You’re doing digital marketing, and that’s good. You’re doing digital retailing, and that’s also good. But are you connecting those two? A digital retailing platform bridges the gap between your digital marketing and your dealership website, but you ALSO need to bridge the gap between your digital retailing and your digital marketing for the best results.
And just what are those results? Well, look at one of our Ottawa dealers: their digital retailing platform was slow to get off the ground. Then, they started advertising it on Facebook; almost overnight, they saw a 4.8x increase in account creation through the MotoCommerce platform. This isn’t a coincidence: people won’t create accounts if they don’t know they can create accounts.
Look at it another way: the overwhelming majority of your customers start their buying journeys online. The entire discovery and research phase of the purchase happens on laptops and smartphones – you already know that, it’s why you have a digital retailing platform. But you’re losing out on hundreds of potential leads by not making this digital retailing capability visible.
Think about how many of your competitors have similar Facebook ads with similar CTAs and similar value propositions for similar vehicles. It’s hard for customers to distinguish between one dealer and the next. When you advertise the ability to shop and buy online, you present your audience with something they wanted to see, but didn’t expect to find.
Not only that, but you’re offering your customers a more direct way to engage with their next purchases. Rather than another generic “Get your next Corolla at Mike’s Dealership!” CTA like they’ve seen hundreds of times before, give your customers something more tangible: “Buy your next Corolla online! Click Build Your Deal.”
This has been working wonders for a Toyota dealership on the MotoCommerce platform, who has seen a nearly 5x increase in account creation within one month of updating their Facebook ads. This isn’t surprising, if you think about it: customers want to buy online, and finally, someone just offered them that luxury. Of course they’re going to sign up!
The Toyota dealer achieved this through a targeted combination of generic, model-level carousels and unit-specific ads. Let’s look at the benefits of each approach:
By advertising the ability to configure and begin buying a model your dealership offers, you’re offering your soon-to-be customers a sensible and convenient method for starting their research AND their next purchase, all in one simple process. They don’t know which trim level or colour they want yet, but they’re about to find out. These ads link to an SRP, typically for a high-demand model like a Camry or an F-150.
This can be used in a couple interesting ways. The quickest way is grab high-demand piece of inventory (a grey, mid-level Camry, for instance) and put it in a carousel with the CTA “Unlock a great deal on a 2020 Camry!” Just make sure you link to the digital retailing portal, so the customer lands right in the buying process.
You can also leverage unit-specific advertising to drive people into the purchase funnel for a piece of inventory you just need to liquidate. Are you offering a massive deal on that fully loaded 2018 Wrangler? Bypass the VDP and link your ad directly to the digital retailing portal.
The most important thing, no matter how you approach digital marketing, is to make sure every ad talks about digital retailing. It’s through these practices that our dealers see an average account creation increase of 142% — that’s 2.4x the account creation, simply by telling people to buy online. Going with digital retailing is one of the best decisions your dealership made, so don’t be shy; brag about it.
Facebook advertising isn’t expensive or complicated. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to increase traffic and sales. But the most intelligent and effective marketing is the kind that plays to your strengths and unique selling points, which means that the biggest mistake you can make is to leave digital retailing out of your ad copy.
Andrew Tai is the CEO and co-founder of Motoinsight, but his influence extends far beyond the company. A contributing columnist to The Globe and Mail and a prolific speaker, Andrew is a recognized authority on digital retailing within the automotive industry. Connect with him today to learn how your dealership is going to change, or see the future yourself at motoinsight.com.
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