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Jan 23 2013

Never before have there been more ways for auto dealers to market inventory to customers - who are able to take advantage of unprecedented availability of vehicle data and methods of comparison shopping.The availability of all this information makes the marketplace highly competitive. Additionally, with purchasing decisions increasingly taking place during the online shopping process, it is more important than ever to make your online inventory listings stand out. One of the best ways to make them stand out is to provide more valuable vehicle information with your listing then your competitors do.

Thankfully, there are VIN decoding solutions available that will grant access to valuable vehicle data and attributes accurately and efficiently. Here are some of the vehicle attributes a VIN Decoding solution should be able to provide that will help your online vehicle listings convert.

1. Normalized vehicle descriptors

While most vehicles share many common attributes each manufacturer may describe these attributes and equipment differently. Make sure that you are using a VIN decoding solution that will allow you to present data consistently between different years, models and manufacturers. Having normalized vehicle descriptors will allow you to offer accurate inventory search based on vehicle attributes not just by generalized categories like new/used, body style and model.

2. Standard equipment

Online shoppers for a big ticket item, like a vehicle, are naturally cautious.  Never take it for granted that a potential customer is aware of all standard equipment and features. Providing a comprehensive listing of the equipment installed gives potential customers a better sense of what they would be getting with the vehicle, as well as helping keep the customer's expectations accurate. In addition, even though there may be other, virtually identical vehicles available at equal or lower prices, doing an effective job in presenting your vehicle's features will make your listings stand out.

3. Installed optional equipment

Always make sure to list any high value seoptional equipment that is known to be installed on the vehicle whenever possible. These features can greatly affect the cost of the car and its value in the eyes of the consumer. That is why vehicle manufacturers make them optional; because they have determined people will pay a premium to have these features installed. The most advanced VIN decoder solutions in the market can provide more detail in this regard and this can make all the difference in your car standing out in a vast sea of online listings. And if the vehicle is close, but not exactly what the shopper is looking for, they are likely to contact you to find them that perfect vehicle.

4. Technical specifications

Everything from MPGs to horsepower is a factor as customers compare vehicles. And you never know which specification someone is looking at, so the more comprehensive the list you include in your vehicle data, the better.

5. Factory warranties

This is another obvious, but often overlooked, attribute. An active factory warranty can often be the difference maker in closing a sale with a hesitant customer, so having this information available is critical. 

6. MSRP / vehicle pricing

Displaying the suggested retail price of the vehicle along with the asking price can help make a customer feel like they are getting a good deal.  In addition, this often improves their comfort level and makes closing the deal easier.

7. OEM internal and external colors

People are often hesitant to place too much trust in online listings, even when pictures are present. Including the exact colors originally used by the manufacturer lets the customer know exactly what they are getting, again increasing their comfort and interest level.

8. MPG and green score

The fuel economy of vehicles is becoming a standard criterion when people make their purchasing decisions. By including this vehicle data in your listing's automotive content, MPG and green data not only fulfill this demand, but also demonstrate your dealership's concern with environmental issues.  They can also help differentiate both your vehicle and your dealership's messaging from a crowded market.

9. Safety Ratings

Safety is a number one concern of the vast majority of vehicle purchasers, especially when the vehicle will be used to transport children. Implementing safety ratings in your vehicle listings from a well-known provider, such as NHSTA 5 Star Crash Test Ratings, will attract safety-conscious customers and give them peace of mind to act upon their interest in your inventory.

10. Awards and Accolades

Everybody loves a winner. Including applicable industry awards with your listing provides the vehicle in question with instant value in the customer's eyes. This particular attribute can be a difference maker when customers are deciding between two similar vehicles.

Hidden within the VIN number is a wealth of vehicle data with which to flesh out your listings to maximize sales. It only waits to be decoded.

If you are interested in knowing more about DataOne Software's products and how they can help your business please click the button below. 


How important do you think having vehicle details are to the performance of online classified listings? What is your company's approach to listing vehicles online?  Add your thoughts and insight on the topic to the comments below

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