February Newsletter – Create Price Consistency

February 24, 2016 / Automotive, Featured, Sales / 0 Comments /
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American consumers buy based on prices that end in nines, fives and zeros. Whether they are buying a toothbrush, a pizza, a washing machine or a car, the public has been conditioned to look for a deal, and deals often come in the form of prices and payments with these number endings.

While many dealers have created merchandising strategies that cover their traditional media of TV, radio and direct mail, very few dealers use this approach on other media such as digital. If you run a price of $17,995 on a mass media outlet, can that price be found for that exact vehicle anywhere on your website? In most cases it cannot. If you are running a $10,000 off MSRP message will your VDP for that vehicle show the same offering?

The school of thought (for some) has been to run low prices on media and not give cars away through your online pricing. But if you do not price your cars effectively on your website you lose out on a high rate of conversion. The goal must be on both your new and used vehicles to create price consistency. This way everything matches when you make an impression on a viewer or engage a shopper on your site. It’s a simple concept, but over 70 percent of the time our dealers fail to execute.

If your ad units end in nines then your website units end in nines. If you have always been one to end your traditional media prices in zeros then your website prices should end in zeros.

Any combination of merchandising that you want to be known for or stay consistent with needs to be carried over to your website and all other digital properties. Auto Trader tells dealers to end used car prices in even numbers like $19,000 or $15,000 for better visibility from a price search query. That may work for their one website, but it is not the way the public is used to buying a vehicle or any other retail item.

Some dealership personnel like to get creative with their pricing and end the last three digits in all variations of different numbers. While that may be something fun to do internally for your people it is not the way the public buys. And when a customer sees you create a price on a mass media outlet, your connectivity goes out the window unless they’ve seen the same price and style online.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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