Nothing sells a car on your website like a video. JAMES BATCHELOR reports in an easy way to get them on your digital forecourt
Customers are becoming more and more savvy when it comes to buying a car. They can learn as much as they want about a vehicle they’re interested in buying in the time it takes to hard-boil an egg. But providing customers with general information is one thing; showing your customer the car they want, and making them come to your dealership is quite another.
This is what Trade Centre Wales found. Mike Harper, web sales manager for the firm, explains: ‘We used to sell our cars mostly through traditional adverts, and our website was more about giving information about where we were and special offers than actually selling cars.
‘recently we have come to realise that the web is more important. We have found that customers don’t read the text, so it was highly important for us, as a company, in moving forward that we were going to use photography and video to present the cars in the best light possible. Video is the way forward – you can’t get any better than that,’ explained Harper.
One thing is for sure, video is going to play an increasingly important role in dealer’s businesses in the years to come. It’s all very well shooting some footage on video camera, but how can you integrate it into your website easily? YouTube has its place – but professional businesses, such as yours, need a professional solution. That’s where autos On Show’s innovative software can help.
‘The software we have created for dealers adds extra value to the customer who is looking to buy a vehicle from a dealer’s website,’ autos On Show managing director adam Price explained.
With the use of a turntable, a camera, and autos On Show’s software, a dealer can turn a dull advert into one that’s alive on video.
‘In under 60 seconds a dealer can do all of the external photography of the vehicle, a full 360-degree spin of the vehicle, and make the car available online and visible immediately both through mobile devices and the website,’ says Price.
The idea was simple one. Price adds: ‘Imagine I’m a potential buyer and photographs aren’t always enough for me. So we thought it would be nice to see the vehicle as if I was actually there, walking around it, but in the comfort of my home.
‘We realised that a dealer is busy enough without messing around with video and photography so we had to turn something technical into a streamlined process – so instead of adding time to what they have to do, we would reduce the time on what they would normally do but would also add extra value to it.’
So, how does the product work? I’m not going to tell you how it works otherwise you’ll go off and do it,’ Price jokes. ‘But the software works in two ways. We spent three years creating a system that allows dealers to just drag the file on to the software, and then our software does everything else for them. Once they’ve done that and as soon as the videos have gone online, the videos are available straightaway and displayed in a fantastic way. We’ve taken the headaches away with this software.’
There are two set prices for dealers which are dependent on the number of vehicles they have. ‘Less than 500 vehicles per month – it’s £3 per car, per month,’ says Price. ‘500 or more it is £2 per car per month. That’s the price of a coffee.’
Some of you will be thinking you can get all that for free using YouTube, so we asked Price why he thinks you should use his software instead. His reply was a simple one: He explained that autos On Show takes the hassle out of editing and uploading video.
The software takes your camera’s raw video footage, chops out some still photography from it, which is used as part of the mini player as an incentivefor buyers to click on it, and then crunches the file into one that’s compatible for your site. Within minutes of shooting it can be live on your site.
So what are the other benefits? Price adds: ‘Your stock gets shown in a completely different way. When the customer comes to the dealership they are further down the buying process – so the aim is when a customer does cross the dealer’s threshold, they are more likely to buy.’
The software has been robustly tested by various dealerships for three months, and the company has already had interest from some big clients in the motor industry. ‘We’ve got Motorpoint signed up,’ says Price. ‘They saw it on the Monday, we went to see them on the Wednesday, and they signed on the same day. The same happened with Salisbury audi. Everyone sees the benefit, not just the gimmicky value.’
Trade Centre Wales was the first dealer that signed up for the software. ‘Our partnership with autos On Show has been fantastic,’ added Harper. ‘At Trade Centre Wales we are always looking for exiting new ways to present our business. With the help of autos On Show we will even be introducing a facility soon where the customer will be able to purchase the car they see on video online. They will come in and go straight to collections, test drive it, and if they are happy they will just drive away.’
How dealers use the system
TRADE Centre Wales has equipped a studio to help them make the videos of their stock easily. They sourced a turntable and installed powerful lights to show their cars off in the best possible way.
‘After some time tweaking it so it worked the way we wanted it to, we have got to the stage where the process takes a couple of minutes,’ explained Trade Centre Wales’ Mike Harper.
But you don’t need a dedicated building, turntable, and lights! The Autos On Show software can work for anyone. ‘Salisbury Audi don’t have the space to have a turntable,’ explained Autos On Show’s Adam Price. ‘They have someone walk around the car with the camera while someone explains the spec – it all works the same way. Whether you spin the vehicle or walk around it, the process of picking it up and dropping it into the software and it being instantly available on your website is the same.’