When customers are shopping your new inventory their first go-to item is the OEM window sticker as it holds the main points of interest for them, price and vehicle features. You anticipate this as you know they’ve done their homework, have a specific vehicle and features in mind, and they’ve identified a set price that they are willing to pay. This makes your job a little easier, right! So, why do you not do the same for your pre-owned inventory?
Original window stickers provide both a concierge level of service to your customers and acts as a valuable resource for making your team inventory experts on all brand and models. By incorporating the OEM retail sticker to your pre-owned merchandising process, you can gain a competitive advantage by establishing a higher level of consumer transparency which will lead to increase profitability.
Many of you might be thinking, “I don’t have a sales issue right now, I can’t keep my inventory in stock”, take a moment to realize that this fire-sale frenzy that the industry is experiencing is temporary, but more importantly, your customers still have a choice as to where they buy their next vehicle. Providing a complete digital vehicle portfolio that includes the OEM retail sticker elevates their buying experience with your dealerships. It also reaffirms your inventory pricing and supports the customers need for price integrity. In addition, arming your team with the information they need to understand other brand features for stronger vehicle appraisals and bookouts will help increase profitability and reduces point of sale negotiation.
There’s no denying it, customers are well educated buyers; by the time they visit your website, they’ve done their researched, determined what features and pricing they are willing to take on. Organize your vehicle display pages in a manner that is both helpful and effortless for accessing the vehicle’s history information. No matter if it’s new or pre-owned, include a digital portfolio that includes all the valuable supporting documentation that your buyers are seeking – window stickers, OEM brochures, CARFAX reports, recon invoice, photos and video. Velocity Automotive’s data shows, that dealerships that include these features on their vehicle pages, increase their customer engagement by 30 percent. Heat mapping analysis concludes the consumers spend more time on retail window stickers than any other dealership web page. Providing the information upfront will help convert shoppers into buyers.
With many dealerships to choose from, you want to make sure you are your representing dealership as the trusted source of information and are customer centric. Be transparent with your vehicle documentation. Utilize tools like window stickers to ensure they understand how you build value in your inventory. Creating transparency while educating will mitigate the negotiations barriers that sometimes occur. Buyers appreciate this information, and it creates that concierge experience that they expect.
Since the 1958 Automobile Information Disclosure Act, OEM retail window stickers became the norm for merchandising your new inventory and disclosing the vehicles’ originally installed equipment, option packages and pricing. Every new vehicle sold in the U.S. has one, it would look weird today if it didn’t. Leverage the importance that window stickers offer to your pre-owned inventory. Not only will your customers appreciate the extra level of service, but your sales team and bottom line will too. Thinking differently can set you apart from your competitors.
Although prices are beginning to ease for used vehicles, inventory levels are still not where they need to be for franchise dealers across the country. With new-vehicle inventory levels at record lows and dealers facing stiff competition from online used car retailers such as Carvana and Vroom – proper merchandising of used vehicles in stock is essential to thriving in the future. More than ever, a coordinated effort between the the backend and the frontend is crucial to ensuring a fast and efficient pass-off from the point a trade enters recon – until it is Retail-Ready and the sales process can begin.
Dealers should pay close attention to the merchandising tactics of Carvana and Vroom and learn from the practices they have in place to make customers feel comfortable purchasing online and give the feeling of transparency and trust.
Vroom For example, Vroom openly displays inspection results on each vehicle on their website. From the tire tread measurement to brake pad thickness to letting shoppers know that any windshield with three or more chips will be completely replaced. Consumers can easily check for open recalls while on the vehicle listing and read the service history report. The “Peace of Mind” section on each vehicle brings shoppers comfort knowing that they have a free limited warranty good for 90 days or 6,000 miles, that they’ll enjoy free roadside assistance, and that Vroom will deliver right to the customer’s home.
Carvana If you’re buying a car from Carvana, the 150-Point Inspection List is readily displayed on the vehicle listing, along with Carvana’s Reconditioning Standards, the Carfax, and the installed options and packages and standard equipment listed on the original configuration of each car – creating an atmosphere of trust and transparency with car shoppers.
VelocityEngage VelocityEngage enables dealers to compete with heavyweight online retailers by delivering all the information that shoppers need on one page, including the OEM Window Sticker, reconditioning records, the inspection report, ebrochure, and other documents and videos – fully customizable by the dealer.
With VelocityEngage’s integrated Velocity Stickers solution – dealers can save a lot of money since other sticker solution providers charge per sticker-pull, whereas VelocityEngage comes with an unlimited number of window sticker pulls as well as stickers automatically being displayed on inventory listings.
Used car managers are also seeing a huge increase in trade appraisal accuracy using Velocity Stickers – since they get real-time accurate VIN-decoded information during the appraisal process, giving them a true understanding of each vehicle’s value during the inspection process. Salespeople also benefit from having access to OEM Window Stickers by being able to represent themselves as knowledgeable professionals on all makes and models on the lot, using build data in the sticker.
