Advertising Tips for Dealers With Low Vehicle Inventory

November 08, 2021

However, some dealers are lucky enough to have a wide variety of vehicles to offer clients, but many are not.


With so many dealerships fighting for your business, how do you set yourself apart from the others? Especially when you have less inventory than most?


By following these advertising tips, auto dealers with small inventories can still make the most out of their limited resources.



First Thing First: Concentrate on the Inventory You Already Have

The first thing to do is concentrate on the inventory you already have. However, this doesn't mean just advertising what you have on your lot right now. Rather, it means that you should look at the best deals and deals of the month currently available from other dealerships in your area.


What are they offering?


Which cars are they highlighting as their top-of-the-line models?


You can then follow suit by promoting these same or similar vehicles for less than what they're asking. This way, not only will customers be more likely to come into your dealership instead of theirs but even if they don't buy anything today - which is always possible - there's still a good chance that down the line when they are looking for a car, they'll consider your dealership.


Even if you don't have any of these used cars on your lot today, it's still worth noting that they are out there. By making sure all of your customers are aware of the hard-to-find cars you offer, you're more likely to attract potential buyers who would otherwise buy from a dealer who; doesn't have the same models in stock.



Make the Most of Your Data

Now that you have a better idea of which deals are out there, take a look at your inventory.


You can learn a lot from having access to data from other dealerships, but make sure you cover all the bases by knowing exactly what each of your vehicles is capable of doing. Which ones will provide the best mileage? What are the safety features of each model?


Which ones have the best resale value? Knowing these things can come in handy when it comes time to advertise. When you know just what your inventory is capable of, you can create ads that appeal directly to potential buyers based on their current needs.


For example, if one of your models has better gas mileage than the other, don't keep this information to yourself. Feature it in the titles of your ads, so people know exactly what they're getting from you.


If one of your vehicles offers a nice array of safety features that others do not have, emphasize this as well. And if you have a couple of different options available with the high resale value, why not sell this as a bonus?


The more you know about your vehicles - and how they compare to those offered by other dealerships - the better your chances of selling them for a good price.



Look For the Inventory You Want

You can even go a step further and look for the inventory that you want. This is an especially good strategy if you're looking to expand your Inventory.


For example, say that one of your competitors just got in a new vehicle that you don't have yet. Since this car appeals to your target market, why not see if you can get your hands on one?


Even if this dealer doesn't want to sell you a car, they may know someone who does.


Always make sure the inventory you're advertising is TOP QUALITY!


This isn't something to take lightly - especially when there's a chance that a customer will be receiving a vehicle that isn't working as it should. Be sure that the cars on your lot are safe and reliable.



Target the Ideal Customer

As a dealer, you want to attract the right kind of customers.


In other words, someone who has been looking for a car recently and has been shopping around will be more likely to buy if they come into your dealership instead of another one. So try advertising the types of cars that specific groups of people are looking for in your area.


For example, a person looking for a convertible is going to have a lot more success buying if they come into your dealership instead of somewhere else where there aren't any convertibles. They can then save time and money by not visiting as many dealerships as it takes to find the car they want.



Simplify the Way You Make Online Purchases

If you're going to be buying a lot of inventory online, do your best to simplify the process for yourself.


For example, if there are cars from an outside dealer that you hope to purchase shortly, see if you can find a website or app that will allow this other dealership's inventory to be easily accessed from your website.


The more ways you make it easier for yourself to purchase inventory, the better your chances are of coming across a customer who might be interested in buying one of these cars off of you.


And remember, if you have small inventories, offer lower prices and promote those hard-to-find models!



Change Over to Monthly Rates

And speaking of cars that are hard to find, you might also want to consider offering monthly rates for any vehicles you have that don't sell as often or where people would rather make payments than buy outright.


People like monthly rates because they allow them the chance to test out a vehicle and see if it's really worth buying later on.



Make Use of Facebook Automotive Inventory Advertisements

Now, if you haven't made the most of Facebook's automotive ads yet, then now is the time.


Many dealerships are still trying to figure out just how much benefit these ads can bring them - let alone how they can best take advantage of them.


However, it doesn't take long for anyone with even a basic understanding of the platform to realize that they can be an invaluable resource. But before you can make them work for your dealership though, you'll need to know how to use them effectively.


