Automotive digital retailing is now at the forefront of many dealerships across the U.S. – and for good reason. More car buyers than ever before are researching and even purchasing online. Tying your digital and physical processes together is therefore crucial to the success of any dealer in 2020, no matter the size. By providing a mixed offering of both online and offline routes to purchase (known as omnichannel), you give consumers more choice, and make your business much more attractive as a result.
Yet, as a small independent dealer, the software you choose not only needs to reflect your business but also your operations, processes and budget. The right software will help you level the playing field and take your business to a new potential digital audience of millions.
There is a multitude of automotive platforms aimed at dealers to choose from, but finding the right software for you can be a difficult task. Here, we explore the best small used car dealer software in each category for the often family-run, small independents of our industry.
Best Used Car Dealer CRM System – Selly Automotive
Selly Automotive pride themselves in providing smarter solutions exclusively for independent dealers. Their comprehensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system incorporates CRM, texting (SMS marketing), and call management. As an Internet Lead Management (ILM) platform, it also enables dealers to manage internet leads from their website and Facebook, making customer follow-up actions easy to organise and schedule.
Their dedication to the independent market is reflected in their pricing, which is competitive to say the least with some much larger counterparts. They also offer similar functionality to larger and costlier competitors without compromise. Like a lot of specialist small used car dealer software, Selly Automotive’s offering is available as a smartphone or tablet-based app that works both on and offline, for when you don’t have the benefit of WIFI or an internet connection.
Like a lot of software, Selly Automotive aims to help by simplifying processes. It uses automation to populate data entry with a simple scan of a VIN or license. It also enables you to manage texts and record inbound and outbound calls. Selly talks to your inventory management system and DMS, integrating easily for a fluid, streamlined approach to digital retailing. You even gain a handy appointment and task reminder function.
One of the main benefits of a CRM is having all of your leads organized in one place. It then uses smart automation to send the right messages at the right time, to the right people through customizable work plans and follow-up systems. And if you want to check on how well it’s earning its keep, there is an easy-to-use dashboard for tracking your third-party marketing spend, sales cycles, and return on investment (ROI).
Best Used Car Dealer Website Provider – DealerOn
When DealerOn brought their offering to market just over a decade ago, they had one simple aim; to provide dealers across the United States and Canada with the best-in-class, highest converting website platform and digital marketing services possible. Ten years on, they serve over 3,000 dealerships across America, have seen 692% growth in the last five years, and boast an average lead increase of 150% seen by their clients.
DealerOn understand that, as a small business, it’s important for your dealership to be able to reach as many prospective customers as possible, without breaking the bank in the process. They focus on the practicalities of helping you sell more cars, fill more service lanes, and on doing both more profitably. But it doesn’t end there – DealerOn websites are also built with users in mind. They want digital car buyers using your website to have an engaging experience that encourages conversion. As a result, DealerOn provide websites built with SEO (search engine optimization) in mind. This means that your website will be visible in search engines, without having to spend hundreds each month on a search engine marketing strategy.
As potential customers virtually step into your digital dealership, DealerOn want them to experience the same feeling of being in the right place, just as they hopefully would if visiting your showroom in person. Their award-winning, responsive websites are said to offer the best automotive experience on mobile. Given that almost all of us use our smart devices for internet research, it’s safe to assume the same is true of digital car shoppers. So great performance and looks are essential if you want your website to deliver an effective user experience on smaller screens.
Best Used Car Dealer Inventory Management – Provision from vAuto
vAuto was founded in 2005, and brings a live market view to new and used inventory management. They boast a unique integration with the automotive industry’s best data sources, enabling real-time supply and demand data. This means you can make better, more informed purchasing decisions based on real buying trends.
Provision from vAuto is a suite of used car inventory management and pricing software that provides live market insight. As an all-round inventory management system, Provision is aimed solely at used car dealers. Its clever algorithm uses AutoTrader and Manheim data to provide valuable and visual information on what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Specific models can be pinpointed at nearby auctions, and listed stock can be pushed out to other vehicle marketplaces, such as AutoTrader and Cars.com.
As with other examples of the best small used car dealer software, it is how they accommodate and facilitate independent dealers that makes vAuto and Provision stand out. With live market data on hand, even the smallest operation can drive higher profits by pricing and appraising vehicles more competitively. It enables dealers to stock, appraise, price and list vehicles with precision.
With Provision’s Deal Finder and Inventory Finder tools, independent dealers can also make the most of more opportunities. In short, they enable you to quickly locate and buy the right inventory for even credit-challenged customers, meaning you’re even less likely to miss out on the chance to make a sale.
Best Used Car Dealer Lead Generation Tool – SnapCell
We make no apologies for including ourselves in our selection of the best small used car dealer software providers. And with video being said to influence over 75%* of auto shoppers, we are very confident in suggesting there isn’t a better used car dealer lead generation tool than the SnapCell app.
64%* of car shoppers who used video to inform their purchase also suggested new interactive formats like 360 walkarounds, would convince them to buy a car without a test drive. SnapCell provides dealers with simple and reliable automotive video tools that have been shown to increase showroom visits, service upsell, car sales, CSI scores, and dealership revenue overall. We’ll help you create personalised, impactful emails that generate highly converting leads. Or you can use SnapCell to add video content to your SMS marketing, and build rapport between your sales teams and customers.
SnapCell is a video lead generation platform that enables dealers to create walkaround videos, technician videos, virtual test drives, and even talk to customers through live two-way video chat directly from a smartphone. Our entire suite of video and intuitive editing tools is entirely accessible from the app.
With a video marketing tool like SnapCell, you can show your existing customers and potential audience who you really are. By building rapport and trust with your audience, you become a brand they feel aligned with, meaning they are much more likely to want to buy from you. It engages the customer directly and improves their experience at the same time. And it excels as a lead generation tool by promoting more website clicks, improved SEO, and online traffic growth.
Overall, small used car dealer software is designed to aid better management of business operations – from boosting sales and improving customer relationships, to automating or streamlining processes like inventory management and accounts. They take over the digital administrative jobs, enabling you to concentrate on the business of selling and servicing cars, and looking after your customers.
As an independent dealer and small business owner, many roles can often fall to one person. Marketing and social media manager, administrator, auctioneer and inventory specialist…the list is endless. Not only does our selection of software providers remove some of the burden from your shoulders, but they’ll also provide an enhanced customer experience as a result.
To schedule a free demo of SnapCell and see why our impressive suite of video marketing tools is a great fit for smaller, independent dealers, get in touch today. Our knowledgeable team of automotive experts are on hand to support you.
*Think with Google, July 2018