Car Dealers: 9 Ways to Sell More Cars Online

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Car dealers - Sell more cars online - Cheki Nigeria

As a car dealer or private seller, are you currently generating enough leads and customers to help you sell more cars online? If your answer is no, then this challenge is not peculiar to you alone.

According to a recent automotive marketing report, the biggest priority for car dealers is to be able to generate more leads and improving conversion, which eventually leads to being able to sell more and more of their cars.

Automotive marketing report

What is Holding You Back?

Over the years, the automotive industry has changed and continues to change. What this means for a car dealer like you is that the way you generate leads and customers has also changed.

As a car dealer, to keep up with this change, you must also make changes in how you go about selling your cars. Today, car buyers in Nigeria carry out research on the internet before they eventually reach a decision to buy a car.

Recent studies have shown that car buyers spend 59% of their time doing the research before they buy a car

How Do You Reach More Customers in Order to Sell More Cars?

The answer is simple. You need to take your car-selling strategies online because this is where car buyers search for information about the cars they are planning to buy.

Since car buyers spend so much time online, your strategies should include ways to help you reach them online at every car-buying stage.

A research conducted by Think With Google revealed the car-buying cycle and moments of a car buyer trying to make a decision on buying a car.

The research showed 5 clear car-buying stages as you can see below:

Car-buying stages

The better you understand these stages, the easier it will become for you to reach car buyers in order to sell more and more of your cars.

For instance, it is crucial to know exactly what they are looking for in a car they intend to buy but that’s not all. This article looks into 9 ways you can sell more cars online by reaching more car buyers. Let’s get started.

1. Sell More Cars Online: Use Search Engine Optimization

This is pretty straightforward. At the first stage of buying a car, most of the research done by the car buyers take place on search engines like Google.

The car buyer wants to know which car to by and where to get it. As such, you must put your dealership right where they can easily find it.

The average car buyer visits the dealership twice – The first time is when they want to buy the car. The second time is when they need car maintenance. Every other thing is done online. The car buyer’s research typically revolves around 24 points as highlighted in the image below:

Car buyer touch points

They are constantly searching for information about the car engine, fuel consumption, trusted cars website in Nigeria, car videos, car reviews, spare parts and so much more

In order to use Search Engine Optimisation to reach more car buyers, you need to do the following:

  • Create a digital presence on car-buying and car-selling websites like Cheki Nigeria
  • Ensure your cars are listed online

According to Search Engine Land and Business 2 Community, a growing number of people are turning to the internet to find information about local businesses like yours  You should also know that:

  • 46% of all searches on Google are local
  • 64% of local customers rely on search engines to find local businesses
  • 50% of local searches done on mobile devices actively search for business information (like your company’s address or phone number)
  • 78% of local mobile searches result in a purchase offline

2. Claim Your Google My Business Listing

‘Google My Business,’ also known as GMB, is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses like your dealership to manage your online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.

If you verify and edit your business information, you make it easier for car buyers to find your dealership and tell them your story. Claiming your Google My Business page will help you to:

  • Appear in Maps and Local Pack Listings
  • Allows people to leave reviews of your business
  • Provides insights that give you helpful information
  • Remember, it is free and easy to use

Below is an example of Cheki Nigeria on Google Maps:

Cheki Nigeria on Google Map

3. Manage your Customer Reviews and Ratings

Getting your customers to leave honest and positive reviews about your dealership and the services you render is critical for two reasons – It highlights the quality of the service you provide and also sends a strong signal to search engines that your page is trusted and useful.

The crucial factors you need to focus on here are the number of reviews you are getting, the overall quality of the reviews as well as the authority of the review site in question.

Something You Should Know About Positive Reviews

Did you know that positive reviews make 91% of consumers more likely to use a business? This data was shared by Local Consumer Review Survey

4. Sell More Cars Online: Use Videos

Videos help you get the attention of car buyers. According to research, 84% of video researchers plan to watch auto videos the next time they shop for a car.

Another study has shown that 69% of people who use YouTube while shopping for a car are more influenced by it than magazines, TV, or newspapers.

Data from Google revealed that more than half of car buyers watch 30 minutes or more of videos as part of their vehicle research.

You might not know this but car buyers generally enjoy watching videos of test drives, specs and features, and vehicle interior and exterior walk-through clips? Below are the top 3 types of video content for car buyers:

Video content for car buyers

How Do You Use Videos to Sell More Cars Online?

To make video content help you attract more customers, you need to do two things:

  • Create relevant video content. You can record short videos (1-5 minutes) of cars in your dealership and share them online
  • Highlight additional services that you render in some of the videos. Such services can include vehicle maintenance, advice for car owners as well as warning signals

5. Sell More Cars Online: Use Social Media Networks

Social media plays a huge role in driving car buyers towards buying a car and there are statistics to back this up.

