After three lockdowns and stay-at-home rules, Covid has showed us that there are plenty of good reasons to get your small used car dealership online. Having your own website or online presence isn’t something only reserved for car giants anymore, with plenty of smaller companies creating their own websites to boost sales.
Having a website has been really useful for plenty of small dealerships though all three lockdowns, as companies all over the UK had to close shop. It’s also pushed a lot of customers online, too.
Now, around 59% of people looking to buy a used car start their search on the web, so smaller dealerships might want to think about jumping online if they haven’t already. There are a few ways to do this, which we’ll talk about below.
Set up a website for your motor trade business
Having a website simply means you can reach a higher number of customers. Even in 2019, customers were turning towards online buying options when looking for a used car.
Setting up a website doesn’t have to be difficult, either. There are lots of free website builders online which offer ready-made templates: all you’ll need to do is fill in the blanks! This is a great option for small businesses just starting out online, especially if you don’t want to spend too much time or money by starting from scratch.
Likewise, if you’re creating a website, you’ll also need to buy a domain name. This is the web address that will appear in the search bar when people click on your website: for example, ours is ‘tradesure.co.uk’. You’ll also need to find a website hosting service, which will connect your new website to the internet and make sure people can find it when they jump online.
There are plenty of options online for website builders, domain names and web hosting services, just type each one into Google and decide what will work best for you. There’s also a handy guide here which will help you if you get stuck.
Think about using online services
When it comes to buying a car online, one of the big draws for customers is having options available online that they wouldn’t have in person. If you currently have any deals in place like click and collect or money back guarantees, these are definitely great things to mention on a website – and great additions to think about if you have the capacity to.
Chief executive of Handler Protect said that independent used car dealers who use click and collect or have money back guarantees in place make their customers ‘feel more comfortable buying online…For dealers offering click-and-collect or home delivery services, having a robust warranty in place makes a huge difference when selling to a customer they may never see.’
It might not work for every small dealership, but for those who don’t have the capacity for online deals, it’s certainly something to keep in mind as a next step.
Start social media accounts
Studies have shown that when shopping for a used car online, 22% of people use social media as a source. This number has jumped up from 2015, where only 16% of shoppers checked social media before buying. It’s a good indicator of where the future of buying cars might be headed.
So, if you haven’t already, try opening a Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn account under your company name, so that potential buyers can see a bit more about your business and the stock you have in. Once you’ve got an account (or two) up and running, simply use it as another platform to post any new stock that comes in. It’s a great way of getting new cars in front of potential buyers, even if they’re just scrolling through their timeline. And best of all, it’s free to set up!
As with any social media account, it takes a bit of leg work to build your follower count. Remember that the more followers you have, the more people will see your posts. To build up your followers, try following other car dealers in the area and ask new customers to follow your page, too. On platforms like Facebook, other people can see when one of their friends has liked your post, which means you could also appear on the timeline of accounts which haven’t followed you yet. Just make sure to post some good pictures, and watch the follower count build up.
Making sure you’re online means you’re easy to reach for your customers, which can only be a good thing. And with so many ways to get yourselves on the screen, it’s a great way to make the most of the used car market boom.
Have you got reliable insurance in place for your motor trade business? Talk to a member of the Tradesure team on 0121 248 9300 or use our enquiry form below: