Social/Digital Media

eBay Motors announces enhanced buyer protection

SAN JOSE, Calif.  - 

eBay Motors and its Business and Industrial division have announced a move aimed at increasing buyer confidence.

As such, the company is doubling its coverage protection up to $100,000 on its Vehicle Purchase Protection (VPP) and Business Equipment Purchase Protection (BEEP) programs, applicable to purchases after Sept. 1.

“At eBay, nothing is more important than trust. Without it, our global marketplace couldn’t function,” said Tony Hoang, head of vehicles at eBay Motors. “For our shoppers who are purchasing vehicles or business equipment, we’re extending our buyer protection programs to help put our buyers at ease when shopping on eBay.

“Whether consumers are browsing or ready to make a critical purchasing decision, the scope of these protection programs is unique in the automotive ecommerce industry, empowering our sellers’ and dealers’ growth by offering a worry-free, secure shopping experience," he continued.

The updated VPP program is complemented by eBay Motors partnerships with WeGoLook for third party on-site inspections and warranties for automotive parts and accessories provided by Assurant.

The expanded protection programs consist of the following:

—eBay Motors’ VPP covers up to $100,000 for eligible purchases on eBay Motors for vehicle non-delivery, missing title or major undisclosed defects. Buyers are automatically enrolled in the program at no charge. Learn more about what’s covered and eligibility here.

—BEPP covers a buyer’s eligible purchase for up to $100,000 on eBay capital equipment in case of deliberate fraud or misrepresentation by the seller, including non-delivery, receiving an item that has undisclosed damage, the item was described as being less than 10 years old, or receiving an item that differs in type, make or model from what was described in the listing. Learn more about what’s covered and eligibility here.

 

Carvana moves into Midwest with Ohio launch

COLUMBUS, Ohio  - 

Online auto retailer Carvana — creator of the world’s first coin-operated Car Vending Machine — announced its expansion into Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus marks the company’s first Midwest launch and its seventh new market launch over the past seven months.

“We couldn’t be happier to be expanding into our first market in the Midwest, and to have that market be Columbus,” said Ernie Garcia, founder and CEO of Carvana.

“We chose Columbus because it’s centrally located within Ohio — one of our key states for growth — and is also the 15th largest city in the country,” Garcia said. “With a high concentration of early tech adopters who gravitate toward services like ours, the Carvana experience is built for a market like Columbus. We’re excited to be in a position to bring all that Carvana has to offer to customers in the area.”

Garcia is scheduled to speak during Used Car Week, scheduled for Nov. 14-18 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas.

Carvana is the only site where customers can search for, buy, finance and sell their car entirely online in 20 minutes or less without ever stepping foot inside a dealership. Carvana also provides a seven-day return policy for every vehicle purchased from its inventory of more than 5,000. 

With more than $460 million in funding, the company has heavily invested in advanced, proprietary technology to give customers every tool they need to complete the entire car-buying or selling transaction from the comfort of their own home, all while saving an average of $1,681 per purchase.

The company has delivered cars to customers in 46 states and provides delivery options nationwide.

Carvana currently offers as-soon-as next-day delivery to more than 110.3 million residents in 16 markets, which include:

—Atlanta

—Austin, Texas

—Birmingham, Ala.

—Charlotte, N.C.

—Columbus, Ohio

—Dallas

—Houston

—Jacksonville, Fla.

—Miami

—Nashville, Tenn.

—Orlando, Fla.

—Raleigh, N.C.

—Richmond, Va.

—San Antonio

—Tampa, Fla.

—Washington D.C.

To show its appreciation to Columbus’ early adopters who purchased a vehicle prior to Carvana’s expansion into the market, Carvana is offering a full refund of any delivery fee paid.

 

8 ways your dealership can be successful on social media

TAMPA, Fla. - 

Social media success for your dealership is not an exact science. You may fall into one of the below categories when it comes to managing your dealership’s social media presence, which is synonymous with having a website. You need to have it in order for your dealership to stay competitive.

Here are the five ways dealerships often manage their social media:

—We manage it in-house and have a well-thought-out strategy.

—We post sometimes, but don’t really know what to do.

—Someone used to do it, but they no longer work at the dealership and we don’t have access to the page.

—We don’t see value in it or any ROI for the time we spend on it.

—We use it to post our inventory and that’s it, when we have the time.

If you fall into any of these categories, LotVantage can help you.

As of June 30, Facebook has 1.71 billion daily active users and Instagram has 300 million daily active users. According to Alexa, Facebook is the third-most-visited website on the internet and Instagram is No. 16. There is absolutely value in having an active and engaging presence on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram.

In this post we’re going to highlight what it takes for your dealership to be successful on social media and we’ll go into depth as to why each one of those tactics will make your dealership a destination, rather than passing right by it.

