to make digital marketing easy (so that retailers can focus on retailing) and how to measure success in automotive terms, not digital marketing terms. Experts from Razsor will be on hand to answer your queries in relation to the above matters.
If you are a franchised dealer who would like to attend call 01733 468325 or email email@example.com.