How to improve car sales during an inventory shortage

7.5 minute read

How to improve car sales during an inventory shortage

In recent years, many industries have suffered certain shortages due to disrupted supply chains, labour shortages, and other factors. The automotive industry alone has seen a global shortage of inventory that's unlikely to end anytime soon. In fact, the international shortage of semiconductors used in many car parts on its own has halted the production of around one million vehicles.

Meanwhile, dealerships all over the world have seen over one million fewer vehicles in their inventories. This has made it increasingly difficult for dealerships to increase revenue through availability.

With the shortage of vehicles across dealerships, it's critical to know how to improve car sales with the inventory that dealerships currently have. First, consider where your used inventory is currently coming from, whether you're getting your vehicles through auctions, trade-ins, or other sources. You may also want your marketing materials to state that you'll purchase new buyers' existing vehicles. Generally, there are certain ways to go about increasing your inventory, but what about sales of your existing inventory?

To give you some ideas about how to improve car sales during a shortage, the following are some helpful tips.

1. Prioritise excellent customer experience

If you want to attract more buyers and keep them consistently engaged, you must create the ideal customer experience for everyone. Some components of the perfect customer experience include:
Top-tier customer service — Make sure your sales reps are responsive and that online chatbots guide online visitors toward a sale. Nobody wants to wait too long to hear back from dealerships or other businesses, nor do they want it to seem as if the company doesn't value them. Through good customer service, you'll drive more sales and customer loyalty.

Clear communication — In line with good customer service is good communication. Make sure sales reps are clear about the vehicles available and what matches customers' interests. Sales reps should be helpful and be able to answer customers' questions with efficiency.

Optimised lot — Having a well-organised, clean, and welcoming lot will go a long way in bringing people to your dealership. Even if you have a solid online presence and the best salespeople, a poorly maintained and disorganised lot could quickly diminish any trust that prospective buyers may have had in you.

2. Optimise your lot

To further bring people to your lot, it's important to take the time to optimise it and ensure it's the kind of environment that people would want to visit and shop for a vehicle. Make it inviting by keeping the lot clean and organising existing vehicles to make the lot appear fuller.

When organising your lot, place the vehicles you're most likely to sell in the front of the lot, along with the best deals. You can also park trade-in vehicles in the back because you're not as likely to move those, which means you can block them in to increase movability for other vehicles.

Of course, you'll want to consider how people specifically interact with your lot. Then you can better determine how to organise it.

3. Implement an automated system for smooth processes

One of the best ways to keep your dealership running the way it should is through automated processes. You can achieve automation through the use of automotive business intelligence software, which will help you:

  • Measure your dealership's performance
  • Facilitate good communication between staff and customers
  • Keep all of your data consolidated in a single source

The right automotive BI software will provide in-depth dealership analytics, including car sales analytics. This will help you measure success based on your specific target goals. You can also easily access all necessary data and keep track of your inventory at all times. Software is much more effective than manually updating and maintaining spreadsheets. Finally, you can benefit from cross-channel communication that aligns your teams and provides them with all of the information they need, which can further help boost sales.

4. Explore current lead lists and waiting lists

As new buyers look for a vehicle to purchase, you may already have what they're looking for, including the precise make, model, and features they want. However, this isn't always likely to be the case, particularly if your inventory is extremely limited. If you can't give buyers exactly what they want at the moment, and they're expected to spend a good deal of time on a waiting list, offer them something similar. They might be after certain performance specifications or other elements that an existing vehicle can closely match.
In addition, you can increase used car sales by doing more cold reach-outs to connect with new buyers. For instance, you could send emails advertising certain vehicles or special offers to more of your database. This is a great strategy for how to improve car sales, regardless of whether you've already established a relationship with the people on your list. This might attract someone in the market for a vehicle who may have otherwise forgotten about your dealership.

When engaging in cold reach-outs, try to keep your messages concise and to the point. Also, tailor your messaging to each segment of your audience. Doing so will engage more recipients.

Increase sales and overcome any type of shortage

Knowing how to improve car sales can help you make the most of your existing inventory if you ever experience a shortage. While the current shortage will end eventually, it's far from the only shortage that a dealership is likely to experience. To make sure you're well-equipped to handle future shortages, take all of the necessary steps and effectively manage and maintain your dealership. You won't need to worry about falling too far behind because of a shortage if you have:

  • Good customer service
  • Automated processes
  • A good marketing strategy
  • A consistently organised and inviting lot

To learn more about SalesLogs's innovative platform and how to improve car sales through increased automation, book a demo today.

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