Your automotive ads on Facebook are meant to target specific groups of people - based on everything from their age to their location and what they're interested in - so you want to make sure you're placing them in front of the right people.


You can do this by creating a list based on your own dealership's data, but if you don't have that information or don't know where to start, Facebook also offers preloaded interest groups designed to appeal to different types of car owners and non-owners.


Each of these interest groups has its own unique target audience - with options including things like "offered by dealers" and "wants to import cars from Germany" - so you can start right there if your current audience isn't listed.


Or, if you'd prefer, you can simply type out the kind of customers you want to target, and Facebook will do the work for you.


The more specific your ad's audience is, the more likely you are to show up in a customer's News Feed - provided that they have at least one of the listed interests - which only increases the odds that they might click on it out of curiosity.


In other words, the more specific and relevant your ads are, the better chance you have of converting a curious customer into a potential buyer.



Concentrate on Providing Services and Parts

One of the biggest reasons that people choose to buy from a certain dealership is because they can provide those car buyers with the services and parts they need.


This is especially true for those owners who like to keep their model(s) running as long as possible and plan on handing them down to the next generation, who will also want to keep them in working condition.


So, when you're creating ads for your used inventory, make sure to include your service and parts options (along with pricing) whenever possible. If you can provide buyers with the peace of mind that their vehicle will be taken care of - all without having to leave their homes or spend their time dealing with pushy salespeople - then it's a win-win for everyone involved.



Create a Sense of Anticipation

Before you know it, Christmas will be here - and for car dealerships who have a large enough inventory, that can mean a lot of potential sales.


So, why not get a head start on things by creating a sense of anticipation leading up to the holiday?


For many dealerships from all over the country, putting their vehicles up for sale before the current year has come to a close can help them make extra money.


In fact, some dealerships will opt to put their vehicles up for sale as early as August or September - long before Black Friday and Cyber Monday have even had a chance to roll around.


Not only does this help them prepare for the holiday rush, but it also gives potential customers more time to keep their eye on the prize and saves them from having to make a snap decision when they're likely to be at their most distracted.


And while you might think that creating ads for inventory that won't even arrive at your dealership until after Thanksgiving would be an exercise in futility, it's actually a smart move.



Get Creative in Terms of Automotive Inventory

The more imaginative you can get with your automotive inventory, the better.


Even if you only have a few cars to sell - and don't expect to move too many of them before the holiday season - dealerships from all over the country need to keep in mind that their ads don't always have to be about what they're selling.


Instead, some dealerships might opt to use their inventory to get attention for other things they're selling - like-new vehicles or similar used cars.


For example, if you have one car on sale and don't want to show it off more than once but still want people to be aware of its existence. You can do what some dealerships from all over the US have done and use it to get the word out about the upcoming vehicles that will be arriving soon.


Even used car dealerships who want to sell a few more vehicles before this year is up might benefit from using their current inventory as a way of getting people excited about the cars that will be hitting their lot after Thanksgiving.



FAQs on Low Vehicle Inventory


Why is there a shortage of new car inventory?

Last year, a scarcity of semiconductor chips directly led to a dearth of new cars on dealer lots. Due to shortages of microchips, several manufacturers have stopped production. The average price of a used car in the second quarter of 2021 was $25,410, according to data from Edmunds. That's up 21% from last year's $20,942!


How long will the semiconductor chip shortage last?

The shortage is expected to pass by early 2023, according to the president of chipmaker STMicro.


How long will vehicle shortage last?

The worldwide shortage of integrated circuits that are disrupting car manufacturing may last well into 2022 and beyond, according to a prominent German car industry figure.


In Summary

Dealerships who wish to market their automotive old or new vehicle inventory during the holiday season will find that it's more important than ever to keep things fresh.


Instead of plopping down another ad on Facebook or Google that simply shows off your stock, try thinking outside the box and putting some creative marketing into play.


If you can show customers how they can save money on the car they want by purchasing it during this year's holiday season, then you stand a much better chance of getting their business.


And even if your dealership doesn't have existing inventory levels to speak of just yet, now is still the time to get creative with what you do have and show off other models that will soon be arriving on the lot - if only to get people thinking about your inventory before it comes in.


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