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What car dealers need to know about upcoming Facebook Marketplace changes

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on June 16, 2021

Facebook recently announced that, as of September 13, 2021, they will be removing the ability for dealers to automatically display their inventory via feeds onto Marketplace, including the Marketplace homepage, category pages, browse experience, and search results. The change comes as Facebook shifts its focus away from dealers and onto consumer engagement, putting a bigger emphasis on online transactions for smaller, day-to-day consumer goods, like clothing and used furniture.

While updates to Facebook are nothing new for car dealers, we want to help you get ahead of the latest change. Read on to understand what these changes mean for your dealership.

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Topics: Facebook, Facebook Marketplace

How to manage your dealership’s Google reviews (and why they’re so important!)

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on June 3, 2021

Whether you’re looking into restaurants for date night or booking hotels for your long-awaited overseas vacation, chances are you’ve factored Google reviews into your decision-making more often than not. And when your customers are trying to decide where to book their next oil change or whether the dealership across town will offer them a more pleasant purchase experience, there’s little doubt they’re doing the exact same thing.

Google reviews appear directly in search results and Maps listings. These ratings are therefore front and centre when internet users search for your dealership or any local automotive-related service, meaning they play a crucial role in your dealership’s online reputation. Here’s a closer look at why such a simple process makes an enormous difference in how customers perceive your business and how to effectively manage these reviews to your advantage.

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Topics: Google, reputation management, reviews

Clutch shares how CarGurus Area Boost helps expand its car-buying audience

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on May 21, 2021

Ben Steffler, Growth Marketer at online automotive retailer Clutch, knows the most effective way to reach in-market shoppers is through the internet. To get his inventory in front of a larger audience, he signed up for CarGurus’ Area Boost, which allows him to show his deliverable listings outside his local market. He’s able to set delivery terms based on geographic parameters or a stated radius around the dealership for each listing with Area Boost, and a tag on each VDP makes it clear who pays the delivery fee. As a result, Clutch’s listings appear in searches by buyers who live outside their local market but within their specified delivery area, which results in more connections from potential buyers.

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Topics: Area Boost, CarGurus product, Featured Priority

Tips for attracting more fixed ops business for your dealership

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on May 12, 2021

In a recent blog post, we discussed some of the challenges expected to hinder new car supply in the coming months, from microchip and rubber shortages to the ongoing dispute at the Port of Montreal and U.S.-Canada relations. After more than a year of enduring the Covid pandemic, it looks as though there are still some rocky waters to come in the months ahead.

From a dealer’s perspective, that makes now a prime time to review the fixed ops side of the business and look for opportunities for growth. When the going gets tough on the sales floor, it’s the service and parts departments that can keep profits flowing and dealerships afloat. But thanks to the new service standards forced by Covid that have become part of everyday life, the post-pandemic customer is going to have an entirely new set of expectations.

Here’s a checklist to help ensure your dealership’s fixed ops systems and workflows are optimized to attract business and meet the demands of today’s customers.

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Topics: fixed ops, Marketing tips, service

Most searched vehicles of 2021 so far, according to CarGurus data

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on May 5, 2021

Though 2021 got off to a turbulent start with Covid restrictions in place across provinces, car shoppers continued to search for and research vehicles online. To see which cars sat at the top of shoppers’ wish lists, we dug into our search data from the first quarter. In particular, we looked at which makes and models were the most searched on CarGurus in each Canadian province and territory.

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Topics: car shopping, CarGurus data, used cars

Live now! Dealer Tools on mobile

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on May 3, 2021

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Topics: dealer tools, product updates

4 Supply concerns plaguing the auto industry in Canada — and how to keep them from impacting the shopping experience

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on April 20, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic remains top of mind for most Canadians as a third wave of infections surges across the country. However, sales figures indicate that the auto industry is weathering the latest pandemic challenges reasonably well: despite continuing lockdowns and distancing measures, sales were up just over 15 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021, and dealerships across the country remain open as essential businesses.

However, there are several other issues that threaten the stability of the new vehicle market in Canada in the coming months, both imports and those assembled domestically. Since it pays to be prepared, here’s a look at the supply concerns for the Canadian auto industry that are currently making the news.

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Topics: chip shortage, industry insights, supply

New CarGurus research shows increasing buyer openness and excitement towards EVs

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on April 14, 2021

As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain popularity in Canada, this topic has taken on a heightened focus throughout the auto industry. In February, CarGurus surveyed 495 automobile owners in Canada to get a pulse on their sentiments towards EVs. Overall, 32% of respondents noted that they were probably or definitely likely to own an EV in the next five years — a number on par with US consumers (30%) but that lags behind UK consumers (44%). And while Tesla is the trusted leader in tech development, consumers are increasingly open to other brands when it comes time to go electric.

In this emerging space, buyers are excited by the possibilities and less brand loyal, so there are opportunities for more competitors to disrupt the market. For dealers, now is the time to get ahead of the demand curve and start having conversations about electric vehicles with prospective buyers.

Below we’ve highlighted three key dealer takeaways from the study. For a summary of the results, download the CarGurus 2021 Electric Vehicle Report here.

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Topics: CarGurus data, consumer insights, electric vehicles, EVs

Top Rated Dealer 2021: building trust and transparency through shopper reviews

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on April 13, 2021

It’s no secret that today’s shoppers use the internet to inform their purchases. With so many resources available, digital makes it easy to research makes and models and compare prices. But it’s not just about price: almost two-thirds (62%) of shoppers won’t contact a dealer before checking their reviews, according to a CarGurus consumer poll. That’s because reviews help validate the dealership experience and build a shopper’s trust with a dealer before ever setting foot on the lot.

Not only do reviews give shoppers the transparency they crave, helping them choose one dealership over another, but they also benefit you, the dealer. CarGurus dealers with a 4-star dealer rating or better see 129% more leads than dealers with a 1-star rating — that’s over 2x more leads for your dealership. Plus, a stellar reputation will help you earn the prestigious CarGurus Top Rated Dealer Award, which helps you bolster a cycle of trust and transparency between your dealership, existing customers, and in-market car shoppers.

Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to grow your reputation online. Here are some simple tips for managing your reputation and building trust in your dealership.

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Topics: reputation management, reviews, Top Rated Dealer, transparency

How to turn tax season into sales season for your dealership

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on March 30, 2021

Tax season has arrived, and this year’s round is going to be a weird one. Some people might be getting larger refunds than normal thanks to writing off home office expenses for the first time, while others may be more deeply affected by the pandemic and find themselves especially strapped. Meanwhile, business customers may have fleet updates on hold, or they may be about to receive a welcome reminder at tax time of the benefits of writing off their vehicles.

Here are a few ways that your dealership may be able to capitalize on tax season to bring customers through the doors who will drive more vehicles off the lot.

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Topics: best practices, sales, tax season