Right now it is a seller’s market for your automotive customer.

Automotive manufacturers are playing catch up while they recover from shutdowns during shelter-in-place orders. So what is a car dealer to do when their inventory is getting slim? Enter the trade-in digital marketing campaign. Now, yes, right now, is the time that you need a digital marketing strategy that will grab the attention of your local customer that could be interested in trading in their vehicle.

The analytics firm, Gallup, found that 3 in 5 Americans worked remotely during the pandemic. This statistic provides a particular advantage for the car dealer that is on the hunt for used car inventory – Americans are not driving as much. What’s more, they are seeing places within their lifestyle that could be changed and altered – meaning that households with 2+ vehicles may realize that they don’t need as many cars as they once did.

You may be reading this thinking, “Okay, how many households have more than two cars?” The statistics may surprise you. The likelihood of households in your local area having cars that they may be willing to part with post-pandemic is very strong. Check out this chart from Value Penguin below.


Chart source: ValuePengin.com

With the right incentives and a strong digital marketing strategy, your dealership has the opportunity to rebuild your used car inventory with the vehicles that reside in your local market.

Educate your customer on what you are looking for

If you are a dealer that hasn’t utilized the power of live video on social media, now is your chance! Go live on Facebook and Instagram and create a virtual call-to-action for your local customers. If you know that you are already getting tons of leads for trucks and only have three vehicles left on the lot, call on your truck owners to trade-in.

While live, show them an example of similar cars that you need. Maybe there are certain features or a particular model that are currently in high demand at your dealership? Showcase that. By doing this, you are making your customer more prepared to have a trade-in conversation with your sales staff.

Dealer Authority Facebook Ad Example

After going live, get with us, and we will kick off a Facebook ad campaign for you. These ads can highlight everything about the inventory you need, photo examples, or maybe a video, and enticing copy with your special trade-in incentives to draw in those specific vehicle owners. Plus, we can build Facebook campaigns with third-party data that can direct these ads to car owners that have the exact makes and models your dealership needs. Can you say “ROI Crusher”? You can, when you become a Dealer Authority, social media client.

Give them digital and onsite options for their trade-in

You’ve got the delivery program down pat at this point, so incorporate that into your trade-in program. Some of your customers may still feel more comfortable having a digital transaction than an in-person purchase, so having both options available is ideal.

Ensure that your website has a landing page that breaks down what this digital trade-in process would look like for your customers. You may want to create a ‘punch list’ for your customer. In this list, you would include all the features you are looking for in trade-in, as well as what images or videos your sales staff might need when assessing the customer’s trade digitally. 

Next, let the customer know about the timeline for their trade-in process. How long will it take your staff to make them an offer? Are you only offering your trade-in incentive for a particular amount of time? How quickly can they expect your team to pick up the vehicle? By doing this, you are creating a sense of urgency and security for your customer while also setting expectations for your customer should they choose to participate.

Still feeling stuck?

If you are still unsure how to kick-off a trade-in program for your dealership, but you know you need it, we can help. Contact us today, and we can assess your pain points and give you some actionable takeaways to implement now (even if you don’t do business with us).

Ready to start your trade-in campaign?

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