Even in this era of Internet customers and decreased show- room visits, every dealer looking to increase monthly sales volumes knows you can’t make sales if you don’t have customers walking onto the lot.
While outgoing telephone calls and the increasing reliance on Internet departments can bring in some solid leads and sales, the higher margins come from passing motorists who are drawn to pull into the dealership and ideally purchase from your stock.
That age-old question of how to get these potential customers to drop in could be aided with a new breed of auto display that elevates a vehicle on a revolving pedestal that sits 10 feet high in the air, rotating 24 hours a day.
What sets the latest rotating car displays apart from their massive erector-set ancestors is the ease-of-use, small foot- print, fast vehicle change-out and automatic lights that illuminate the vehicles at night.
Sweetening the deal, explains 360 Auto Display, are low- cost monthly lease options with turnkey service.
However, as with any form of advertising, general managers and owners of dealership have only one question: “Will it increase sales and by how much?”
For those intrigued by the concept, here are five criteria that will help determine if this form of advertising might be profitable.
WILL IT INCREASE SALES?
For the forward-thinking dealerships that have already tested this concept, there is deliverable proof of its ability to increase walk-in traffic and significantly boost sales.
“We get good traffic anyway, but our elevated, rotating car display probably increased our numbers by 20 to 30 per cent over the six months we’ve had it,” says Danny Nolan, sales manager at Arriba Motors, with stores in Conroe and Porter, Texas.
Nolan selected a system that fits in a single parking spot and is designed for easy changing of vehicles in 10 to 15 minutes. The system operates 24/7 and runs off a common 20 amp, 110 volt, grounded circuit.
“We put our high profit margin vehicles up there and customers buy them right off the display,” Nolan adds.
MAGIC IN THE MOTION
Prime dealership spots along heavily trafficked highways or roads bring the potential of millions of customers driving by each year. But how do you attract the attention of a driver?
According to Terence Shrimp and J. Craig Andrew’s Ad- vertising, Promotion and Other Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications, advertisements that involve motion increased sales by 51 per cent compared to a similar static display.
This theory favors corner sign holders that spin and flip their signs and inflatable dancing men that gyrate spastically.
The advantage of a spinning car display beyond its motion, explains 360 Auto Display, is that it shows the actual product being sold.
According to John Johnson, general manager at Bates Nissan in Killeen, Texas, the first vehicle he placed on the spinner was a Nissan Juke.
“I thought because the car looks unique, it would catch someone’s attention and it did,” says Johnson.
“A lady was driving by, noticed the Juke and stopped in. She said she had never seen one of them before, thought it was cute and bought it on the spot…”
NO FUSS PROMOTION
360 Auto Display says it takes roughly 15 minutes to swap cars on its car rotator.
The company encourages swapping on an almost daily basis, adding variety to the attention-getting mix.
Unlike older styles with a footprint that can take up as many as eight car slots, modern designs enable the car lift to fit into a single parking space to preserve real estate for additional inventory.
“Busy dealers will also find appeal in a turnkey package where the lift manufacturer delivers the display, sets it up, handles all maintenance, trains employees on how to change out the vehicles, and even arranges for the printing and swapping out of promotional banners when needed,” the company notes.
MOVE PRESENTATION UPSCALE
Giant inflatable gorillas and other balloon products have their place, but some luxury brand vehicle dealerships may want a more sophisticated presentation to capture attention.
Dealers like Nolan agree that putting a fully optioned, top-of-the-line model on a raised, rotating display for all to see sends a message that the dealership offers excellence, luxury and class.
As with any advertising, the question is the cost versus effectiveness.
360 Auto Display says it offers new, short-term leases for dealerships interested in testing the effectiveness of a display without making the large financial commitment of ownership.
Terms are as short as six months and allow owners to test drive the product and monitor the impact on sales without a major impact on the advertising budget.
360 Auto Display says it has distributors in Canada and will ship equipment, set it up and train staff.