EXTON, Penn. – As car buyers spend more time online and fewer days in-market,[i]the pressure is mounting for dealers to deliver a more tailored and engaging shopping experience that separates them from the competition. But adapting to the needs of today’s informed and tech-savvy consumer is easier said than done. While 83% of dealers believe they can increase vehicle turn if they improve digital merchandising, only 12% think their online presence is highly differentiated.[ii]

As vehicle sales are increasingly being won and lost online, having a digital merchandising approach that is engaging and targeted is only becoming more critical.

To help dealers turn this industry-wide obstacle into an opportunity and drive greater engagement online, HomeNet Automotive will unveil a new targeted digital merchandising solution as well as several enhancements to its 360-degree capture technology at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in Las Vegas on Feb. 14-17, 2020.

“As vehicle sales are increasingly being won and lost online, having a digital merchandising approach that is engaging and targeted is only becoming more critical,” said Randy Kobat, senior vice president of inventory software at Cox Automotive. “With the latest innovations from HomeNet, we’re elevating the dealer-to-customer relationship dynamic by giving dealers the essential tools they need to create deeper connections with car buyers at every stage of the shopping journey, whether it be on a third-party advertising site or dealership page.”

Bringing a new level of efficiency and personalization to digital merchandising, HomeNet’s latest enhancements include:

Targeted Promotions: 

Set to debut at NADA this year, HomeNet’s all-new Targeted Promotions solution helps enable dealers to automatically generate targeted image content that is uniquely tailored to their dealership’s marketing strategy, helping establish much-needed differentiation online. Targeted Promotions includes three key features:

  • Targeted Image Overlays: Dealers can automatically create custom calls to action within vehicle photos that align to their market strategy on specific advertising sites. By developing special overlays for each online destination, dealers can better track calls and leads and help guide car shoppers toward more informed buying decisions.
  • Targeted Billboards: With Targeted Promotions, dealers can now insert custom designs within the photo stream to tell a stronger story about their dealership.
  • Professional Services: As an added benefit, dealers also receive direct access to a dedicated team of experts at HomeNet who are focused on enhancing online listing quality and streamlining merchandising operations.

"Since we started using Targeted Promotions with HomeNet, we have experienced a significant lift in the number of calls from interested car shoppers,” said Aimee Rogers, marketing manager at Brad Deery Auto Group. “We simply added call tracking numbers to our photo overlays and have been shocked by the increase in online engagement."

SnapLot 360 Enhancements:

Introducing unprecedented automation to the digital merchandising experience at last year’s NADA, HomeNet’s SnapLot 360 solution is being enhanced for 2020 to help ensure dealers can get their inventory online and in front of consumers in a more efficient and engaging manner. According to HomeNet’s 2019 360 Consumer Study, 73% of consumers who browsed and then bought or leased a vehicle rated 360 displays as extremely or very helpful.[iii] SnapLot 360, which is an interior and exterior 360-degree image capture solution, helps dealers capitalize on this sentiment and raise visibility with car shoppers. The solution will now include the following enhancements:

  • Easy Photo Capture: Dealers can now automatically extract photos once an exterior 360 is captured, eliminating the need to capture photos and 360s separately, creating greater efficiency.
  • Automated Tagging: Leveraging the power of machine learning, vehicle hot spots that will draw the attention of online car shoppers, such as the wheels, headlights or trunk, are now automatically tagged.
  • Reporting: Dealers can gain a better understanding of customer engagement through robust reporting capabilities, which measure merchandising performance.

For more information about HomeNet and to schedule a demo at NADA 2020, visit https://www.homenetauto.com/, or visit us at the conference at Booth #2316C.

[i] Cox Automotive, Car Buyer Journey Study, 2019.

[ii] HomeNet Automotive Brand and Product Study, 2018.

[iii] HomeNet 360 Consumer Study, 2019.

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