In the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about the supply and demand of vehicle inventory. During the pandemic, the supply of vehicles dropped, creating competition among car buyers.
However, what sometimes gets overlooked is that the demand hasn’t been all that high in the last few years. It seemed high because more people were competing for the same vehicle. But overall, consumers are hanging onto their vehicles longer than they ever have. According to research firm iSeeCars.com, the average length of car ownership is currently 8.4 years.
Now that vehicle supply is returning, dealers will need to generate more demand online, while the consumer is still on their website. Your goal should be to trigger the same emotional reactions that a consumer experiences when walking your lot and test driving a car.
Historically, we used still images and vehicle descriptions to merchandise our inventory online, hoping that we had the exact vehicle that the consumer was looking for. With today’s merchandising technologies, you can transition your online strategy to one that duplicates the “on the lot” emotional experience, triggering the same emotions that the consumer experiences during the test drive, even if it wasn’t the exact vehicle they sat out to find (just like when they visit your lot).
How Video Creates an Emotional Connection
We all know that the best way to merchandise and build emotion is to have a shopper physically on your lot, face to face with a salesperson, and test driving a vehicle. The next best way is to bring the test drive experience tothe shopper, with live on-demand video calling. This form of video communication still gives the consumer that face-to-face experience with a salesperson, while the salesperson walks around a vehicle and emulates the test drive experience. This process builds the same emotional attachment to a car, only digitally.
The next best option is to include a vehicle walkaround video along with your still images. In this video you are talking about the key features of each vehicle, answering the most common questions that consumers have about each vehicle, and providing an emotional call to action that will motivate consumers to contact you to schedule a test drive.
Remember, the consumer is looking for information about the vehicle, and you are providing the exact information that they are looking for in an emotional presentation that inspires mental ownership. Here are a couple more tips that you can use to increase the emotional impact of your videos:
- Music: Adding music to videos can be very effective in creating an emotional response. For example, add soft and elegant music for your luxury vehicles. For performance vehicles, a video featuring upbeat music can create feelings of excitement and energy. Match background music with the vehicle style increases the emotional experience.
- Narration: Many video systems can create your narration automatically. Use data feeds to identify the most popular features of each vehicle, then mix in relevant and emotional scripts that will provide the information that the consumer want. Of course, your sales team can also record compelling human narration that encourages shoppers to become emotionally engaged with that vehicle. More than any other feature, skilled narration can create a sense of urgency.
The more you can use these techniques in the development and distribution of your inventory videos, the more responses and inquiries you will create.
Dealers need to take an honest, in-depth look at their website vehicle detail pages (VDPs) and determine, do any of these vehicles get me excited, and why or why not? Analyze your video marketing strategy to see if there is room for improvement in the merchandising category. To cater to different tastes and increase engagement, offer a variety of videos including walkaround inventory videos, 360-degree interactive videos, live-streaming test drives, and more.
Consumers don’t have to physically visit a dealership showroom when you have great merchandising on your website. While touching and seeing a car can stimulate emotion, that emotional experience can easily be duplicated online with video.