Sell more cars with less inventory (yes, it’s possible)


As if supply shortages weren’t bad enough already, automakers in every corner of the industry have made it clear that we won’t be getting an influx of new vehicles any time soon thanks to a major consequence of the pandemic: semiconductor shortages.

It’s odd to think that our entire industry could stall like a teenager learning stick on a hill, especially over something as minor as a few microprocessors. But then again, have you been in a car lately? Of course you have, which is why you know how much of even the most basic vehicle depends on computers.

Can you do anything about it?


Great, here we are; no supply, even as demand escalates. Car and Driver recently reported that 40% of car buyers are willing to pay an average of $5,000 USD over MSRP on their next car. It’s basic supply and demand, of course, but increases in demand don’t amount to much if you’ve got nothing to sell.

HOW MUCH BARGAINING POWER DO YOU HAVE? average sold vehicle price vs MSRP

Or do you? Let’s look at some proven ways to sell cars during the supply shortage.

Look beyond the automakers

Car makers may be cutting back their manufacturing with wild abandon – GM suspended production of the Camaro back in March due to semiconductor shortages, and they’re far from alone – but there are still cars out there. Just look out at the nearest street. See any cars? You could be selling those.

Well, not those exact cars… but then again, maybe. When new cars are hard to come by, you need to turn to your preowned car lot.

Get the right tool to power your new strategy

A good digital retailing program is your best friend here. Many platforms are rigid and linear, meaning the customer can’t decide where to start. The top-tier digital retailing solutions, however, do away with these restrictions. We have some great info here about the different types of digital retailing platforms.

This is critical, because it’s how you get more trade-ins, and that’s how you sell more cars during this inventory shortage. By leveraging your flexible digital retailing platform, you can create site-wide CTAs that lead directly to the trade-in module of your online purchase.

Get more trade-ins with TradeFirst from MotoCommerce

Even if your customer isn’t sure what model to buy – or if that model is available right now – they can still engage with you through your trade-in tool. Once they complete their instant appraisal, you’re in complete control.

Encourage customer activity that can be done today

The premiere digital solutions will seamlessly pass the customer through to the next step in the sales process, encouraging them to turn that trade-in evaluation into a complete purchase. Of course, you’ll also receive activity alerts, so you know to reach out when the customer has submitted their trade.

That way, you can deal on your terms. Want to guide the customer preemptively to an in-stock vehicle? Easy. Prefer to secure the trade-in, and leave the customer’s purchase for later? The right digital retailing platform can make that happen. In any case, these tools make it easier to sell, but also easier gain new inventory at a time when that’s the biggest challenge you face.

Success during inventory shortages means building a digital pipeline for preowned vehicles

Carry that momentum forward

Your dealership can no longer afford single-purpose solutions. The industry is changing so rapidly, with so many new hurdles and evolutions, that the only solutions worth having are the ones that grow alongside your needs.

Ready to sell more cars? See how your dealership can thrive online today.


Motoinsight + TRADER


Friends and colleagues,

As you may recall, early last year Motoinsight joined a premier family of automotive technology brands owned by the private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, including names like J.D. Power, Autodata Solutions, ALG, and AutoTrader.ca, through a strategic investment by TRADER Corporation. This uniquely positioned Motoinsight to accelerate its growth notwithstanding unprecedented industry challenges over the last year and a half.

We helped our dealership and automaker partners innovate and deliver transformative digital retailing experiences with our MotoCommerce platform. We launched industry-first online buying capabilities on AutoTrader.ca. We set new performance records in practically every category across our business – customers, growth rate, engagement, revenue, and more. I am tremendously proud of each one of our 180 team members for their dedication, and I will be forever grateful to each of our clients and partners for their trust and business. Motoinsight is better positioned than ever to continue to lead, innovate, and redefine automotive retail.

As the next step in Motoinsight’s evolution, I wanted to share that Motoinsight will now be joined with TRADER’s other recently acquired software assets in a new business unit that will be led by Edwin Ulak as President. There will be much more exciting news to come on this front, but it is a major step forward towards our vision to deliver a unified technology platform for automotive retail. And so it is with great confidence in our team and future that I also share that I will be transitioning out of my role as CEO of Motoinsight as part of this evolution. My co-founder Radek Garbowski has been appointed to lead the Motoinsight business and team going forward. I look forward to supporting both Edwin and Radek in their new roles.

