Post our selling price online? Never! We’re not a one-price store!!!
Posting a competitive price online – at or very near the price you ultimately expect to sell a vehicle for – doesn’t make you a one-price store; although it does make you more desirable and trustworthy in the eyes of today’s connected customers. Moreover, because the majority of today’s vehicle buyers submit no leads and make no phone calls before they arrive on your lot, posting a competitive price is often the most important driver of today’s walk-in traffic.
Posting a price close to your selling price is something virtually every franchised dealer is already doing with their used inventory, though it’s mostly unchartered waters for many dealers when it comes to new inventory. If this level of price transparency scares you into believing you’ll end up giving up any remaining new car gross you’re earning, you’re wrong… so long as your team can defend your online price.
You Don’t Have To Be the Cheapest
Simply being competitive is enough to drive traffic from the Web into your dealership, though your team will have to be well-trained in defending what I call the Market-Based Pricing Triple Discount.
One way to avoid posting the lowest price online, but still appearing highly competitive, is to use any of a number of available price verification tools that show your website visitors whether or not a given vehicle is priced at, below or above the market price. (The list of these tools is too extensive for me call one out here; plus the effectiveness of these change over time, so any tool I recommend today might not be quite as beneficial for dealers a year from now.) Just remember a few simple rules when evaluating a third-party price verification tool for your website:
- The tool should highlight the unbiased, third-party credentials of the tool.
- It should keep the visitor on your website.
- It should never collect customer information; unless it’s intended primarily as a lead driver – like a trade-in form – and only if no other entity uses the customer data. (Believe it or not, as of this writing, there is at least one third-party pricing tool that car dealers have installed on their websites that collects leads and then emails competitive inventory to the dealer’s own prospects!)
- The tool should only highlight when you are priced competitively; with the ability to be turned off when your price is not at least comparable to the market.
Today’s consumers are sensitive to price, but you don’t have to be the lowest – just competitive. As you may remember from a great Polk/Cobalt study from about a decade ago, when you provide the consumer with a competitive price and a compelling reason to buy from you, 60% of people will stop shopping and give you a chance to earn their business.
Pricing at or near the market is providing them with a competitive price. And the compelling reason to buy from you? The trust messaging you learned about in an earlier post form this series that you now have plastered on your website – that, your online reputation and your pricing transparency are all compelling reasons to buy from you!
Next up in this series, we’ll cover the kind of pricing that can really drive leads, calls and sales: Car Dealer Specials Pages: Wasted Online Real Estate!
(If you’re catching this series for the first time, you may want to begin with the first post: Before You Change Even One Word on Your Website…)
Steve Stauning, creator of The Appointment Culture and an expert in Digital Marketing and Website Conversion. He is also an extremely popular keynote speaker, writer, and industry consultant. Learn more about Steve at SteveStauning.com.