Archive for June, 2006

How many people does it take to manage my Internet Advertising?

Monday, June 26th, 2006

In a recent national publication there was an article saying it was not necessary for a car dealer to have inventory listed on the Internet. That simply is not true. The Internet has become a valuable source advertising to the car dealer in recent years for one reason only. Today’s car buyers are not willing to walk into a dealership blind anymore. The public has access to information they never had before and want to use that information to assure themselves they are making a good purchase decision. This article said your website should sell you, your staff and your business. I agree with that but to not have your Inventory listed would be like finding a really nice restaurant and asking the waiter or waitress to tell you what you are going to eat. Your clients will visit your website prior to coming to your dealership to get a “jump Start” on the car buying process.

The proof is in the numbers. When JTZ Enterprise hosts and maintains your website we provide you with seven different counters. They allow you to see the Who, What, When, and Where From about the traffic coming to your website. These counters show all our car dealer sites have an Inventory page and they are always listed as the most or the second most visited page of the site. The Home page is the only page of your site that might get more traffic than the Inventory page. Following these two would be the Vehicle Details page one gets when they click on car listings from the Inventory Page. The next most frequently traveled pages would include the Company History Page, About Us Page or Testimonials Page. You see, once the client knows you have what they want, their next question is, “what kind of dealer are you?” Just like the restaurant scene, once you know what type of food you want, you then know what restaurant to visit.

When it comes to managing online inventory listings, all dealers will fall into one of two groups. The first group pays someone else to do it and the other manages it in house. If you or your staff do not have the time or know how to update your inventory on a regular basis, get help. There are many companies out there like Dealer Specialties, Cherry Auto and others that will come to your dealership once or twice a week to take the photos and update your Internet Inventory. Often they leave behind a Window Sticker and Buyers Guide. This usually costs between $8 and $18 a car and is worth paying in order to have your website current and up to date.

Today’s car dealer is also much savvier! Many of our dealers manage their own listings. A dealer selling 20-30 cars a month will not spend more than one hour a week taking 4-12 photos of each new vehicle in stock and managing the online listings. With our Inventory Management tools you take the photos, plug the camera into the computer, enter the cars into an online form and match the photos to the listings with no need to edit the photos. We also have a Vehicle Details Software program that provides you with both a VIN decoder and a professional Window Sticker and Buyers Guide you can create in house. Then, with one click it will send to the Internet all the photos and information about your vehicles including fuel mileage, positive vehicle reviews and more.

The problem for the dealers in this second group comes when they want to tap into other Internet advertising opportunities. Third party link exchange sites such as VirginiaUsedCarDealers.com, Cars.com and others allow you to list your vehicles with them in much the same fashion you would on your own website. They attract car buyers to their site. When a buyer has an interest in one of your listings they can click on a link from this site to yours. This would require you to load all the same data and photos for each of your listings with these other sites after you update your website. Essentially you increase your workload every time you take on a new 3rd party link exchange site.

JTZ Enterprise has eliminated all that extra work for the car dealer by allowing you to do it all in one step. We automatically update inventory listings at all 3rd party link exchange sites for all our website clients as well as for all VIADA members listing their vehicles at VirginiaUsedCarDealers.com. All you have to do is get the data to us and we will send it to any 3rd party link exchange site you are signed up with (as well as to a few others you may not be signed up with because they are free!) automatically every day.

Having a website that puts the best light on you and your business is vital in today’s economy. Finding ways to ensure your inventory is accurate and up to date is just as important