Tips for selling cars virtually with your Autotrader tools

Mar 26, 2020
The Autotrader Team

We’re your partner for the strategy and tools needed to maximize results in this changing selling environment. That’s why we’re offering a 50% relief program for April and May 2020 and working side-by-side with you to create personalized plans to win customers and close deals. And that’s why we’ve created new tools for advertising virtual-buying services, at no additional cost for Autotrader dealers.

But today in this post, let’s start with the tools you already have on your listings. Let’s talk about small steps you can take to create a trusted, convenient shopping experience that helps consumers make confident decisions online.

Virtual and online selling tools – How to connect with virtual buyers using tools you’ve already got on your listings​

Digital retailing:

If you’re using digital retailing on Autotrader and KBB.com, now’s the time to use it to its fullest. With digital retailing on your listings, shoppers can start the buying process remotely, eliminating any unnecessary friction from the process.

Tip #1: Watch one of our webinars, full of best practices for dealers using Cox Automotive Digital Retailing on their Autotrader and KBB.com listings and/or on their dealership websites. You can sign up for live sessions or view recorded sessions. We’ll discuss ways to promote your dealership, build rapport with potential buyers, and build and finalize deals wherever your customers are.

Tip #2: If don’t have digital retailing on your listings, talk to your Dealer Success Consultant about getting started.

Digital retailing screen on Autotrader VDP - where car shoppers can see payments, financing options and more

Chat and text:

This is a quick and simple way to get sales conversations started with potential buyers online. You’re likely already using chat and text to communicate with shoppers. But now, when shoppers may be unwilling or unable to come into your showroom, a shift in approach may be in order.

Tip #1: First, be sure that your BDC and sales team are prioritizing chat and text leads, answering every message as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

Tip #2: Consider chat and text as a true conversation tool. Encourage questions and be forthcoming with answers. As the conversation progresses, remember that the best next step may be a phone or video call, or another alternative to an in-person visit.

Tip #3: If you haven’t already got Managed Chat & Text turned on, now’s the time. Managed Chat & Text is free with Autotrader listings packages. It  ensures that no Autotrader chat or text messages go unanswered, 24/7. If you aren’t using it, reach out to your Dealer Success Consultant to get set up!

Video tip:

Film a quick phone video about your approach during COVID-19 and what you’re doing to keep your community healthy and serve your customers. Then, your Dealer Success Consultant can help put that video up on your listings to get it in front of ready-to-buy shoppers. ​

Vehicle comments and photos tip:

If your dealership provides video walkarounds, home test drives, home vehicle delivery and other virtual buying options, show that off in vehicle comments and photos.

Ready for additional ways to connect and sell virtually?

If your dealership is set up for virtual selling and home delivery, we’ve got additional tools for you.

Local virtual selling and delivery:

Have you heard about the new virtual-selling tools included with your Autotrader package? With Dealer Home Services, you can advertise video walkarounds, home test drives and vehicle home delivery to Autotrader and KBB.com shoppers in your local market (unless prevented by local or state COVID-19 ordinances) at no additional cost:

Delivery outside your local market:

Now is a good time to consider delivery options for your inventory outside your market. ​With Market Extension, you can extend your reach and offer Autotrader shoppers home delivery in the markets you select.

We’re here for you.

Your local Dealer Success Consultant is ready to help you strategize and implement plans to drive your business. If you’re not sure how to get in touch, give us a call at 877-627-9585.

We’ll also be sharing all of the latest news from Autotrader during this time on our Here for You page.