Make an Effort, Not an Excuse – How to Merchandise Your Inventory Effectively

How to Merchandise Your Inventory Effectively
Dilbert’s friend Wally, the perpetual voice of reason.

Last week, we hosted a webinar to discuss How to Merchandise Your Inventory Effectively. In this webinar, we talked about the fundamentals of e-commerce websites, different variations of structuring your inventory listings, and Strathcom’s four best practices for well-merchandised inventory. But rather than put the cart before the horse, we want to make sure we share this important public service announcement:

If you’re in the business of selling vehicles, you need to put your inventory on your website.

You were probably told this a few years ago, and we’re still telling you this now because it often doesn’t happen. The reasoning is pretty simple, too: if you can’t be bothered to put in the effort required to show a customer why they should do business with you, they won’t be bothered to put in the effort to go looking for it.

Think of it this way: buying a home is the largest purchase the average person will make in their lifetime. If you were selling your house, and your realtor didn’t put a listing of your house on MLS online, you’d probably be pretty upset, right? Chances are good that potential buyers wouldn’t even know your house was for sale unless they happened to drive by and see the sign on the lawn. And even then, they wouldn’t be able to go online and find the listing to learn about how many bedrooms or bathrooms it has, peruse the square footage or other house specifications, or look at pictures of how the house looks inside. Those potential buyers would probably have a greater chance of finding other homes, listed by other realtors, who did the best job possible of showcasing the house in that online listing so that the potential buyers would want to book a viewing and hopefully make an offer.

A vehicle is the second largest purchase that the average person will make in their lifetime. Why would your dealership want to do things any differently?


To learn more about how to best structure your online inventory for your customers, plus our Big Four Best Practices, be sure to check out the recording for “How to Merchandise Your Inventory Effectively”.

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Reputation Management & How Dealers Can Use It To Make More Money

2016 was the beginning of the big push toward establishing your dealership’s brand and ‘brand management’, and it has only continued in 2017. What most dealerships seem to miss is the difference between their brand and their reputation (or that there is a difference in the first place).

Your brand creates an impression that makes a customer think or feel something when they think of your dealership. Your reputation is what gives your customers an expectation of your future behavior based on past experiences – either their own, or from other customers who have dealt with you.

Young Businessman using Tablet device in a car dealershipCustomers aren’t going to love your brand – they’re going to love you, and your reputation because that’s what’s tangible to them. The two pieces absolutely go hand-in-hand, but brand recognition alone is not going to spontaneously generate engagement; there has to be a reason why the consumer should pick you over your competitor.

You’ve probably heard before that the three major differences between businesses are product, price, and perceived value. Especially with new vehicles, you don’t have a better product than the next guy selling the exact same vehicle. Those identical vehicles cost the same amount from the factory, so if you want to differentiate yourself by price, you’re going to be giving up profit (and that’s clearly not a sustainable plan if you want to make money). That leaves only one option – perceived value.

Over and above an extra set of weather tech floor mats, or priority service appointment bookings, most customers just want to know that they’re going to be treated fairly.

86% of customers will pay more for a better experience

This is where your reputation comes in. When 84% of consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation, reputation is the clear call-to-action for your dealership over the next one. If you’re spending any amount of money on a brand awareness campaign (print, radio, outdoor, television, branded PPC ads, and so on), why wouldn’t you care about what happens once the customer remembers who you are and decides to look you up?Businessman hand giving five star rating

And this is where we come in. Register for our Reputation Management webinar with Melina Beeston, our Manager of Dealer Development, to learn about how you can leverage your dealership’s reputation to make more money.

Tuesday, April 25 at 10:30AM MST

And remember, for every Strathcom Media webinar you attend, you will be entered into a draw for a signed McDavid jersey!