5 tips for selling cars completely online


The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to transform the way they operate and the motor trade is no exception. With showrooms shut and more people preferring to shop online, car sales businesses have needed to focus on improving their digital offering.

More buyers open to purchasing cars online

Carbuyer.co.uk explains that Covid has accelerated online purchases and that includes cars. Across the globe, Frost and Sullivan analysts predict online car sales will top one million units by the end of this year, rising to six million in 2025.
In a recent WhatCar? survey cited by Car Dealer Magazine, almost three in 10 (28%) in-market buyers said they would be comfortable purchasing their next car entirely online. The study of 4,790 buyers supports exclusive research from Auto Trader, which discovered that 41% of people are happy to buy a car completely online.

How to succeed in selling cars completely online

With many buyers saying they would complete the entire car-purchasing process online, you need to make sure you have a digital presence – and a good one at that. Competition is fierce in your market, so taking the time to make sure that you provide the best online experience to potential customers can help to set you apart from the rest.
Before we share some top tips, are you covered? Insurance Choice Commercial has been arranging low cost motor trade insurance  for more than 20 years. We specialise in tailoring motor trade combined policies that match the unique needs of your business, and offer flexible payment solutions which allow you to pay for the cost of cover in monthly instalments.
A model car on a pile of silver coins against a plain blue background

Tips for selling completely online


1. Make the most of paid search advertising

Paid search is a type of digital marketing where search engines let advertisers display ads on their results pages. It’s seriously worth investing in – and because it works on a pay-per-click basis, you don’t pay unless someone clicks on your ad.
You can select to display ads of your cars in your local area or a wider reach, and choose relevant keywords which will lead your target market to your ads – for instance ‘cars for sale in [your location]’.

2. Build a strong online presence

A strong online presence means that you are visible on many platforms. This includes your website, car selling platforms (if you use them) as well as social media sites.
A recent study revealed that social media influences 71% of consumer buying decisions, so don’t neglect it. You don’t need to be on every site, but popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter should definitely be on the list.
Make sure your branding and tone of voice is consistent across all channels and keep them regularly updated. Here are some things to try:
●        Launch a social media giveaway. This is a great way to inspire new social followers and get free exposure for your car business – one idea would be to give away a car cleaning kit or package to someone who likes your business page, shares the post and tags their contacts in it.
●        Use Instagram and Facebook Stories. These images and videos, visible for 24 hours, could be a great way to update followers on new vehicles arriving at your showroom and sharing daily deals or promotions.
●        Ramp up customer interaction. It’s important to respond to comments from followers in a timely manner, especially if it’s questions about stock or negative reviews. Make sure staff are trained up on tone of voice and encourage them to create their own content for your channels.

3. Go mobile

It’s really important that your website is mobile optimised, seeing as more than half of new vehicle internet shoppers use a mobile device to do research for a car or truck.
Click-to-buy schemes work really well with mobile strategies. It allows people to choose and buy a car online from the comfort of their own sofa, via their mobile phone or tablet.

They may also be able to do things like get trade-in prices, put down a deposit and arrange finance. This is something you should seriously consider offering, as it helps make the path to purchase as smooth as possible.
A persons hand uding a mobile phone on a desk

4. Offer virtual tours to assist the buying process

Virtual tours are a great way to highlight key specs and selling points of the vehicles you have in your showroom. You could do this by video walkarounds, or you might want to take it one step further by investing in a virtual reality (VR) app of your showroom, which can provide customers with a far more immersive experience.
Depending on the software/app you use, virtual tours can direct prospective buyers to sign up and specs pages, and you can even have key information superimposed next to the vehicles as the customer virtually explores them. With more people shunning the showroom, this is a great way to show off your stock to potential buyers.

5. Fine-tune your ads and descriptions

Poorly written or structured vehicle ads can be incredibly off-putting and force people to look elsewhere for their next motor. As well as including all the necessary spec information and your contact details, you should:
●        Avoid abbreviations that could confuse potential buyers
●        Keep ads informative but also succinct
●        Double check for typos and grammatical mistakes before publishing
●        Be honest about faults – this will help to assert your trustworthiness
●        Use lots of quality pictures of the car – keep the background clutter-free and include as many angles of the interior and exterior as possible

Secure motor trade insurance today

At Insurance Choice, we understand that your business isn’t just a business, it’s your livelihood. That’s why we’re committed to helping you protect it with our motor trade insurance packages that can be tailored to your unique needs.
Some of the features and benefits of our policies can include:
●        Collection and delivery cover
●        Cover for part and full-time traders
●        Cover for car valets and mechanics
●        Road risk motor trade insurance policies
If you’re interested, call 01384 429900 today to speak to one of our insurance experts or get a quick quote online.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.