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How dealers are boosting used car revenue

Following the new vehicle shortages, lengthy lead times for electric vehicles, and the continued high market value of used vehicles, there’s a serious profit opportunity in selling used cars. To capitalise on this, retailers must digitalise their processes with an aim to offer buyers a bespoke and omnichannel experience. A DMS should support this digital transformation – now a necessity in automotive retail.

There are extra factors to consider when buying a second-hand car – from its condition, to where it’s located in the country, to its mileage. As the cost-of-living crisis prevails, it’s now even more essential for dealers to adapt. Buyers are being more selective, so dealers must make the journey convenient and engaging at every touchpoint…

Go digital – Reach more prospects

Businesses must first address how to turn over stock quickly. The longer a car is on the forecourt, the more costly the sale is to the dealer. When a vehicle arrives on site, the sales team should get it listed online straightaway, otherwise, they could be missing out on hundreds of prospective buyers. Neville Briggs, Managing Director at Pinewood explains –

“Customers want to browse online before they travel to see a car, so dealers need to accommodate. This includes having great quality images and videos, ready to capture interest and drive enquiries. Using our Stock+ app, salespeople can take high-quality images of the car using their phones. They can replace the background, swapping a cluttered forecourt for a clean, standardised backdrop without any professional editing experience.”

With Pinewood DMS, the dealer can immediately upload the listing to their website, or via a website feed, ready to capture the attention of car buyers. A credible system should offer the tools to showcase used stock, both on and offline. But getting in front of prospective customers is just the first step…

Get personal – Convert more enquiries

Next, dealers need to action enquiries. It’s essential to offer more than just a standardised email response to stand out amongst hundreds of online listings.

With an all-in-one system like Pinewood DMS, the sales team can respond to enquiries with a personalised video tour, building trust with the customer from the first interaction. As no third-party systems are needed, all communications are instantly visible on the CRM record and easy to report on. Mark Lambird, Managing Director at Eastbourne Motoring Centre explains –

“We definitely sell more cars by sending videos out. People interact and buy a lot quicker if they can physically see the car in a video. We can talk over the features and benefits. It’s been a real positive.”

The entire journey should be seamless – combining digital and physical touchpoints. From taking an eSignature for a test drive to offering multiple ways to pay – including card, cash, online or open banking, Pinewood DMS facilitates a customer-led experience. It’s essential for used car dealers to find a DMS that leverages their business – balancing customers’ needs for convenience, information, and face-to-face interaction. The rewards are substantial…

Be flexible – Drive extra profits

Retailers that don’t adapt – often when their DMS doesn’t provide the right tools – risk losing sales. It’s key to monitor results to maximise success. Using the reporting tools in the system, or for larger groups, Business Intelligence, the leadership team can adapt their strategy accordingly. This includes benchmarking best-performing branches, identifying which models are selling profitably, minimising time to turnover used stock, and as a result driving profit margin.

Stine Hagen, Corporate Business Development Manager at Porsche Norway explains –

“Pinewood DMS has given us the perfect tool to monitor and steer all aspects of used car sales. With the use of Pinewood BI linked to the system, leaders went from spending hours on KPI reports to having them live on their computers and phones at all times. This is an excellent tool for leaders to see what needs their attention.”

Additionally, relying on a system requiring add-ons can make the process tricky and compromise the customer experience. Dealers must integrate their in-store and online touchpoints, allowing customers to interact and transact how they choose at any point. Providing a flexible and bespoke sales journey is now a necessity rather than a nice-to-have, so dealers must use their DMS to adapt and reap the rewards.

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