And now the most important number when selling used cars (Part 3 of 5)

062215 IL And now the most important number when selling used cars (Part 3 of 5)_1

Consider nine your lucky number.

So suggests a white paper on results of a customer survey by CarStory, a company that provides independent reports about vehicles and features in specific markets.

“From our survey, we learned that most people who buy a used vehicle do so to save money, or at least to get more bang for their buck while minimizing depreciation,” says CarStory in its recent report. “Based on this, we looked at ways that dealers could price vehicles to improve consumer interest.”

RELATED: The first commandment for turning used-car shoppers into buyers (Part 1 of 5) and The most important three-letter word when selling used cars (Part 2 of 5)

And what pricing insight did the survey provide? That the number “9” is better than “0.” Seriously.

“We looked at ways that dealers could price vehicles to improve consumer interest,” says CarStory in its report, How to Convert Used Car Shoppers to Buyers. “We started with an obvious question: What effect does ending a price in 9 have on consumer interest and conversion? This, of course, is the oldest trick in the book and one that is detailed in the journal of Quantitative Marketing and Economics.”

“We found that dealers that end their prices in 99 convert shoppers from the search results pages to vehicle detail pages much more often,” reports CarStory. “Prices that end in 99 versus 00 showed a 16 percent lift in SRP-to-VDP conversion. Prices that end in 999 performed nine percent better than those ending in 000. … Take away: Always end your price with multiple 9s.”

But, apparently, the number nine isn’t just important in use-vehicle pricing, according to CarStory. It also comes into play in the number of photos dealerships should use to maximize impact on shoppers.

Classic “hero” shot of used truck for sale.

Classic “hero” shot of used truck for sale.

“The first best practice when it comes to images: represent the car accurately … [because] misrepresenting the car online will just lead to disappointment and frustration in person,” says CarStory. “Second best practice: Use fewer images [on non-dealer websites] that show the vehicle highlights, including the hero shot, dashboard, seating configurations and key features.”

And by fewer images, CarStory apparently means nine. Not 10. Not 20. Certainly not 30. Just 9.

“Using fewer photos may seem counterintuitive, but we looked at lead submission rates on vehicles based on the number of images the posting contained,” said the CarStory report. “We found that nine images offered optimal lead submission potential. Postings with nine images saw a 50 percent higher lead submission rate than those without any images, 56 percent higher lead submission rate than those with 20 images [and] 71 percent higher lead submission rate than those with 30 images.”

“It appears that consumers are suffering from image fatigue,” said CarStory. “We see some listings with 40 images. When you share so many images it forces the consumer to navigate the picture carousel to find the ones that best tell the vehicle’s story.”

Now, what’s your lucky number?

Next: Calls to action: When words matter most for your sales funnel

Posted in Industry, News, Used Cars

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