Monday, March 7, 2011
INTERNET NEW CAR SALES vs INTERNET USED CAR SALES – AS SIMILAR AS NIGHT & DAY
I had two dealer visits this week in which we came face to face with the fact that marketing and selling new cars via the Internet is much harder than doing same with used cars. Much harder. The key differences are fairly obvious: 1). A used car is a one-of-a-kind item and must be purchased today before it’s gone – vs - there's no rush on a new car; buyers can always locate another one if necessary. 2). Thanks to cars.com & autotrader.com (and others) there is an existing online used car marketplace where you can offer your wares – vs - there’s no successful equivalent for new cars; you have to market and merchandise them yourself via your websites, banner ads, paid search campaigns, etc. If you have the used car or truck they want, at a price they like, and can make it happen today they will probably buy. Slam dunk. However, there is no equally simple formula for success on the new vehicle side; not only is there no slam dunk, there isn’t even a playbook. Which means there is tremendous upside yet in Internet new car sales; nobody has figured it out! Do you hear that sound? It’s opportunity knocking.