Cars.com is getting ready for The Big Game this February, and we’re giving you the chance to win prizes every week at WhosGotGame2012.com!

Our first character with ’Game’ is Wesley, a tech enthusiast who may be in the market for a new vehicle.  Let’s take a look at how you can optimize your dealership’s online presence to attract new car shoppers like Wesley.

Unlike used cars, which are unique due to their model year, mileage and vehicle history, countless new cars with similar features are often available at locations throughout a given market, offering new car shoppers more choice.  In addition to wanting to buy from a dealership that offers a fair price and financing terms, new car consumers want to buy from the dealer that they can trust to offer a great shopping experience, as well as service their vehicle for the life of their warranty and longer.  In fact, 91 percent of new car shoppers want to read service reviews before selecting a dealership*, indicating that they know they’re investing in a relationship, not just buying a car.

Properly merchandise your dealership and the cars on your lot.

  1. Make sure your information is accurate.  Far too often car shoppers are thwarted by bad phone numbers, rarely-checked e-mail addresses, incorrect physical addresses and outdated hours of operation.  From Yelp and yellowpages.com to Google Places and your local chamber of commerce, be aware of all of the places your dealership has a presence online, and make sure your information is correct.
  2. Proactively manage your online reputation.  According to an internal Cars.com study, visitors to Cars.com are four times as likely to contact a dealer with Dealer Reviews than those without.  If your store is like most franchise dealerships, many of the vehicles in your inventory or comparable offerings can be found on the lots of nearby competitors.  If a new car shopper sees that your dealership has been given favorable reviews by your previous customers but your competitor has negative or even no online reviews, which dealership do you think that consumer will be more confident in contacting?
  3. When you can differentiate your inventory, take advantage of the opportunity.  Merchandise new vehicles by focusing on the things new car shoppers are interested in and what may set a vehicle apart.  Be crystal clear about price by sharing multiple price points, showing savings off of MSRP offered by OEM or dealer incentives, and provide detail in the seller’s notes about any options that impact price.  Put extra effort into vehicles that may be difficult to find by playing up hot packages, colors and options with extra photos and detailed vehicle descriptions.

 

Head back to Whosgotgame2012.com next week for another chance to win and meet an all new member of the audience Cars.com could be reaching through our commercial in The Big Game.  We’re giving away thousands of dollars in prizes, so cast your vote each week!

*Driver Side/Kelton Research Study, April 2011