Make the most of March 2021
With last year being unusual, and the market down, there’s a degree of pent-up demand in the market for new cars and whether that market is served this March or later in the year is an interesting question.
So how can you make the most of your market share in March 2021 and the new plate change?
Beforehand, you need to check out what stock is going to be available in March. Word on the street is that there is a mixed bag when it comes to new car availability. Some franchises have abundant stock, others are suffering from reduced production because of furlough or problems with the supply of semiconductors and batteries due to high demand.
It’s certainly worth doing your research before you try to generate enquiries on cars that won’t be available until later in the year.
Where are your free leads coming from? Well, we all have databases and there is a huge amount of people out there that haven’t changed their vehicle when they normally would have done due to various reasons.
The uncertainty of everyday life which COVID-19 had brought upon us, has changes peoples mindset towards their personal finances and the usual change cycle. These are the people who might normally have been in touch to change up their vehicle but haven’t.
With the plate change approaching, it would be wise to contact these people and get them on board with a payment swap promotion or any other offers you may have coming up.
For many years, we’ve all preached that your website is your shop window. It’s the key lead generator, as well as classifieds, for getting new business.
With the need for click and collect and delivery during national lockdowns, the expectation for people to be able to buy a car solely online is one that we’re embracing
This presents new ways to advertise offers and upsales because you have another step in the process you can use to market to people: the shopping cart.
The shopping cart is the perfect place to display reviews of other customers online shopping experience so that new buyers feel reassured that their purchase isn’t going to end up in a black hole and they will see a quality product at the end of it.
There have been a lot of new entrants into the car market of the last couple of years, for example, carwow.co.uk on new, cinch and Cazoo on used. The truth is that most dealerships can do all the things that these new entrants offer. Whether that’s returns, offering pay online/finance online features and in particular servicing the car, so there’s no reason car dealers should take a backseat.
Focus on the process
It’s no longer good enough to hope you are going to be able to conduct transactions online, you need to make sure the process works without fault.
You need to train your employees effectively. This can be done over Microsoft Teams, Zoom or browser-based video, just as well as it can be done on-site.
Little and often online training can be just as effectively or arguably more effective, then trying to pack it into a two- or three-day course.
Using the technology available to you, there’s even wearable tech now being introduced which lets you show people cars without them having to enter the showroom.
Dominate locally and digitally
We can’t go to local shopping centres or events like we would normally at this time of year, but we can use social platforms to our advantage.
What we know is that more people are buying locally or buying solely online (distance purchase) from anywhere. The middle ground that’s missing is the people who would travel 20 or 30 miles to a car dealership to look around the showroom.
You can push content organically like customer testimonials and socially distanced handover photos. You can show off your Covid-safe deliveries and (hopefully soon!) showrooms and reassure people you have done everything you can to keep the environment a hygienic and safe one.
You can use paid social content to advertise what services and stock you have on offer to the local community to generate more enquiries into the business.
What works great alongside paid social campaigns is “pay per click” where you can do some great geographically targeted campaigns for people who live locally and suit your audience demographic. This means you don’t need to waste money marketing to people who aren’t interested in buying a Ford Fiesta 300 miles away.
Accept the reality and create a Treasure Trove
We don’t really know what is in store for March when it comes to changes in lockdown rules, whether there will still be local restrictions or not. My guess is they will remain.
There will be plenty of people who don’t want to undertake new finance commitments when they are on furlough, there will be others who still have concerns about Covid and are still shielding.
There might be people who are worried if they will even have an income at all after furlough has finished.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t communicate with these people, because if you understand their reasoning behind why they don’t want to change right now then you can keep that valuable information under lock and key.
In the end, vaccines will be widely distributed, and people will return to their jobs and when they do, there will be this pent-up demand for new cars, and you will be in the pole position to take advantage of it.
This Treasure Trove of leads might mean that you only get a smaller part of this in March 2021. It might well be later in the year, but it will come, and you need to be ready!
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