Internet Market

November 4, 2008

In our new Internet Marketing World…

  • The day of the cost plus model is dead and gone.
  • Market is going to become more and more transparent.
  • Vehicle reliability and longevity is rising
  • Consumer’s loyalty is falling
  • Cars are becoming more like a commodity
  • Branding is far more difficult as we move away from Broadcast media
  • So, where to next?

In our new Internet Marketing World… Inventory is advertising.

I am here to tell you that money once allocated to ad dollars needs to be placed into floor plans to support selection!

Let’s take a walk and explore my findings.

I’ve studied traffic records of the web sites I’ve built, the web sites that I have managed and web sites of other car dealers all over the USA. Here’s my most telling finding: Shoppers are drawn to selection like a moth to a flame, so much so it’s an unfair fight.

The more units you have on the ground, the more you dominate your shopper’s car search time. And as logic tells us, the longer you have with your audience, the more branding opportunities you’ll have. As you keep your shopper glued to your site, your “value added” features have time to deeply root themselves into the shopper’s value equations. An added bonus is that consumers can only spend so much time looking for a car on the net. The larger your selection, the longer you’ll keep them away from your competitors (a.k.a. Win-Win).

From my research, this general rule applies. For every 100 units you have under your umbrella, you can expect to keep your visitor for 1 minute.  That means if you have 300 units on the ground, you can expect to keep shoppers tied up and kickin’ tires for 3 to 4 minutes per visit. Like wise, if you have 1,000 units, 10 minutes per visit is quite normal.

To put this into perspective, and keep their shoppers tied up for 12 to 15 minutes per visit. So, if you have the size, you can offer up a shopping experience that rivals the classified sites.  I say use every ounce of your marketing energy to create the best web shopping experience you can muster. Pull every string, twist every knob, dangle every carrot you can find, get them to your web site and get them warm safe and comfortable.

From a shoppers perspective, if you’re inventory is priced smart, then your dealers name pops out in several searches.  At some point, the consumer arrives at a place where they know they have to hit the streets to complete the process, and then your site will have served up the knock out punch with the depth and breath of selection and your value added goodies.