4 Ways to Increase Vehicle Acquisitions

4 Ways to Increase Vehicle Acquisitions

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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

It's no secret that the past couple of years have been challenging for the automotive industry. With new vehicle shortages and production delays across manufacturers, many dealers are focusing on increasing used vehicle sales. What's the most surefire way to increase used sales? Increase used inventory with the right mix of vehicles and price points that sell in your market. Easier said than done, right? With fewer new car sales, dealers are taking in fewer trade-ins, and with historically high prices at auction, many are finding that it is not a profitable route to acquiring used inventory. Here are a few, perhaps overlooked, ways you can increase your vehicle acquisitions.

Dress up your website for success 

If you don't already have a good trade evaluator tool on your website, now is the time to get one. Make sure the values it quotes are within a range you're comfortable with. Some tools have more robust pricing settings and some quote straight book value. Some tools even guarantee their quotes and will buy the customer's vehicle for that price if you choose not to. Once you have a tool on your site, showcase the tool efficiently. These are some of the best locations for a Value Your Trade button.

  • Homepage (above the fold)
  • Links in navigation - New & Used menus
  • A dedicated Buy/Sell link in the navigation
  • A dedicated landing page with SEO verbiage lets customers know they can either trade in their vehicle or sell outright without buying from you. This page should also include your trade evaluator.

Work your service drive 

The best used cars roll through your service drive every day.  It may be a more difficult sell these days with less new inventory to get a customer into, but you may be surprised at the number of vehicles you can acquire off the service lane with just a simple ask.  Here are three simple ways you can start the process with service customers.

  • Have someone ask service customers if they want a free no-obligation vehicle appraisal. (Could be on a form or kiosk at check-in instead of an in-person ask to cut down on the pressure a customer may feel.)  
  • Some appraisal tools allow you to enter a vehicle's VIN and provide a printout with a quote that you can leave in the vehicle after service.
  • Leave a hangtag on the rearview mirror with a QR code that links to the trade appraisal form on your website.

Work your customer database

  • Make sure you're speaking with your lease-end customers well before their lease expires.  Reach out via email and phone.  Maybe provide options other than entering into another new car lease (since inventory is tight).  Often a low interest rate on a nearly-new CPO unit can be just as attractive as a new lease.
  • Include a "We buy cars" section in all marketing emails to your customer database.  Let them know you want to buy back their car and will also offer top dollar for their trade.
  • Consider a targeted database email to a section of customers who own the types of vehicles you want for your used inventory. 

Expand your audience with targeted digital marketing tactics

The Moran Group's advertising professionals are adept at identifying audiences likely to trade or sell their cars or those who own the types of vehicles you want to acquire and reaching them via targeted digital campaigns. Our dealers have seen success with a variety of tactics, including search engine marketing (SEM) and Amplifi (audience-first advertising across video, display, and audio tactics).

  • SEM campaigns put your ads where the customer is at the moment of a search. We recommend setting up a dedicated Buyback campaign to capitalize on searches such as "sell my car" or "best trade-in value."
  • Amplifi campaigns bring awareness to customers across various media and can direct customers to visit a dedicated trade-in page on your website. The Moran Group's creative team can craft the perfect message for your store to encourage shoppers to find out "what is my car worth," thereby increasing form leads and giving you more opportunities to connect with shoppers looking to sell or trade their vehicle.
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