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How to reach today’s Used Car Buyer

Trying to reach a used car buyer in today’s a digital age can be mind numbing. With millions of sales at stake a sea of advertising available, how do you reach the largest mass of those potential customers?

Search advertising is certainly one way to reach targeted customers. With ability to drill down used car buyer behaviors, focus on platforms that customers are comfortable with and serve them information that is relevant but engaging. Nothing turns off customer’s more than canned messages.

Consumers will shop well in advance of ever setting foot on a showroom floor. Thirty percent of those customers will use a search engine to begin that search.  Twenty two percent will use reviews to assist in finding a car but most importantly a dealer they can trust. So it’s critical to say the least that dealers maintain positive reviews and work with consumers that leave negative reviews.

The information that consumers gather is not just based around price. Consumers are looking for information about vehicle types, inventory availability, with photos and robust descriptions.  Digital platforms that provide videos for consumers to view in the research they are doing.

Although 77% of used car buyers are shopping from a desktop Smartphones are fast moving up as consumers become more tethered to their phones. Fourteen percent of consumers will use a smartphone to research and shop with. Having a site that is mobile friendly is mandatory in today’s digital space. Consumers can actually shop from your showroom floor while negotiating a deal. So never underestimate the power of the smartphone. Don’t be left behind.

This will get dealers thinking. 60% of consumers are likely to be shopping you while on your showroom floor. 42% of consumers say online ads influence their shopping.

Another 42% are most influenced by online ads from search results, while TV only accounts for about 29% and 17% still rely on print. Digital is the premium space to communicate with consumers.

How does email play into reaching consumers? Can we provide relevant information vs. spam styled information? As a dealer if you have captured enough information to deliver relevant shopping information to a consumer specific to their needs, then yes email is an effective tool.

You will have a 28% greater chance of a consumer opening the email if you have relevant information, or the exact model information they are shopping for. An open email blast will net very little result if any at all. Consumers don’t want to waste time while on a device.

Your email subject line promoting irrelevant information, some 32% of consumers state they are either resentful or irritated with the dealer. Keep email marketing relevant to the individual, unless they are opted in to receive mass style mail. However, if you target consumers that have purchased passenger cars with information that relates to that, your success will be much greater.


Email marketing is best when tied to a seasonal promotion, financing promotion or the like. Consumers are 43% more likely to open that email, or respond to the information more if tied to a seasonal campaign. Research suggests that consumers responding to this seasonal message are within two weeks of making a purchasing decision.

How you reach customers in today’s digital age is key to growing your market share. Providing engaging content will set you apart from the thousands of canned messages that can be found on the internet. Serving your advertising messages on key platforms that consumers use daily will give you the edge. Digital friendly! This will move consumers to your showroom floor… has developed a suite of tools that will assist Tampa used car dealers in focusing their efforts on what is effective in today’s car buying environment. For more information contact our marketing specialists by calling (813) 333-1550.