Increasing Dealer Engagement Online with Kijiji Autos

Earlier this month, Kijiji Autos released our Monthly Trend Report for May, which showed that leads per listing were up 29% nationally yoy, and that time spent on VDP’s and VDP photos increased by 7 seconds and 11 seconds respectively versus this time last year.

The Kijiji Autos Monthly Trend Report is a resource we’ve developed to help dealers better understand car shopping trends. The report analyzes data from Kijiji Autos Properties each month, covering national and regional results across a number of engagement categories.

So what can dealers take away from these results?

This data shows us that Canadians are still interested in car shopping and have the intent to buy in the future, despite the challenges we’ve observed in the automotive industry over the past few months. We’ve provided some simple merchandising tips below, which dealers can use to capitalize on current interest in online car shopping.

Photos: Drive differentiation
Listing photos are like a first impression - you only get one chance. It’s important to keep inventory photos fresh and appropriate to the current season. Shooting photos indoors in a closed environment can help prevent customers from noticing that a vehicle has been on your lot for an extended period of time.

Your photo checklist should also include: a clean car interior, a sparkling exterior (no dirt, grime or salt!), good lighting and a focused image. Most importantly, you should have a photo that meets this criteria before posting a listing at all - customers need to see the vehicle before they can make a decision about it. By including multiple photos from various angles, you can also increase your listing views by 75%*.

Descriptions: Get to the point
Customers expect detailed product descriptions, so your listing should include everything they need to know about the vehicle, without them needing to search for more information. This includes vehicle pricing, payment options, trim and package details and full car history, such as accidents, previous owner history and any extra features the vehicle comes with.

In the description, it’s best to avoid acronyms and dealership jargon so that customers can easily understand what’s available to them. Keeping to sentence case (not caps lock) helps improve readability, and using simple terms also allows for better search engine optimization, increasing ad visibility.

Handling Leads
When customers respond to a listing, they receive an automatic email notification alerting them of a potentially delayed response. Use this email as an opportunity to provide accurate information to customers, directing them to the most appropriate contact for their query - whether that’s a general manager, sales manager or otherwise. You can also provide an emergency service contact number for ease!

To ensure leads are responded to in a timely manner, it can be helpful to set up a single email account for this purpose, and have someone available to answer it during business hours. Finally, if your dealership has social media accounts or an active website, it can be equally important to monitor those channels.

As a best practice, you should set up call rerouting to your cell phone or CRM system. This ensures you won’t miss a call, or if you do, customers will be forwarded to a relevant answering machine recording. We would recommend updating this recording as frequently as needed, particularly when changing business hours and to include any COVID-19 regulations that may affect a customer’s car shopping experience.

For more information about online inventory best practices: download guide.

Source: Kijiji Autos Properties Internal Data, 2020