Five changes auto recyclers can make right now to improve their online marketing.
1. Make sure your website is mobile optimized.
According to Salisify, we know that in 2023, 77% of shoppers use a mobile device to search for products and if your site isn’t designed for an optimal mobile experience, you will lose that potential customer. Well, 73% of them at least. That’s the number of people who will bounce (or in our language, leave your website) without going any further once they land on your page and it doesn’t work on their mobile device.
Go to your website now, on your mobile device:
• How does it look?
• Can you easily navigate between each page, is the menu easily clicked on?
• How do the images appear on a small screen? Are they resizing correctly?
If they are not working efficiently or appear clunky or not usable at all, you have a problem.
Did you know that if your site is not mobile optimized, Google will lower your ranking in search results? Which means it’s going to be even harder for people to find your website – even in some cases, when they are looking for you specifically.
2. Your sales team MUST be collecting email addresses. Immediately.
This is your direct channel to communicate, build relationships with and nurture your customers. Even if you are not ready to start email marketing, create the process now. Whilst most YMSs don’t require you to request an email address, your team needs to start changing their ways and asking for them. Now.
The good news? There is an easy way to do it in our industry, and this one process could implement almost immediately: Your sales team needs to simply add one additional step to their current process and request, “Could I please take your email so I can send you this quote?”
The benefits of this is two-fold. You get to collect their email for further communication plus they have a record of you, your business and the part you quoted on in their email inbox. It’s easy for them to find you again – easy for them to buy from you again.
There is a reason that all the big and small retailers ask to email you your receipt after you purchase from them. Gap, Walmart, Target, you name it. They will ask for your email to send you a receipt. Hint: It’s not to help you keep a track record of your purchases. It’s so they can continue to market to you even after you leave the store. Remind you of their sales, competitive prices, features and benefits – they want to establish a relationship with you so that you…yep, you guessed it, so that you spend your money at their store. They can stay front of your mind!
3. Start posting regularly on your social media.
Your social media tells a lot about you to a lot of passive, potential customers who might want to do business with you. 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying. The overwhelming majority of retail consumers start their journey with online research (Source: GE Capital Retail Bank).
Most of them do this research by looking at your social media. Facebook will rank very highly on Google search results. Make sure you have an active account with posts from three to four times a week, showcasing your new vehicles and inventory, behind the scenes, your yard, and reposting reviews from customers. This all works to establish trust online so that the customer chooses to do business with you. 4.76 billion people around the world now use social media, your customers may not be spending their days on TikTok filming their latest dance moves, but they are using social media. Almost all of them are using it daily.
4. Ask for Google reviews.
Have you heard the saying, “If you don’t ask you won’t get?” This is very true for Google reviews. Sadly, people are very quick to jump on and leave a bad review for a negative experience, but many forget to go on and leave a review for a great experience – but had they been asked, most would be more than happy to. Especially if you make it really simple for them and just ask the question.
In the U.S. over 99.9% of customers read reviews when they shop online (Source: 2021 report by PowerReviews). So, Google reviews matter. And whilst a negative review may be unavoidable from time to time, most customers can so beyond the complaint – they just want to see how you manage and respond. That says more about you than the occasional negative review.
QR codes on your packaging, at the front desk, or a link in your emails. There are many ways to make it very quick and easy for a customer to get to your Google reviews. What can you do to start making sure you are asking for those reviews?
5. Install a mobile chat to your website.
Web chat is gaining momentum at a rapid rate. It’s a “must have” for auto recyclers in 2023. There are plenty of web chat plugins available and there is definitely a clear value add to the customer experience when you have this and use it. But, there is little point to have this and not respond to inquiries. That’s the equivalent of having a phone and not answering it. So, please make sure you assign a sales rep to take responsibility for this channel.
You can look at Podium, which is the industry goliath, but look at the other options out there as well. Some charge much less percentages on sales.
Whilst there are fees involved, remember that not all customers want to pick up the phone and call you anymore and if your competitors are offering that function, they are very likely to purchase from someone else.
Marketing is often an afterthought for busy businesses. It can also seem overwhelming when you know there is a lot to do, especially when it won’t impact the bottom line, effective immediately. But a strong marketing strategy, and a robust digital ecosystem that works together and is managed effectively, will without question, see a significant increase in your profits.
Chris Daglis is Managing Director at PARTnered Solutions and Founder & Managing Director at All Auto Recalls. All Auto Recall’s aim is to make it as easy as possible, particularly for auto recyclers, insurers, auction houses and other industry stakeholders, with large numbers of vehicles and/or parts, to access information about related recalls and ensure they are safe to use or supply in accordance with the legislation.
To learn more, visit www.autopartneredsolutions.com.