Video has long been a merchandising tool to get more of the shoppers who view a dealer’s inventory to contact the dealer. However, video is also a proven communications tool between the shopper and the sales team.
While not all shoppers engage with dealership personnel before coming into the store, there are millions that do. They might phone, email, chat, text, or use a combination of communication methods, but the way in which shoppers’ information needs are handled greatly impacts the chances they will ever come into the store. The farther away the shopper is geographically, the more this is the case. Personalized videos provide a number of favorable attributes during this process:
- Video communication includes sight, sound, and motion for a richer experience with less chance of misunderstanding.
- The recorded nature of video generates credibility. People generally don’t record mistruths deliberately. If you record it you mean it.
- Videos can easily be replayed and/or shared.
It’s not that a recorded video should replace live conversation, but it can be a very important supplement. The recorded video can add credibility and clarity to what was mentioned in a phone call. It can also help the shopper explain what was said on the phone to another decision-maker who was not on the call. The days of only talking to shoppers when they are in the store and together are long gone, and relying on one spouse or decision-maker to correctly relay a message to the other is more than a little risky.
Previously, the downside of video was the investment in time. If the video were not laborious to create, it would be utilized far more by dealerships looking to sell more cars. That was the thinking of Autos On Video, so they produced a system allowing all photos and a complete video to be produced in 7 to 10 minutes, including staging time. Everything happens on an iPhone and is instantly uploaded from the phone to the cloud. It is also possible to post, edit and/or instantly add a professional talk track from Unity Works specific to that Year-Make-Model.
This process makes great merchandising faster and more efficient, but the CMA Pro module allows individual sales people to easily customize the video with their own talk track. This allows anyone to include responses to the shopper’s specific questions right in the video without leaving their workstation. The system also facilitates blending a customized video segment with the previously recorded video and custom audio throughout. The ease of use encourages the creation of more custom videos, leading to more shown appointments.
You don’t get to be number one by doing what everyone else does. You must do more for the shopper, and do it efficiently, especially in terms of vehicle videos. One store using this system is Smart Toyota, Wisconsin’s largest Toyota dealer.
Here is an example of a quick, custom sales video produced with a 53-second custom video intro followed by the pre-recorded walk-around video with new voice over to answer specific questions the shopper had.
Smart Toyota uses the videos on their classified listings as well as their Dealer eProcess website. Smart Toyota chose DEP partially because of its unique ability to show the vehicle video and every vehicle photo without leaving the Search Results Page (SRP). Mobile shoppers in particular appreciate the ability to fully compare vehicles right on the SRP. In the words of Smart Toyota’s Tony Thorstad, “for many shoppers, the SRP is the new VDP.”
The combination of better merchandising with a higher converting website and integration into an efficient sales operation incorporating video is a huge competitive advantage. Smart Toyota is expanding their use of the system from used cars to all new cars as well. Tony reports that new vehicles do not require as many photos to be effective. They use 10 photos on new vehicles and a video of about 1 minute. Used vehicles require longer videos and more photos.
Maximizing effectiveness and efficiency requires a process, and the process often requires the right tools or system. In today’s competitive marketplace, every dealer is fighting to best meet the information needs of their digitally-savvy shoppers. Competitive advantage can be found in a great website combined with a system facilitating both great merchandising and great personal response.