Quantity of information builds reference for the vehicle; quality and transparency build preference for the store. When a strong merchandising process is executed properly, it assures first-party, lead traffic (traffic being generated by your inventory) and strong conversion at each touch point.
A merchandising process should include gathering precise vehicle data, accurate text descriptors, 30 to 50 photos and a descriptive video in a complete and accurate format. No short cuts should be taken. Complete and organized content allows sellers to respond quickly and credibly. When the vehicle content is presented properly, credibility is established at every touch point of an online transaction. The succession of these touch points starts with the initial Search Engine Results Page(s), quickly followed up by a clicked upon Vehicle Detail Page. It results in an affirmative call to action that initiates Point of Contact communication and is finalized in the Test Drive and Delivery phase.
Think about it like this: Search > Search Engine Results Page > Vehicle Detail Page > Point of Contact Communication (phone, email or text) > Live Test Drive and Delivery Phase. Being credible at every touch point is when a buyer knows that they have found the right store to buy from.
The merchandising process should be streamlined to one type of device; no paper, no tethering devices to download, no double entry to multiple sites and no rekeying of information. Mobile device developers like Apple and Google (Android) and the apps that now drive smartphones are far more advanced than the tools available only a few short years ago that were used to complete merchandising tasks. The device and the app that you use to capture the data needs to have a work flow driven methodology to ensure consistency, regardless of who is performing the capture process.
To be an innovative organization you need to embrace mobile innovation, devices, and technology in order to implement a process to capture the data required to merchandise your cars online. The use of Apps to gather photos, videos and text descriptor will motivate your employees to produce better content that will in turn motivate shoppers to initiate contact with your dealership. Mobile Apps that standardize the data collection processes make a merchandising strategy easy to manage and sign off on by the entire sales team from your merchandising specialists right up to the dealer principal. Transparency establishes accountability and accountability establishes credibility. Both internally with your team and externally with the online consumer.
“When you’re selling cars this fast, you don’t have time for dirty data or multiple device,” Dennis Galbraith, author of Sales Integration.
Do it once and do it right!
Jay Radke is the director of business development cDemo Mobile Solutions. He be reached by email at [email protected],on Twitter as @JayRadke, or by phone at 780-977-5341.
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