Tyler Ward, Digital Marketing Strategist, Seattle
Facebook Marketplace is a platform on the Facebook website that launched back in 2016. Millions of people use it every day to buy clothes, furnish their apartments, and get cheap bargains from fellow users near them. In 2018, following the success of this new platform; Facebook launched advertisements for Marketplace, allowing businesses to target an audience that is already looking to purchase a specific or similar product. Utilizing the leverage that Facebook has with consumers and creating a quick and easy one-stop shop for both social and market needs, Facebook Marketplace is quickly becoming the biggest ecommerce site out there.
Although Facebook might not be the initial or obvious option for an auto dealership when it comes to sales, there are major benefits to becoming involved and using the platform to its full advantage. In this article we will go over the reasons why auto dealers should make Facebook marketplace a priority in growing their business and selling cars using ecommerce.
If there wasn’t enough reason to start this today, adding the entire auto dealership’s inventory onto the Facebook Marketplace platform is a completely free process. However, in order to put up the dealership’s available cars, each one must be listed manually. That being said, since the listing aspect of this is free, many dealerships hire third party companies to post the full list of cars onto Facebook to make things easier.
By manually entering all of the products available, Facebook allows for the product details to be specific on marketplace. In this way, buyers can see multiple photos of an item from different angles, get an idea of mileage, make, model, and any other details necessary to the ultimate purchase decision. Then, if these details are not quite enough and the consumers are left confused with more questions to be asked, or equally if they would like to express interest and schedule a time to see the car- there is a fast and easy form of communication available.
In any big purchase decision, speedy, positive, and reliable interaction with the company or salesperson is crucial. With Facebook Marketplace, not only can the user see that a business is bonafide, but they can automatically and directly contact the dealership through the Facebook messenger. This is significant because messenger is a trusted and familiar application. Many individuals use messenger on a day to day basis in order to speak with friends and family, therefore they will be more receptive to the use of the application when it comes to getting in touch with business owners. For the dealers on the other side of the messenger app, it makes for an easy way to get in touch and keep in touch with clients in order to work towards meeting goals and specific needs for a new car. Through Messenger, businesses can make themselves available to answer questions or to even arrange a test drive in a few convenient seconds.
Exposure to Warm Leads
Although listings on the radio or on a billboard may be aesthetic, those exposed to the advertisement might not even be interested. Facebook marketplace, being a place where individuals go to make a purchase, has users that already have an interest. It is rare for an individual to go onto Facebook marketplace and do a search for automobiles if the individual had no need or interest. The app itself has many other social and entertainment features, but when people go to Marketplace, they are looking to buy something. In addition, Marketplace is being used more and more for auto dealers and therefore more individuals are logging in to find their new car, so might as well be the one they choose.
Important to Note
Before getting started on Facebook marketplace to ramp up sales and bring in hot leads to the dealership, there are a few things that are important to note. First, auto dealers can not list cars that are new. According to Facebook, the only cars that can be posted to the marketplace platform must be from a certified pre-owned inventory. Second, the actual transaction can not be made over Facebook. Marketplace is a way to connect buyers with sellers, but there is not an option to make an actual purchase through the tools provided in Marketplace. Lastly, Facebook marketplace is not part of the Facebook feed. Although it is on the website and a part of the platform, unless shared to a specific page, the listing from the auto dealership can only be found via the marketplace platform.
Ecommerce is a fast-growing industry with hundreds of options for business owners, including auto dealerships, to choose from. Although keeping up to date and knowing which platforms are going to generate the most leads is difficult, data from quarterly Facebook updates show that Marketplace is not the one to be missing out on. With over 800 million active users on Marketplace, there is a big chance for growth and sales on a social app that most individuals are using in their day to day already. Not only does Facebook marketplace generate warm leads, but it allows dealers to get in instant communication with those interested. Using this free feature on Facebook will bring in more traffic to the brick and mortar and make sure to create loyal customers from that first visit and on. There is no time to waste, auto dealers should put up their entire inventory onto Marketplace for immediate success at a low cost.