For multiple reasons, one, of course, being the ongoing chip shortage, we’ve seen a dramatic fall in new car production over the past two years, which means dealerships simply don’t have enough new vehicles to sell. But that doesn’t mean the demand for buying isn’t there. As the country continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, savings are high, the economy is strengthening and Americans are back on the roads, which means customers are looking to buy cars. In fact, it’s almost as if there’s a nationwide panic to make a vehicle purchase, putting even more pressure on dealerships to meet demand from shoppers. This, in turn, has seen the used car market explode, with demand for pre-owned vehicles as strong as that for new cars, if not stronger.
That said, there remains some hesitancy from customers about buying a pre-loved vehicle. And, as it doesn’t look like the chip shortage is coming to an end any time soon, you might find your dealership is relying on sales coming from used vehicles if you want to keep the cash flowing.
If you’re struggling to drive used car sales, the experts from SnapCell have put together our top tips on how to redirect your customers’ needs from a new car to a used car.
Show them how accessible used vehicles are
When it comes to deciding to buy a used vehicle rather than a new one, it’s time that is undoubtedly the biggest selling factor.
Yes, one of the main reasons the used car market seems so attractive to your customers right now is simply having access to vehicles. If shoppers are looking at buying a new car in the current climate, it’s going to be nothing short of a challenge. New vehicles are scarce, with recent statistics showing, the average time for a new vehicle to sit on a dealer lot is an estimated 26 days, compared with 62 back in 20191. Simultaneously, manufacturers are taking up to a year to deliver new products, with industry experts anticipating that it will take the whole of next year (at least!) for the new vehicle market to normalise2.
In short, if your customers are wanting to get their hands on a vehicle sooner rather than later, they need to be looking at the used car market. As a dealer looking at utilizing the demand for used vehicles, attract customers by showing them the vehicles available, while acknowledging the lack of wait time, or highlighting the fact that customers can drive away in their purchase that same day.
Better still, thanks to SnapCell Live, a revolutionary feature available for SnapCell users, dealerships can engage with customers all over the country – giving a nationwide audience total access to their cars. For the customer, this means they aren’t limited to their local area when searching for a used vehicle but instead, they can virtually visit your dealership but from the comfort of their sofa. Equally, dealers can reap the benefits of being able to reach a national audience, giving them the chance to promote and sell their used car inventory to hundreds of thousands more customers across the country.
Sway them using the price tag
Although used cars are being sold at an exceptionally higher price than pre-pandemic – around 45 percent higher3, compared to this time last year – the fact remains that pre-loved cars come with a lower price tag than new vehicles.
Earlier this year, the average new car topped $45,000, but still more than $20,000 than the average used car price which was $25,0004. It’s a no-brainer when it comes to cost, if saving money is a priority for customers then they need to be exploring the used car market.
Furthermore, with used cars being the less expensive option, it’s worth reminding customers that they have the opportunity to treat themselves to an even better car, but still at a fraction of the cost they would be paying for a new vehicle.
And it’s not just the price of the vehicle that will impact the customer’s budget, with insurance likely to be lower and registration fees being less in certain states. Of course, customers might not always appreciate just how much money they could save when buying a used vehicle, so why not show them? Create a video using SnapCell app, showing a member of your team briefly highlighting the three top money-saving benefits that come with buying a used vehicle. From sharing across your social media channels, to sending it out to potential leads, a video is ideal for reaching new and current customers via multiple touchpoints.
Give them the ability to experience the vehicle
Often, when customers order a new car – especially in the current climate – they won’t always get the opportunity to experience it before purchasing.
When it comes to buying a used vehicle though, you can guarantee the customer can try before they buy. Whether that be by visiting the dealership themselves, or watching a virtual test drive digitally, there are various ways a customer can experience what each car has to offer.
And for SnapCell users, it’s never been easier to create a professional-looking and high-quality virtual test drive for your audience. Better still, having created a video using SnapCell, your dealership can then easily share the test drive via social media channels, reaching a national audience, which is beneficial to both you and car buyers, with demand for vehicles peaking.
Show off your used vehicles
If people are looking to buy a car, they might not have even considered buying a used vehicle. With that in mind, it’s time to show off the used cars you have on offer. You want customers who are thinking about buying a car to see that they can get value for their buck by purchasing a pre-loved model.
If you’re stuck for ideas on how to show off used vehicles, here are three ways the SnapCell app can help:
- Create a walkaround video of a specific used vehicle, highlighting the fantastic features it has to offer. This video can then be shared across your social media channels, or to potential leads using the SnapCell messenger app.
- Thanks to SnapCell Live, hold live two-way conversations with customers. Use this opportunity to find out more about their needs and requirements, before pointing them in the direction of a used car you have at your dealership.
- Create a video especially with your social media channels in mind, giving viewers a one-to-two-minute taste of the used cars you have on offer. Show them the selection available, prompting them to pay you a visit.
A top tip from the team at SnapCell, is to have a think about specific audience types that your dealership might appeal to, then demonstrate how the used cars you have available would appeal to them. For example, you might have a budget-friendly, reliable used vehicle available, that you think would be perfect for a first-time driver. So why not say that? Speak to your relevant customers through the power of video, breaking down the reasons why that specific used vehicle will be perfect for them.
Be careful not to change the customer journey
Just because a shopper isn’t buying a new car, the customer journey shouldn’t really change and it’s important that your dealership is mindful of that. After all, they are still a paying customer.
Ultimately, the goal for your dealership is always to make the sale, right? However, with 52 percent of car shoppers revealing they feel anxious or uncomfortable at a car dealership5, it’s vital that your business makes the experience as positive as possible. There should still be a focus on personalizing the experience and getting to know each customer while showing a level of empathy to build trust and transparency.
Use dealership status to fulfil customer confidence
Despite recent statistics showing that 69 percent of Americans would be likely to consider buying a used vehicle, it comes as no surprise that they expressed concerns about their reliability and repair needs6.
In knowing this, your dealership needs to fill a customer with the confidence required. According to the same survey, around a third of consumers would be most likely to purchase a used vehicle over a new one, so long as the dealership could:
- Provide a vehicle certificate
- Provide a detailed maintenance/repair history report of the vehicle
- Offer an extension to the vehicle’s service warranty or cover any major repairs
With this in mind, you might want to consider revising your policy surrounding warranty or repair work on used vehicles, as a way of encouraging customers to make a purchase.
Ask for customer testimonials
When it comes to customer testimonials, shoppers just can’t get enough of them, with more than 90 percent of car buyers researching online reviews before visiting car dealerships7.
What better way to encourage car buyers to shop used vehicles, than by asking fellow customers to leave a positive review. And, with SnapCell’s ReputationBuddy, used car customers can receive a targeted ‘thank you’ video email, which includes a direct link to your testimonial pages.
Keep one step ahead with SnapCell
When it comes to selling used vehicles, it’s clear that dealerships need to be showcasing the cars they have available. What’s more, to do this efficiently and effectively, while reaching a wide audience, your dealership needs to be using video, especially if they want to highlight the multiple benefits and features used vehicles have to offer.
Designed specifically with the automotive sector in mind, the SnapCell app allows industry professionals to create quality videos at the simple press of a button. So, if you want to keep one step ahead of your competitors, in this incredibly unpredictable market, then get in touch with SnapCell.