Many dealers today are using money-saving, self-service apps to list and publish inventory to popular car-shopping sites. These do-it-yourself (DIY) apps enable dealers to bring their online vehicle listing and marketing functions in-house, instead of outsourcing them to a third party.
By using one of these killer apps, dealers can save money listing, publishing, and marketing their preowned inventory online. These DIY apps offer almost all of the listing sophistication provided by third-party service providers. For many dealerships, however, outsourcing their online vehicle listing and marketing functions will remain the preferred choice, because the process of imaging and listing inventory online is time consuming.
Having noted that, the DIY app makes online inventory marketing straightforward. It does require your staff to scan vehicle VINS using a special DIY app tool. Staff also enter accessory and factory option data not described by the VIN. The app also lets staff take vehicle images and match them to the correct VIN data. These apps typically then interface with the dealer management system that then uploads the vehicle data and images to the dealership website as well as to sites like cars.com, carsoup.com, eBay Motors, and others.
To get the most from these self-service apps, the right process must be in place. Here are a few suggestions to help you with your process:
1. Determine inventory to be listed. Have it washed and detailed so images taken of it show the vehicle in its best light. Position vehicles to be photographed so there is nothing to distract from their best presentation; in other words, keep other vehicles, poles, foliage, and other visual distractions out of the picture.
2. Make certain every option that adds value to the vehicle is captured for use on the window label as well as online content. Add any other selling points, such as aftermarket accessories or factory option packages that the VIN explosion itself may not provide.
3. If the DIY app of your choice offers capability to incorporate specific commentary about vehicles or the dealership, use it to help your inventory stand out from your competitors’.
Mike Baker is president of AutoUpLinkUSA, a leading provider of online vehicle inventory listing and image publishing marketing services. He can be reached at [email protected] or www.autouplinkusa.com.
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