Manufacturer Stock Images: Do Yourself a Favour and Stop Using Them
Are you discouraged with the online conversion rate of your dealership website or inventory ads? Perhaps you’re having trouble driving traffic to your Vehicle Detail Pages, or you are seeing a low conversion rate once potential customers get there? The issue may be an easier fix than you think. If you’re using manufacturer stock images, you’re likely losing consumer interest and losing it fast. Today’s modern, tech-savvy consumer quickly identifies a stock image and is quick to move onto VDP’s offering live photos.
Why the disconnect? Those shopping for used cars are well aware that the vehicle is not in mint condition, as a stock image implies. Furthermore, stock images rarely reflect the exact features of the automobile being sold. Believe it or not, consumers are even skeptical of stock images when shopping for new cars. Rather than viewing doctored images from a manufacturer, consumers want to see live images of the vehicle they’re reviewing online.
The Case for Using Live Images
When using live images, you’re setting expectations before a consumer ever steps onto your lot. Again, this is true for both new and used cars. For years there has been an assumption in the industry that consumers understand that when buying new, they can have virtually any feature they want. However, many consumers are not aware of this. In addition, many consumers are looking to find a car on a lot in their area without going through the process of searching for alternative options. The best way to attract these ready-to-buy individuals? Serve them live images of course!
It’s Not All About the Images
In addition to providing quality, live images, it’s also critical to create engaging, informative VDPs. Yet another area that often trips dealerships up is that vehicle detail page itself. All too often these descriptions are riddled with industry jargon and details that don’t resonate with the average consumer. Consider what questions your potential customers typically ask, and use your VDP as an opportunity to address each.
Take the Time
In taking the time to snap live images of each vehicle on your lot, and to write detailed vehicle descriptions, you will greatly increase consumer interest in your inventory. According to J.D. Power and Associates, the average consumer visits 1.4 dealerships before making a buying decision, down from 4.5 in 2005. Why the drastic shift? Consumers complete the majority of their comparison shopping online, from the comfort of home. If your VDPs are falling short, you’re leaving business on the table.
If you don’t have the resources on your staff to snap live images and write detailed vehicle descriptions, consider hiring a young college graduate. In assigning this task to a young professional with a journalism or writing background, you can improve the quality of the ever-important VDP.
Tips for Taking Winning Vehicle Pictures
✓ Remove distracting objects from the shot
✓ Get creative with angles
✓ Take close-ups of instantly recognizable features
✓ Zoom out and get closer to the vehicle to exaggerate key features
✓ Use a tripod
✓ Snap interiors with a boom arm to get angles you otherwise could not
✓ And do take photos of the scratches or marks on pre-owned cars. It shows honesty and sets expectations early, which customers love.
If you choose to hire a young professional, be sure and select someone with an eye for photography. Ask them to snap some shots of a car on your lot during the interview process. In taking the time to select the perfect candidate, you can ensure that your vehicle descriptions are a cut above!
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