VelocityEngage integrates with the dealer’s DMS to display not just the reconditioning work that was performed on each vehicle, but the dealership’s investment of that recon work – demonstrating the quality and safety of each vehicle. By openly displaying this information to shoppers on the inventory listing page, dealers can communicate transparency and quality that will ultimately result in higher gross profits and more car deals.
ReconVelocity – which is seamlessly integrated into VelocityEngage, enables dealers to speed the entire reconditioning process from trade to Retail-Ready, by giving everyone involved in the process total visibility of every vehicle in the recon process. In the crucial race to shorten the time from acquisition to frontline, ReconVelocity enables the used vehicle baton to pass from Recon To Retail faster than ever, maximizing critical selling days while reducing daily holding costs and vehicle depreciation.
Velocity Automotive provides dealers with velocity-driven software solutions to compete head-on with conglomerate online used car retailers. VelocityEnage and ReconVelocity are essential tools in the franchise dealer’s toolbox to maximizing used car gross and fueling used vehicle inventory turn.
It was great to networking with our friends and dealer partners at Digital Dealer this year in Las Vegas. We had a lot of fun with giveaways and prizes, while meeting new people in the business from all across the country. #digitaldealer2021
Jim Fitzpatrick with Casey Coffey, CEO of Greenway Automotive & Hugh Hathcock Discuss The Benefits Of VelocityEngage Marketing Solution
The used car industry is a huge part of the Greenway platform. Coffey says ReconVelocity gives them the ability to move cars rapidly and have complete transparency for all the managers. One of the challenges, Coffey has had was running a large organization in a lot of different dealerships across the country. They wanted to be able to have visibility of what was going with their inventory at each store. How quickly you get inventory through the system is paramount to being able to be on top of the market and delivering the type of vehicle your customer wants on a timely basis.
Hathcock says ReconVelocity is a software where a lot of dealers are a little slower to act on it because it takes a lot of work. Hathcock says they were able to put 10 to 15 pilot stores in place with both products and let the GMs and salespeople experience what the product could do for them.
Having sticker prices is majorly important says Coffey. It’s important to understand all the different offerings each car may bring. He says if you don’t have the window sticker, and the ability to look at it, you may end up missing something. It could end up costing you a car deal.
Hathcock says nobody has done in this category, where the CRMs are pushing the platform and integrating it. He says it’s a huge deal. The integration has probably been one of their biggest advantages for dealers to see because it makes everything so easy. Coffey says, what they’re trying to do is make the whole deal simple. To the consumer, it’s all about time and being able to gather information in one spot. Not only does it educate the customer, but it educates the salespeople as well. It’s been a great tool for us says, Coffey.
Hugh Hathcock and Kalah McCoy talk with Jim Fitzpatrick of CBT News about the benefits of the integrated window stickers in VelocityEngage, such as not losing out on trades, more accurate trade appraisals, salespeople being product experts of all makes and models on the lot, and greater transparency with customers,
Customer trust and transparency are crucial elements for every car dealer to consider when selling vehicles digitally. In fact, the majority of consumers today expect a high level of transparency when making large purchases. In order to help car dealers earn that trust, VAS offers digital window stickers as part of the larger VelocityEngage portfolio. Window stickers are the number one tool that gets the most engagement from consumers.
Every time a car comes through your dealership’s inventory, a digital window sticker is generated automatically for consumers with no wait time. From the dealership perspective, McCoy says as customers bring in trade-ins, used car managers have more nuanced data to assess the value of these vehicles.
The readily available information that the digital window sticker provides can even assist dealerships with their finance companies. Due to the current prices of used cars, finance companies might be hesitant to extend larger auto loans without comprehensive knowledge of the specific vehicle. However, with digital window stickers, anyone can have access to a complete vehicle profile. Banks are far more likely to approve larger loans with this information on demand.
“What’s the number one thing dealers want and are thinking now? Acquire more used cars,” says Hathcock. “If a used car manager scans the VIN, up pops the window sticker. He knows everything about the car now. So, he can make a trade appraisal to that consumer that’s going to be the best one.”
McCoy adds that when dealers set their used vehicle prices with various tools, what is not being considered is the crucial element of consumer engagement. If a pricing tool is telling the dealer to lower the price of a vehicle based on the local market and past performance, but the vehicle is getting a high level of engagement, then the dealer might not want to drop the price. This is what digital window stickers and the VelocityEngage portfolio as a whole offer.
“[The portfolio] is great for used cars, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s really for all of your inventory,” explains McCoy. “There’s no reason you wouldn’t have it for every car, new and used.”
At the end of the day, car dealers can have the best digital retailing tools on the best websites, but if consumers can not find all the information they need in one convenient place, they won’t even start the transaction phase.