You know that tracking inventory at your dealership is essential, which is why there are many quality third-party companies to help you with your inventory management process. This is the data that helps you monitor what’s happening on your lot so you can stock the models your customers want, move the ones that are aging, keep your pricing up to date, and stay ahead of your competition.
But what about tracking your online inventory—that is, the number of views your vehicle detail pages (VDPs) are getting, and average time spent on those VDPs? Do you know which ones have the most and least views, and their percentage changes per week?
Here’s why it’s important to stay on top of your VDP inventory: Your website visitors are shoppers just like the ones at your showroom. The pages they view tell you which of your models are popular and which ones aren’t.
Knowing this data helps you keep your brick-and-mortar showroom inventory in sync with your online customer interest, and it also helps you optimize your website to make more sales. It is a crucial way to make your dealership website work for you.
Here are four ways to maximize your VDP inventory data to boost conversions and make more sales.
1. Get your least-viewed cars off the lot
If you know which of your dealership’s models are viewed the least online, you know it’s time to get those cars moving. You can run specials or savings offers on your website to promote VDPs that have a lower viewing percentage.
You can also use pop-ups and banners to promote these models, and redirect website traffic to their VDPs. More exposure and special offers can get these cars moving off your lot faster.
2. Leverage best-selling cars for marketing
Feature images of your website’s most-viewed cars in your email marketing or lead forms to draw even more attention to these models, and increase traffic and conversions. It worked for Eric Robare, sales manager of Kelly BMW in Columbus, Ohio.
Robare used data on past sales to guide decisions on stocking his showroom, and saw his sales go up even during tough economic times. Use your popular models to drive traffic to your site just like your inventory drives traffic to your showroom.
3. Boost sales
Your VDP data can also help you choose which OEM offers to promote on your website.
Choosing the offers for your most popular models ensures that more of your customers see your most-wanted vehicles, putting you on track to make more sales.
4. Use sophisticated targeting
Utilize behavioral analytics technology to detect your website visitors’ interests, and show them offers and content to match. If customers view a specific vehicle or group of vehicles, target them with offers based on the very inventory that has grabbed their interest.
Your website should be dynamically populated to give your customers a positive, engaging, and relevant shopping experience. Analyzing your VDP inventory helps you integrate your brick-and-mortar showroom with your digital showroom.
Your website is, after all, an extension of your dealership. Customers should be able to browse online just as they do in your store, and you should be able to respond to their interests just as you would in person.
Speaking of which, make sure your VDPs are truly reflective of your inventory. Don’t present savings or local OEM offers on your website if your inventory doesn’t support them. If you don’t have the model in stock, don’t promote it.
This is probably obvious, but bears emphasizing: Your website is there to improve your customers’ shopping experience, not turn them off with false advertising.
Because your VDPs can supplement your inventory data and help you make more sales, make sure each page is the best it can be. High-quality, current, and extensive photos, 360˚ images, and videos give your customers an interactive website experience that encourages them to want to come into your dealership.
The better experience you give shoppers, the more they’ll want to use your dealership for their next car purchase. To help that happen, make sure to track the pages each of your site visitors view, and use heat maps to give you a sense of their general interests.
Your inventory guides many decisions at dealership. Your VDP inventory can improve it even further. Optimize both and you’ll have happier customers and more sales.
Ilana Zur is head of customer outreach at AutoLeadStar, a lead-engagement platform for auto dealerships that specializes in person-level analytics and lead capture to convert more of dealer websites’ traffic into qualified leads. Ilana loves learning about new dealerships and partnership opportunities, so feel free to reach out to[email protected]
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