Smartphones and websites like Facebook and Google are changing the way auto dealers operate and represent themselves online.
Long the poor cousins in the online automotive world as the bulk of leads came from the buyers grazing through listings in third-party websites, dealers are now finding that advertising technology can draw a buyer in from a relatively detailed search request for a car from a smartphone to land directly on their vehicle details page for that car.
By taking car buyers directly to dealer stock in the branded environment of the dealer selling the car, an auto retailer’s investment in its own online presence is now becoming a far more important weapon in the dealership’s sales armoury.
Third-party websites like market leader Carsales have been around for two decades now and the business model – pumping huge amounts of advertising money into assembling the biggest number of car seller listings, and corresponding audience of buyers – is maturing and being affected by the arrival of the large online audience magnets.
While these longstanding classified websites are still a very important part of the online auto business, the massive audiences gathered in by Google, Facebook, Instagram and others – and the rise of smartphones over desktops – means that dealer sites can become a far more cost-effective window through which car buyers can reach dealerships and their cars for sale.
What has changed is that digital advertising agencies like Cox Automotive’s Digipurple are using web technology to tap into the audiences of the online behemoths when people express an interest in a specific car and then link them directly to dealer inventory matching that car.
Read more here