This transition is bittersweet for me as it has been the journey of a lifetime building Motoinsight over the last ten years from a few guys with an idea working out of a basement to become the market leader that it is today. I want to express a special thank you to our early customers, supporters, and investors for taking a chance on us – we wouldn’t have succeeded without you. To my co-founders Radek, Neal Shah, and Leslie Wong, thank you for taking this ride with me.

I won’t be going far though as I will remain a Senior Advisor at Motoinsight to continue to support our clients, partners, and vision. As well, I will be taking on a new role as Chief Digital Retail Officer at TRADER Corporation leading some exciting new initiatives in the transformation of AutoTrader.ca. I hope to share more on that with you soon.

Looking forward to even bigger things ahead for both Motoinsight and TRADER!

Talk soon,

Andrew

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.

Ready to sell more cars? See how your dealership can thrive online today.


What Apple cars tell us about the future of the dealership


Apple cars aren’t happening… yet. Contrary to early reports, Hyundai wasn’t planning to manufacture self-driving cars for Apple, and Tesla is once again the only California tech giant with a major stake in the electric/autonomous car game.

One thing is clear, though: big tech is interested in our industry like never before, and that means we have work to do. Silicon Valley titans have captured the imagination and curiosity of consumers in every industry, and they know how to turn those sentiments into sales. We need to be ready.

Has the industry gone completely digital?


In response to the initial COVID lock-downs of 2020, dealerships across North America did an incredible job of updating their practices to keep operating safely and efficiently. We were particularly impressed with the ways some MotoCommerce users were able to thrive! You can see their results here.

This was a good start, but a return to normal has slowed the digital transition. Our industry is built on tradition and instinct, and that worked for a long time. Even after innovative dealerships proved the potential of digital retailing in sales, marketing, and even inventory acquisition, many are still reluctant to give in to this new way of doing business.

As a result, we’re halfway between the future and the past.

The truth everyone can see but us

It’s clear to everyone that automotive digital retailing tools are the way forward – some dealers have realized it, but so have outsiders like Apple. The world was watching, and they see the potential that a newly digitized automotive industry has to offer.

Just look at the mainstream news coverage. Digital retailing exploded from a niche automotive discussion point to key talking point worldwide. ABC News, Forbes, Bloomberg, and others can’t stop talking about how much consumers love digital retailing.

"This shift to digital retail is positive for dealers who embrace it," Haig told ABC News.

The threat Apple poses to the automotive industry

The thing is, Apple (and budding tech/car companies like Lucid and Rivian) are digital natives. They understand how to create the perfect purchase journey for a consumer base that already shops primarily online. When they hit the market – and they will – everyone will compare their purchase process to yours.

How can we prepare for digital challengers?

To thrive in the new automotive landscape, we need to start today. By implementing digital retailing tools now, dealerships can ensure that they speak the language of e-commerce fluently by the time big tech comes to play. When that happens, these tech companies won’t have the competitive edge they anticipate in the online shopping game.

Use the advantages you already have

What’s more, research highlighted in the J.D. Power 2020 COVID-19 Vehicle Owner Pulse webinar suggests that customers still expect a great in-store experience even when they start shopping online. As with everything in life, car shopping needs to be a happy medium; customers want the option to combine online and in-store elements of the sale into their ideal purchase process.

This is what the best omni-channel digital retailing platforms offer, and what you can bring to the table. Your secret weapon isn’t just a widget on your VDP, it’s your ability to bring decades of in-person sales expertise to the digital sales process. We have some awesome tips on working with your team to create the perfect digital purchase process over here!

Conclusion

Tesla was just the tip of the iceberg. More and more tech companies will try to join the automotive industry, and they’ll bring with them a newer, more digital way of doing business. This disruption can seem threatening, but traditional dealerships have the home-court advantage. If we can combine that legacy with the right omni-channel digital retailing tools, dealerships can expect to thrive even through complete industry upheaval.

Ready to sell more cars? See how your dealership can thrive online today.


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