For instance, 83% of the car buyers are on Facebook and 24% of them used Facebook to purchase their last vehicle?

According to a report by Digital Air Strike, 75% of car buyers say social media, reviews and referrals were vital factors they considered in selecting a car dealership

How Do You Use Social Media to Sell More Cars Online?

For this to work, you need to create and take ownership of one or multiple social media platforms. You also need to be consistent with your content as well as using the medium to:

  • Create engaging content that educates car buyers and influence them to make purchases
  • Target car buyers on Facebook and Instagram with retargeting Ads
  • Monitor Twitter and Instagram for mentions and strategic hashtags that you can leverage on
  • Share your brand stories on social media
  • Share informative and educative content without spamming your followers

6. Sell More Cars Online: Mobile Optimisation

Google research on one consumer’s journey from awareness all the way to purchase, revealed that 71% of digital interactions take place on mobile.

You must ensure that elements on your website or page are highly responsive on mobile devices. Regardless of whether it is a page or a website, the following elements must be optimised to achieve a smooth user experience:

  • Navigation
  • Column
  • Calls to action
  • Branding
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Clickable links

How Else Can You Use Mobile Optimisation to Sell More Cars Online?

Always remember that car buyers spend more time on their mobile devices than they spend on their PC or desktop devices. Below is a summary of things you should strive to do:

  • Ensure Your Website/Page is Mobile Responsive
  • Leverage on multiple strategies including SMS messaging and WhatsApp groups
  • Include your phone number in all your mobile content to make it easier for car buyers to contact you
  • Track all your mobile campaigns to find out strategies that work better than others

7. Sell More Cars Online: Offer Additional Value

In as much as you are in the business of selling cars, you need to put the needs of car buyers first. This is the point where you ask yourself – Why should a car buyer buy from me and not from that other dealership across the street?

A vital part of your online car-selling strategy should be able to convince your prospects to choose you over other dealerships that are your direct competitors.

You need to come up with a unique incentive that can drive potential car buyers to puck your dealership over your competition.

For instance, you can offer car buyers a 5% to 8% discount or offer them free oil changes for the first year. Such incentives and offers have a way of creating a sense of urgency to spur car buyers to buy from you before they miss out on your special limited-time offer.

8. Sell More Cars Online: Increase Customer Engagement

The more accessible your dealership is to car buyers, the higher their tendency to trust you. That’s not all. You also need to be honest in your dealings with them and be transparent about potential roadblocks or delays they are likely to experience in their customer journey.

A car is a significant purchase regardless of the buyer’s budget. If you dedicate enough time to understand their peculiar needs and provide them with realistic options and solutions, they will tend to arrive at the conclusion that you have their best interests at heart.

When dealing with car buyers, you should only promise what you are sure that you can deliver. You should always remember that a car buyer is trusting you with a significant level of financial commitment, which makes the element of trust incredibly fragile.

You should either deliver on your promises or over-deliver to win their trust. Any outcome that is short of agreed expectations will impression about your dealership.

9. Sell More cars Online: Upload High-Quality Photos

High-quality images attract more car buyers. When uploading images on cars that you have listed on trusted cars websites like Cheki.com.ng, don’t just take upload any image simply because it is a requirement.

For best results, we recommend uploading 6-9 images of each car you want to sell. The photos should highlight all parts of the car. Below is a detailed breakdown of the parts of the car that the photos should highlight:

  • The front
  • The back
  • The left side
  • The right side
  • The dashboard
  • The interior
  • The car’s engine

Please note that vehicle pictures are best taken in a landscape view. Ensure you include a photo of the driver seat to show its condition. You should also capture the stereo, the shifter (to show whether the car is an automatic or manual) as well as the condition of the steering wheel.

If your car has special features (for instance, if it’s a convertible), you need to highlight it. You also need to open up the hood and take pictures of the car’s engine. These are details that car buyers look for when considering cars to buy and will help you sell more cars online.

Take landscape photos to sell more cars online

Do not take pictures of your vehicle in a portrait view. Do not take photos at night or in harsh sunlight. You can’t get the best pictures under such conditions. Also, don’t capture photos of the car using an old phone with low-quality images. It would be a great disservice to your car.

Do not take portrait pictures to sell cars

Final Thoughts on Ways to Sell More Cars Online

The automotive industry in Nigeria and the rest of the world will continue to change and you must evolve with it or risk getting left behind.

Reaching more car buyers has become easier using videos, reviews, social media, Google My Business and the other strategies that we have highlighted above

Have you tried any of the strategies above? Please, let us know in the comment section below.

A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch, Pulse.ng, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.