As 2016 comes to a close, it’s clear that auto retail – an industry hampered by signs of a sales slowdown – has defied the media narrative by shifting into overdrive to end the year strong.
Take Black Friday, a day in which 2016 ad spend per dealer on the Dealer.com Digital Advertising network rose 39 percent compared to 2015. This resulted in a surge in car shopping on Dealer.com Websites: web visits per dealer rose by 23 percent while lead submissions per dealer increased nine percent over last year’s results.
Like the rest of the year, large vehicles ruled Black Friday. SUVs and trucks comprised the majority of vehicle details page views: VDPs for SUVs and trucks increased 30 percent and 19 percent respectively compared to Black Friday 2015.
Promising news, yes. But what can dealers do with this information, recognizing that December’s competition for digital traffic is remarkably intense? Start with these suggestions:
1. Max out your remarketing budget.
High-value shoppers are out there this holiday season. Don’t miss a single opportunity to retarget those that have already browsed inventory on your website. These shoppers have demonstrated interest both in a vehicle and in your dealership.
2. Bid on long tail keywords for paid search.
There are hundreds of thousands of keyword combinations car shoppers use to find the inventory they’re looking for. By bidding on long tail keywords as part of your larger paid search strategy, you are effectively competing for the attention of more high-quality traffic (people who submit longer search phrases are using more specific information, which implies that they are more informed and/or motivated than shoppers who type more general keywords). By targeting more specific searches, you may be getting an advantage on the competition, who are most likely bidding on different long tail keywords, or none at all.
3. Work every lead that comes through your website.
Now is the time to go that extra step mile. The road to a successful 2016 travels through your staff’s ability to quickly and effectively connect with motivated year-end shoppers. Once a shopper has identified him/herself and submitted a lead, pull out all the stops to turn that lead into a sale. For advice on how to think about that from a sales perspective, read this.
It’s crunch time. But according to our dealership network’s data, Black Friday 2016 showed positive shopping trends. Buying is on the mind, and many shoppers are as aware of the potential for a good deal this time of year as you are of the importance of moving older inventory off your lot. Consider the tips suggested above, and ring in the new year on a positive note.
James Grace is the director of product management analytics at Dealer.com