Topic: Marketing tips
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.
Congratulations to our Top Rated Dealers who are part of an exclusive group of CarGurus dealers with an average dealer rating of 4.5 stars or higher. Your award is the result of your commitment to customer satisfaction and the consistently great reviews you’ve received from the people who matter most: your customers.
You’ve put in the hard work to earn the award, now it’s time to put the award to work for your dealership. Here are our top tips for showcasing your achievement using the assets available to all winners on a premium listings package:
Auto shows have been part of new vehicle launch strategies for decades. But with Covid forcing the cancellation of live shows across Canada in 2021, generating buzz for this year’s new models is going to require some quick thinking and ingenuity.
Fortunately, there’s still time to execute some innovative ideas and get your customers excited about brands’ upcoming new vehicles. Here are some ideas to help you get the word out and to bring those customers through the doors and onto your sales floor.
As COVID-19 restrictions continue and even increase in pockets across Canada, automotive sales have been remarkably resilient. Consumers who formerly relied on public transit or ride-hailing are buying cars for the first time or replacing their existing vehicles, spurred on by the social distance they naturally provide.
But do automotive dealers need to worry about another decline as we head into winter and a second wave? From the perspective of complete shutdowns, most likely not: the lessons learned through the initial spring lockdowns are allowing dealerships and other low-risk businesses to continue operating with the right measures in place.
However, some tweaks to the systems and mindsets put in place in April and May could help dealers stay ahead of the unforeseen challenges through the colder months.
As dealerships look forward to reopening their doors, they’re thinking about how to do it safely. Since the COVID-19 virus can survive on many types of surfaces, concerns about transmission has set new expectations for car cleanliness. Your customers will expect a different kind of safety protocol for disinfecting cars—whether it’s for test drives or service appointments—and interacting with the public. So it’s important that you clearly communicate the steps you’re taking to keep them safe.
CarGurus recently hosted a webinar with Facebook and Bosak Motors to discuss digital marketing trends for a new 2020. The participants shared many key insights over 30 minutes. Here are four important takeaways:
Update your marketing messages for the moment
Make sure to update your creative and messaging to communicate exactly what’s happening at the dealership right now. Bosak Motors updated all their messaging to advertise the services they’re offering to help keep customers safe, such as home delivery, contactless services, and online vehicle sales.
Your dealership hours might be nine to five, but your customers’ lives are not. More and more are doing their homework—73% of car shoppers research and compare exhaustively—and a lot of it is done online. Shoppers visit 13 auto sites on average. So it’s likely that their first contact with a dealership is after regular working hours.
The worst thing you can do with customer leads is let them sit, so there’s extra pressure on dealers to respond even when the physical shop may be closed. Here are four ways to capture and address those after-hours leads.
Dealers are no doubt aware of the impact a decent set of photos can have on a used car shopper, but video takes things one step further because it’s the next best thing to seeing a car in person. More and more retailers are using walkaround videos to show off their inventory, but as with any form of advertising, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.
We explain the dos and don’ts of producing a top-quality used car video that’s guaranteed to catch shoppers’ attention.
There is no underestimating the value of high-quality car photography. Customers can tell a lot about your dealership from your advertising images, which are often the first impression a customer gets of a car.
New models benefit from polished manufacturer stock shots, while used vehicles don’t enjoy the same luxury and require a bit more effort. Get it right though, and you immediately showcase the car’s best qualities in plenty of detail, immeasurably boosting your chance of a sale.
However, photography is easy to get wrong–and a lot of businesses do exactly that. A lack of know-how or the scramble to get images online frequently leads to poor-quality shots that leave the viewer unclear about what they’re looking at and questioning the dealership’s professionalism. If you want to sell more cars, then you can’t cut corners with photography. If you have the budget for a professional then go for it–but handling your pictures in-house is perfectly doable whether you’re a veteran photographer or a novice with a smartphone.
Putting Canadian Millennials behind the wheel: think outside the showroom to reach this growing generation
Meet the Canadian Millennial – probably older than you think, quite possibly a hard-working parent, and with enough obligations to need a vehicle.
According to a survey by Canada Post, a good 33 per cent of Millennials have young families. They’re raising kids, with careers in full swing, and buying homes. That means they’re ripe prospects for car-buying.
Canadian car industry guru Dennis DesRosiers proposes, if you crunch the numbers, it would be impossible for Millennials not to buy cars. DesRosiers finds that car ownership in Canada has “exploded” over the last 17 years, currently standing at 87 per cent. He also notes that the number of the youngest cohort of drivers (under 16) has grown from 48.1 per cent to 54.6 per cent during that same timeframe. And the next two youngest cohorts (16 to 19, 20 to 24) have not declined. “Get them while they’re young and you might have a customer for life,” advises DesRosiers.
So how do dealers capture this growing market segment?