With an increased emphasis by the various levels of government in the United States to bring transparent and accurate pricing to digital advertising by automotive dealerships, the need has arisen for a solution to price vehicles properly. Automotive vendor Automark Solutions has released the VIPs dealer marketing tool to help dealers stay compliant and increase sales.
With VIPs, dealers will be able to easily price their vehicles without having to manually plug in every individual number. It sets pricing rules that the dealer defines to give them complete control while keeping the time spent down to a minimum.
Dealers can set rules that take into account criteria such as days in inventory for each individual vehicle, retail pricing versus lease pricing, and vehicle specifications and options. Dealers can dig down into the vehicles to set rules based upon model, trim, drive type, engine size, transmission style, and even bed size on pickup trucks.
“One of the biggest challenges that dealers face with inventory advertising is that they don’t have an easy way to control their pricing,” said Anne Marie Baumann, Chief Operating Officer at Automark Solutions. “VIPs gives dealers the control they need to manage profits and sales while saving them time throughout the whole process.”
It isn’t just about controlling the individual prices. One of the most important components of VIPs is its ability to automatically apply and display incentives. Dealers can plug in national, OEM, or regional incentives automatically. The FTC’s recent cases against dealers who are not compliant with transparent pricing makes this portion of the product a necessity.
Whether for car sales or leasing, the tool allows dealers to stay compliant while maintaining a competitive edge. It applies available APRs for sales and applies lease residuals and money factors for lease deals.
Another factor that has been available in other industries but that has been absent in automotive is the ability to set different rules for different websites. Travel, insurance, and hospitality industries have been doing this for years. VIPs brings it to the automotive industry.
How a vehicle is priced on a third-party site can be different from the pricing on the dealership’s own website. This becomes important when taking into account default sorting features on the third-party sites, allowing dealers to position their vehicles at the top of standard searches.
In accordance with compliance and public relations needs, VIPs also gives dealers the ability to identify pricing discrepancies and profit leaks. When a vehicle pricing rule is put in that does not seem to be in line with standard pricing practices, VIPs alerts the dealership before it is placed on digital properties.
“If a dealer means to apply a $2,000 discount but accidentally adds an extra zero, it can be disastrous,” said Baumann. “VIPs won’t allow that to happen.”
VIPs is scheduled for official release in the first quarter of 2015 but interested dealers can apply to take advantage of the benefits immediately.