Is your sales lot empty? You can still drive shoppers to your dealership!

Providing pre-orders turns a “no” into a “not yet.”

When inventory is scarce, maintaining a customer base can be difficult, and it can raise concerns about the state of your brand notoriety when your sales lot fills up again. ARI is supporting dealers through inventory slumps by providing expertise on pre-orders.

Here are some best practices for running a successful pre-order campaign:

Choose Your Payment Timeline
To avoid snags in your timeline, determine ahead of time how and when shoppers will provide payment on a pre-order. Choose the timeline that best fits your dealership and your customers’ preferences:

  • Immediate payment: Shoppers fulfill a standard purchasing process with a longer shipping time.
  • Delayed payment: Shoppers place an order and pay at a later time (eg, when the unit arrives).

Create Website Banners
Your website should be your sale hub, which means it needs to reflect your current sales strategies. Website banners provide organic marketing to drive website visitors toward your pre-order campaign. Use high-quality visuals and concise messaging and place your banners above the fold of your website to increase awareness.

Grab Shopper Attention Through Videos
There are many ways you can use video to increase shopper interest and interaction. While inventory is in limbo, you can still put that one lone model on your lot to good use by creating a full walkaround video to demo its special features and enhance your inventory listings. Videos on your website can boost the customer experience by providing tours of your dealership and inventory. To further the reach of your videos, share them on your social media with the message that the featured units currently are on pre-order and your store is taking calls today.

Put Your Lead Forms to a New Use
Lead forms are an underutilized resource that already lives on the website. ARI has seen our website lead forms drive up to 10% MORE leads for our dealers. Lead forms are available in two different formats:

  • Traditional: These are the stationary lead forms that reside on primary webpages, such as home page, contact and inventory listings. Adjust the lead form message to encourage leads to inquire about pre-orders and submit their contact information.
  • Popups: Pop-up lead forms can appear in the lower corner of your website as soon as a visitor clicks on your page, which means shoppers potentially can submit a pre-order to your dealership within seconds of arriving on your website.

Update Your Inventory Listings
You may be hesitant to feature inventory that’s not currently available to shoppers. Instead of removing out-of-stock inventory from your website, update the listings that are available for pre-order. If you haven’t already, integrate your dealer management system (DMS) with your website to provide shoppers with current inventory offers at all times. Add overlay text to inventory listings with messages like “Coming Soon” or “Order Ahead” to encourage buyer interest.

Provide Digital Communication
Along with offering pre-orders, your dealership should have an effective digital communication strategy to easily handle the influx of online inquiries. Texting allows you and your shoppers to communicate swiftly and easily no matter where you are standing. And by opting for a dynamic texting platform, you can also collect pre-orders and deposits from buyers who are interested in securing a unit ahead of the general public. Texting fast-tracks the buying journey by ensuring both parties get what they want as soon as possible.

Engage Your Social Media
Social media is a great tool for spreading awareness and keeping your finger on the pulse of shopper interest. Keep your social media at the center of your pre-order campaign:

  • Run targeted ad campaigns: Create ads aimed at people who have expressed an interest in your vertical industry. You can also retarget current customers who purchased a similar unit or part in the past, as well as prospects who looked at pre-order inventory but didn’t convert.
  • Encourage prospects to connect: Customer engagement is the core purpose of your social media brand. Let your audience know they can use direct messaging to ask questions and follow up on current orders. Be sure to respond quickly and sincerely to maintain trust.
  • Listen to your prospects and customers: Listen to what people are saying on social media to understand their pain points and get an idea of what they want to see from your dealership.

Offer a Limited-Time Promo
Encourage shoppers to submit an order by offering a limited-time promo such as a price discount, extended warranty or delayed interest. Campaigns with a “first-come-first-served” nature are likely to create an even bigger buzz among your audience.

Use Slow Periods to Your Advantage
Like all sales seasons, your incoming pre-orders can fluctuate. If you experience a slow period, don’t get discouraged. This this an advantageous time to create marketing content, analyze and optimize your strategy and improve your website’s SEO to attract more buyers.

Successful pre-order campaigns require preparation and follow-through to convert buyer interest into sales. By creating a comprehensive marketing campaign, you can reach a serious volume of potential buyers. With consistent follow-up to all customer enquiries and inventory orders, you can build an even larger customer base than you had before.

Pre-order campaigns can require a lot of time and effort for your team, and expert support is here if you need it. Contact ARI today to connect with our marketing team.