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Increasing the online visibility of your dealership’s used car inventory

Welcome to this week’s episode of Used Cars Weekly, the original CBT News show dedicated to bringing car dealers best practices and tips for the used car department, in-depth dealer interviews, hands-on dealership strategies, as well as vendor analysis. Today, host Jasen Rice, founder of Lotpop, tackles the basics, specifically, marketing used car inventory.

Nowadays, customers average anywhere from 11-14 hours of research online before they consider visiting a car dealership showroom or making a purchase. The majority of these customers have already decided on the vehicle they are interested in, once they arrive at the showroom. They are already knowledgeable about the car and look to dealers to validate and affirm that knowledge.

With this in mind, it is now the used car manager’s job to get the inventory in front of as many eyes as possible. Here are some strategies to increase that visibility.

  1. Photo management: The thumbnail of the vehicle is the most important standout attribute for that car as customers browse. Front-load the photo carousel for the vehicle with all the special features. Update photos to match current seasonal conditions, i.e. no snow or bare trees in the Spring.
  2. Visual direction: Position the vehicle from left to right. The car should be pointing towards the vehicle details, price, and payment. Have the exterior detail photos near the back of the line.
  3. Arrangement: Think of how you would show the vehicle in person.
  4. Vehicle details: List all of the vehicle’s special features at the beginning of the description. Add fine details and meta-tag items like Moonroof or Panoramic Sunroof where applicable. Check tagging for similar terms like ‘Navigation’ vs. ‘GPS’ or ‘Nav.’ The goal is to make sure that your inventory will show up for car buyers that are researching online.
  5. Flat pricing: Use flat numbers to price instead of ‘psychological pricing,’ i.e. $12,000 vs. $11,995. Flat numbers have a better chance of crossing price search parameters.

Did you enjoy this episode of Used Cars Weekly? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by submitting a letter to the editor here, or connect with us at newsroom@cbtnews.com.

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Jasen Rice
Jasen Ricehttps://lotpop.com/
Jasen Rice began his career on the retail side in 1997 selling cars online, then running award-winning internet departments along with being a GSM of an independent used car dealer. His next 8+ years were spent on the vendor side as a Performance Manager for vAuto allowing him to visit thousands of dealers across the nation and train them on used car inventory management. He finished his time with vAuto as a Director of Performance Management in the East and started his own company, Lotpop, in 2013. Jasen was featured on the cover of Digital Dealer in Oct. 2005 and awarded the 2006 AAISP (Association of Automotive Internet Sales Professionals) Professional Excellence Award. He's been a featured blogger for AutoSuccess Magazine and continues to speak at conferences every year. He is happily married to Kelly since 1999, is the father of five children and loves to go camping and cycling.

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