Turn affordability concerns into conversions

The past five years have been a rollercoaster, but there are positive signs in current trends that give us reason for optimism. Both new vehicle inventory levels and new car sales have reached highs not seen since before the chip shortage.

While there are reasons to maintain a positive long-term outlook for the industry, we also can’t ignore that consumer demand for new vehicles is significantly down year-over-year3. This decline is largely due to the higher cost of new vehicles combined with rising interest rates.

While it’s hard to predict when affordability concerns will ease, you don’t have to wait for perfect conditions to drive sales at your dealership. You have tangible assets at your disposal to counter the affordability narrative and show local consumers why now can be a great time to buy a new or used vehicle from you.

How to counter the affordability narrative in
your marketing

Simply saying that you need to promote your offers is a bit too simplistic when you’re trying to overcome consumer perception in what can be a volatile market. The key to making a connection with your local audience is to craft a compelling marketing message that is easy for consumers to understand, so they can clearly see why it makes sense to shop for their next car at your dealership.

1. Create irresistible promotions

With the increase in new vehicle supply and softening demand, OEMs have become more aggressive with their incentives in order to drive consumers to market. By combining OEM incentives with your dealership’s unique selling propositions, you can create a compelling message that cuts through the noise and highlights the great deals and customer service that
your dealership can deliver.

2. Captivate customers with your finance rates

In addition to cash incentives, OEM captive finance lenders are offering low interest rates between 0% and 5% to attract budget-conscious buyers. With recent average auto loan rates hovering between 6% and 10%, these lower rates are incredibly appealing for car buyers, the majority of which plan to finance their vehicle.

For example, financing a $45,000 vehicle with a 0% interest rate for 72 months can save your customer over $8,000 in interest charges compared to the average prime rate of 5.99% for the same term. In your marketing, don’t just mention the finance offer, do the math for your audience and show them the savings as well to get them excited and interested in taking advantage of the available savings.

3. Turn trade-ins into down payments

83% of shoppers will trade in their vehicle at a local dealership5, whether they buy their new vehicle from you or a competing dealership. When significant cash down payments present a challenge for would-be buyers, leverage your trade-in experience to overcome this objection. Show shoppers how easy it is to get an instant and accurate value for their vehicle on your website to start their car buying journey.

Highlight why consumers should buy from you

Beyond your affordability messaging, it’s crucial to promote a buying experience free of stress and anxiety, especially when affordability is top of mind for shoppers.

Consider using these types of messages in your outbound marketing to resonate with consumers:

Then, the best way to tell this positive story is through a connected marketing campaign that highlights the values and benefits of buying from a dealership like yours. This approach ensures that whether you’re capturing the attention of a shopper just entering the market or staying connected with an in-market shopper wherever they go online, they’re seeing a consistent message from start to finish. This builds trust in your brand and the experience you offer.

Setup your website for conversions

Launching an affordability campaign that resonates with local shoppers is a great start, but it’s only half of the solution. The other half is maximizing that traffic by delivering a user experience that converts. The Dealer Inspire Connected Platform provides you with tools and solutions designed to turn visitors into ready-to-close sales opportunities for your team.

1. Create personalized experiences

Using the Personalizer tool, you can cater to your shopper’s needs by creating personalized experiences. By leveraging campaign-based personalized experiences, you can ensure your website content aligns with your ad’s affordability messaging. When personalized messages are shown to your shoppers, we’ve seen conversions and engagement increase dramatically. 

2. Let shoppers calculate real payments

Put car shoppers in the driver’s seat by giving them everything they need to answer the all-important question, “Can I afford it?”. Our retailing technology empowers your shoppers to make confident buying decisions by comparing personalized payment options across multiple vehicles. Using your lenders and F&I products, a shopper can get prequalified for a monthly payment on the exact vehicle they’re interested in, which in turn generates a high-intent opportunity for your team to close.

3. Have better conversations

It’s not uncommon for your website visitors to have questions while they shop. So why let them aimlessly wander the internet searching for answers when they can just chat with you? Our new virtual assistant — powered by GenAI — acts like a receptionist for your digital showroom. It greets website visitors, keeps them engaged, answers questions, and captures their contact info, allowing your team to follow up and guide shoppers further down the road to a sale.

4. Simplify buying with easy trade-ins

One way to offer your customers peace of mind and help build confidence in your purchase process is with guaranteed instant offers through AccuTrade. By providing an accurate and transparent value for a customer’s vehicle upfront, it’s easier to judge affordability. Plus, it’s a great way to start a deal!

Kick-off your affordability strategy today

In today’s market, a connected marketing campaign targeting local in-market shoppers with a focus on affordability is essential. Ensure consumers know why they should buy from you and build trust with a cohesive online presence that highlights your dealership’s value and benefits at every step of the car buying journey. Partner with us to connect your journey and help your customers see the value, benefits, and affordability of buying from your dealership today.

1 Cars Commerce Industry Insights Report May 2024
2 15.9MM SARR, May 2024
3 Cars Commerce Industry Insights Report April 2024
4 Cars Commerce Industry Insights Report May 2024
5 Cars Commerce Industry Insights Report May 2024

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