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4 Effective Ways to Leverage Car Stock Photos by VIN


Why are we talking about stock photos when it seems like everyone else in the industry is pushing for real vehicle photos? There's no arguing that real photos offer a better shopping experience for consumers looking at real inventory, even with new vehicles. According to Kelley Blue Book90% of consumers prefer to view actual photos over stock photos of the new vehicle(s) they are interested in buying. However, stock photos still serve a purpose in the automotive industry.

There are a number of use cases outside of a dealer's inventory - such as vehicle research tools, marketing material, parts websites, etc - where leveraging stock photos by VIN makes the most sense not only to ensure professional quality images but also to save time. And though real photos are the best option for inventory, stock photos can suppliment a dealer's listings when the real photos are not available yet.  

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Topics: vehicle images


How to Quickly and Accurately Identify Vehicle Specs by VIN Decoding


This post has been republished with updates since its original publish date in July 2013

Quick access to complete and accurate vehicle specifications is necessary for many businesses in the automotive and allied industries. Firstly, I want to clarify that “vehicle specifications” can fit into more than one category. Some businesses may be looking to identify “construction” vehicle specs such as weights, dimensions, capacities, etc., while other businesses may be looking for “operation” and/or “performance” vehicle specs, including engine and transmission, standard and optional equipment, fuel economy, exterior and interior colors, etc.

Regardless of which vehicle specs your business is looking to identify, scanning through OEM websites, vehicle manuals, or even your own internal management system/DMS often involves more effort than time allows. This is where VIN decoding comes in handy. Identifying vehicle specs by VIN number with use of a VIN decoding solution is ideal for businesses working with several vehicle makes and models.

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Topics: Logistics, VIN, Parts & Services, Vehicle Equipment


8 Takeaways From My Recent Used Car Shopping and Purchasing Experience


It's been a while since I last experienced shopping for a vehicle. And I have to say, it's nice being in the driver's seat, seeing things from a consumer's perspective.

My wife Christine and I just bought a pre-owned 2014 Honda Pilot to replace her 2013 Honda Accord that had been totaled by a drunk driver a few weeks ago. She was stopped at a red light… Folks, wear your seatbelts!

Fortunately, she escaped any major injuries, but her car did not. Given the circumstances, we were forced to expedite the vehicle shopping/buying process. It was only 2 weeks from the day Christine’s Accord was totaled to the day we signed paperwork at the dealership for her Pilot.

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Topics: Vehicle Shopping


9 UX Fails That Are Pushing Your Vehicle Shoppers Away


It’s one thing to consistently drive traffic to your website, but it’s another thing to keep them engaged. This is where your website’s user experience (UX) is crucial.

The UX on your auto listing or dealership website should take the stress out of vehicle shopping and make it easy for consumers to find their next vehicle. If you’re finding that your website isn’t getting as much traction as you’d hoped, conversion rates are low, or overall vehicle sales are low, it may be time to reassess the UX on your website.

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Topics: Auto Portals, Dealers, Vehicle Shopping


4 Reasons Why Consumers Love Buying Used Vehicles Directly From Owners


Purchasing used is a very popular option for many in-market vehicle buyers, making up more than 30% of franchise dealership’s total vehicle sales for the last five years according to an Edmunds report. Though buying pre-owned inventory from a dealership is most common, there are many valuable resources such as Craigslist and Autotrader that do a great job connecting consumers directly with the vehicle owner as an alternative to the dealership.

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Topics: Guest post


7 Expert Tactics for Increasing Your Dealership’s Service Revenue


“Fixed ops departments account for the bulk of dealership’s profits.” Sound familiar? How about, “A healthy and profitable fixed ops department means a healthy dealership.” You’ve heard it all before. Yet, growing your service clientele, let alone retaining your existing clientele, is easier said than done.

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Topics: Parts & Services, Automotive Technology, Dealers


6 Ways to Win Over Consumers Before They Hit the Dealer Lot


You could have the most friendly receptionists, the smoothest sales team, the most impressive showroom, and even the best F&I department in town, but none of that matters if no one is there to experience it.    

The average vehicle shopper only visits 1-2 dealerships before making a purchase. The fact of the matter is that most of the vehicle research and buying process is done online today.

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Topics: Dealers, Vehicle Shopping


7 Reasons Your Website Should Have An Intuitive Vehicle Comparison Tool


85-90% of auto shoppers conduct online research, according to a MillwardBrown study. And 64% of online vehicle shoppers compare different models as part of the process, according to a recent study commissioned by Cox Automotive. Still many auto listing and dealership websites do not offer a comparison tool, or have buried it on their website.

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Topics: Auto Portals, Automotive Data, Dealers, Vehicle Shopping


10 Sessions at Digital Dealer 22 That Will Help Improve Your Dealership's Marketing Strategy


If you haven’t purchased your tickets for Digital Dealer 22 yet, you’re running out of time. In just a few weeks, hundreds of dealers, dealer solution providers, and allied industries will be meeting down in Tampa, FL for one of the top automotive conferences of the year. Whether your hand is in dealer management, sales, marketing, F&I, or fixed ops, you will find Digital Dealer to be a great learning experience and networking event.

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Topics: Conferences


Creating the Perfect Vehicle Shopping Experience on Dealer Group Websites [Infographic]


It's no surprise that today's consumers are shopping for their next vehicle online. According to a relatively recent Millward Brown Digital study, 85 to 90 percent of auto shoppers conduct online research. That's not to say that traditional advertising is dead...

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Topics: Dealers, Vehicle Shopping