Car Sales Across the UK face a U-turn: What can car dealers do to survive this rocky road?
As we enter into a brand new year, car dealers across the country have been left fearful after an SMMT report stated that new car sales in the UK have fallen for the first time in six years. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) new car sales have declined by an astonishing 5.7% since 2016.
The trade association released figures showing that 2.54 million new cars were registered in 2017 compared with 2.69 million the previous year, whilst the month of December experienced an even steeper decline.
So what is causing this decline?
The trade association has blamed the British government for this drop in sales due to the Brexit result and has also raised concern over potential new diesel charges. The SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes emphasised this saying the drop in diesel sales was “the prime cause” of the rise in CO2 emissions and that the latest low-emission diesels were “vital” in meeting climate change targets. Economic uncertainty amongst potential car buyers has been attributed to the result of Britain choosing to leave the European Union in June 2016. Both business and consumer confidence has been seriously affected since the vote, causing consumers to postpone major purchases like car buying.
The worrying news is that Hawes predicts even more of a slump to follow, expecting a further 7% decrease by next year, he went on to say: “2017 has undoubtedly been a very volatile year and the lack of economic growth means that we expect a further weakening in the market for 2018. The upside for consumers, however, is some very, very competitive deals.”
Surviving 2018: Top Tips For Car Dealers
Switch focus to used car market
Pendragon, the UK’s number two dealer group, have announced their plans to concentrate on the used car market, as this will be where the majority of car sales come in this year. The national car supermarket chain, Motorpoint also predicted most of 2018’s profits will come from used cars. This pattern is due to the increase in new car prices. It’s essential that dealers across the country evolve with the industry buying trends in order to accomodate consumer preferences.
Local searches will rule 2018 - ensure your discoverable
The internet still remains the number one source for searching for vehicles. A car shopper’s journey will still tend to start with a search engine, such as Google. However when it comes to car shopping, a buyer’s online journey also ends with a search, but one which is local, when they select the actual dealership they wish to purchase the car from. For dealers which gain most of their profit from local customers, this can be an extremely powerful tool. According to research found by Rebixit, 78% of Google search purchases are local. This research proves a huge opportunity for businesses who dominate their area through their niche.
Being discoverable is therefore crucial
Here are the basics to ensure that you’re being found by online browsers:
- Create a Google My Business Page
- Ensure your NAP details (Names, address, telephone) are consistent across different listings, and also match the ones on your website. (Names, address, telephone
- Build local citations for your business – this is related to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Ensure you earn reviews for you business
Your website MUST tick all the boxes
Your website shouldn’t just serve the purpose of being an ‘online showroom’ it needs to do more than that. You need to consider how your cars are actually being found online? When you search for a car for example, would you go to the seventh page on Google?
- Search Engine Optimisation
Tools like SEO will ensure your dealerships stands ahead of the rest, on search platforms. Don’t worry you don’t have to understand the technicalities of it, just make sure you choose website provider, such as Spidersnet who has SEO as feature included within their package
- Feed your cars to industry leading platforms
Idealy you want your website to automatically feed onto third parties too, in order to expand your chances of selling. Here at Spidersnet we have a wide range of trusted partners such as classified websites Ebay, and AutoTrader, that will ensure your stock is seen in front of 4 million car buyers.
- Website design which is mobile optimised
First impressions are everything, so it’s essential that your website is attractive but also mobile friendly as 70% of web browsers search on mobile. Spidersnet have a team of highly qualified developers and designers on hand to ensure our customers’ websites stand out from other dealers! View our portfolio,
- Consider integrating additional features within your website – THAT DRIVE SALES
What could your website offer that other motor dealers don’t? Spidersnet offer customers a variety of different features, to help you increase sales. For example we can offer Social Media Integration, feeding your stock to your social pages as well as your website. Website chat is also another very beneficial feature, speeding up communication between you and the buyer, reducing your chances of losing a sale. We also offer Aerial Photography & Drone footage which enables customers to really enhance their website with impressive aerial pole photography and HD drone footage. Spidersnet also offers a whole host of other innovative new features. View more features here.
Don’t let your website hold you back from reaching out to potential customers!
Brought to you by The Spidersnet Team