We walk around every day with a computer that has access to the bulk of all human knowledge in our pockets. Is it any shock that people want to use it? 95% of consumers research a vehicle purchase online before ever setting foot inside a dealership, and the only thing shocking about that figure is how low it is. Imagine being in the market for a car and not Googling it. That’s weird, right?
So lean into it.
The vast majority of your customers are going to be hunting around for what they want online, so prepare them a nice welcoming mat. These are Model Research Pages, or MRPs for short. And here’s the thing: most customers know what they want.
Brand loyalty is huge in any industry. Maybe the pizza place where you grew up had Pepsi instead of Coke and now only a Pepsi will do. Maybe you always wore Adidas on the court and now can’t even handle the feeling of a Nike. Brand loyalty when it comes to cars is even a larger factor. There are Ford people and Chevy people and never the twain shall meet. Some of this is because it’s such a big purchase. Some of it is that one’s car is part of one’s identity. Most people will have their preferred model and aren’t even going to consider anything else.
Make and year aren’t too far behind that either. It’s pretty rare that a customer will type something like “buy car” into a search engine, but “2020 Ford F-150”? That’s going to happen with regularity. If your dealership has MRPs keyed to your stock, you’re going to be catching customers who might otherwise slip your net. Think of this as yet another way to make things easier on your customer. Incidentally “make it easy on your customer” should be your unofficial motto.
Remember that whole thing with computers in our pockets? That’s because 75% of all car buyers use their phones to research, and 60% of all email responses will be done via phone. So landing pages need to be keyed specifically to the phone. That’s not a problem, but it’s something to keep in mind when creating this new marketplace for your stock.
A Model Research Page takes a vehicle in stock and tells the customer about it. Where is it? What are we looking at in terms of price? What sort of mileage does it get? And because this is the 21st Century and people will leave a Yelp review for a parking lot, what does it have in the way of customer reviews?
A good Model Research Page is halfway between an information brochure on the model in question and a catalogue of the actual vehicles prepared for the purpose. The informative parts of the page help the customer see if this is in fact the vehicle that meets their needs. If so, then they can move onto the specific shopping.
A car is a big purchase, and customers like being and feeling informed as to the options. Whether it’s the specifications of the make and model in question, or what vehicles are available, the more you can provide this service, the better your customers will feel. An MRP will get what you have to the eyes of your customer base in the most efficient possible way. You’re removing roadblocks between your customer and your sale.
And you will be creating brand loyalty. Not for your car, but for your dealership.