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Nancy Dunham | Jul 29, 2022
The lowly used-car window sticker is getting an upgrade.
Some dealers have boosted sales, web traffic and leads by adopting high-tech lot labels for used cars and as a supplement to standard Monroneys, says Ryan Matejka, COO and co-founder of Redline Automotive Marketing, a company that sells the advanced window stickers.
The customized labels include QR or text codes that allow shoppers to link to photos, videos and detailed vehicle descriptions of new and used vehicles, Matejka says.
“Window stickers going back to the early days were very rudimentary,” Matejka tells Wards, referring to Monroney sticker requirements enacted by congressional legislation in 1958.
“The customized window stickers go on the outside of the glass, so it makes it easier for shoppers to scan QR codes and read the print, especially on cars with tinted windows.”
Dealers can order customized labels to adhere to any regulations in their states and don’t have to spend significant portions of their budgets to boost their digital marketing reach. Stickers sold by Redline cost, on average, just over $235 for 250, or 94 cents per label. Buyers’ guides also are available.
Customers such as Colin Carrasquillo, digital marketing manager-Nielsen Automotive Group, based in East Hanover, NJ, are taking advantage of the photography, video and other digital marketing offerings from Redline that tie into the text or QR codes.
“(We chose to use) Redline because of the level of service that they were providing,” Carrasquillo tells Wards. “They take pictures of all of the vehicles that we have at the dealership. So we are showing actual photos, not CGI or stock imagery. And of course, from a digital marketing perspective that has increased our engagement on our website and provided a better customer experience.”
Carrasquillo notes the dealership also uses Redline services to show customers “360-degree spins” of vehicles, close-up shots of the interiors and more.
“There’s also syndication of these videos that go to our YouTube channel,” he says. “That’s great for our dealership’s presence and for generating organic activities.”
From a dollars-and-cents perspective, this year to date Redline generated 13 sales and $62,000 in gross profit from the group’s three top-grossing stores, Carrasquillo adds.
This new breed of window stickers satisfies shopping preferences of both new and used car shoppers.
A Redline survey of 282 vehicle owners who shopped online for a vehicle in the past three years found that 83.7% of respondents who intend to buy a new vehicle in the next 12 months prefer a video walkaround of a car.
The survey also found that 84% of respondents said photos of “wear and tear” on used vehicles would increase their purchasing comfort level.
Redline survey respondents indicated a strong preference for video. Results showed 76% of females “find video useful,” as did 64% of males. That’s significant, given that women make 60% of vehicle buying decisions, according to a survey by Boston Consulting Group published in the Harvard Business Review.
Giving shoppers an easy way to access information builds trust in the dealership and takes away pressure, says Matejka.
“It takes away the awkwardness when a salesperson approaches (a shopper) and says, ‘I see you’re looking at this car,’ and is told ‘I don’t need any information,'” says Matejka. “The salesperson can just say, ‘Well, if you do, just scan the QR code for information. You can pull it up later and it’s got all the photos, the videos and the most accurate pricing information that might be less expensive.”
The shopper’s phone number is relayed by text, which allows the dealership to reach out. Data compiled by the mobile messaging platform Aviaro and presented by Redline shows nine out of 10 consumers prefer text-message marketing to other forms, and 98% of text messages are opened.
“Anything becomes much more effective if it’s literally more visual,” says Matejka. “You want to allow the consumer to choose their method of communication and actually default to whatever it is, such as email, phone, in person or texting. But most people prefer texting these days. And it’s a very impactful but soft way for the dealership to communicate with shoppers.”
More information about text formats