8 qualities of a successful dealership on social media

1. Rarely post inventory. Social media is not a direct sales tool.

2. Engage with your customers in posts and comments.

3. Happy customers post on their Facebook page about your dealership.

4. Share interesting and engaging content your customers will find value in and want to share.

5. Run Facebook and Instagram targeted ad campaigns.

6. Advertise specific inventory through retargeting based on what the customer was looking at on your website.

7. Don’t over- or under post.

8. Fans are using your Facebook page to write reviews and ask questions.

Why does your dealership need a social media presence?

Even though you’re a dealer, you’re a consumer as well. Aren’t you more likely to purchase something from a company you know and trust? Social media is how you build that trust and how people get to know your dealership.

Let’s go into detail about the ways your dealership will be successful on social media.

1. Social media is not a direct sales tool

Your website, salespeople, Craigslist and eBay are direct sales tools. Social media is an indirect sales tool. It indirectly gives you authority, builds trust and gives you a platform to communicate with your current and potential customers.

2. Engage with your customers

As of May, Facebook reported that consumers are spending 50 minutes a day on Facebook on average. Why not give your dealership a presence on a website where people are spending a lot of time? This means that 1/16 of the average user’s waking time is spent on Facebook. If your dealership is on Facebook with an active presence, customers will find you. If they comment on one of your posts, make sure you comment back.

3. Activate and motivate happy customers

If you post pictures on your dealership’s Facebook page of happy customers, you’re only doing it half right. The real value in a happy customer is that all their friends see it if they post it on their own page. Find a way to incentivize them to share that photo on their Facebook page instead and tag your dealership. Do this and you'll earn yourself free advertising.

4. Share interesting and engaging content

If you’re not supposed to post inventory and happy customers all the time, what are you supposed to post? Well, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What are they going to find entertaining and get some sort of value from? It could be an article about the different types of synthetic oil or how to know when to replace your tires. If you spend the time searching the internet for these types of articles, you’ll start to see your Facebook audience like, comment and share your content. Likes, comments and shares increase your dealership’s exposure.

5. Run Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns (here’s where the ROI is)

Facebook has an extremely powerful advertising platform, which will let you run many different types of advertising campaigns. These advertising campaigns can actually be tied back to form submissions on your website, which will tell you when someone has filled out a form as a result of clicking on your ad. Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can use your Facebook page to represent your dealership on Instagram. We’ve covered a few topics regarding Instagram for your dealership in the past.

6. Retarget customers who land on your website with ads on other websites and Facebook

This is an advanced strategy, but if your dealership is able to master this, it puts advertisements for specific pieces of inventory back in front of your customers, helping close the sales loop and putting your dealership top of mind. If your dealership is using these types of ads and your competitors are not, you have gained the upper hand. LotVantage can help you with retargeting your inventory by placing a series of pixels and uploading a product catalog. Contact us if retargeting is something your dealership is interested in.

7. Post on your dealership Facebook Page consistently, but don’t over post

There is a balance between posting too much and not enough. Posting once a day is ideal, but don’t go without posting for 3 days. Remember, you are competing with other pages and friends to stay top of mind. It is important that you don’t inundate, which will dilute your message.

8. Facebook is a great platform to solicit reviews for your dealership

Facebook is a fantastic place to direct your customers to post reviews about your dealership. It’s also recommended that you respond to any and all customer reviews. It gives you an opportunity to manage your dealership’s reputation. Make sure you thank happy customers and work with those who may have had a negative experience.

Adam Goldberg is the marketing manager at LotVantage, a provider of digital marketing solutions for automotive, marine, powersports, RV, trailer and outdoor power equipment dealerships. He can be reached at agoldberg@thatus.com. You can also access more social media tips at motors.lotvantage.com/blog

ACV Auctions gains $5M in funding, new CEO

BUFFALO, N.Y. - 

Along with appointing a new chief executive officer, ACV Auctions this week announced that it has raised $5 million in venture funding, led by Tribeca Venture Partners, with participation from SoftBank Capital NY, Armory Square Ventures and Rand Capital.

In addition, the company appointed Synacor founder George Chamoun as CEO. In conjunction with the financing, Brian Hirsch from Tribeca Venture Partners and Jordan Levy from SBNY have joined the company’s board of directors.

ACV Auctions is a mobile platform that can enable dealers to view, bid and purchase inventory via online auctions. These live auctions are conducted from franchised dealer lots and last just 20 minutes.

Overseeing this operation now is Chamoun, who replaces ACV Auctions co-founder Joe Neiman, who will focus on market development.

Chamoun brings with him a record of accomplishment as an entrepreneur and senior executive. He co-founded Synacor right out of college in 1998, and spent the next two decades building it into a trusted technology and revenue partner for some of the largest video and communication providers in the world. Chamoun also serves as chairman of Launch NY, a non-for-profit organization supporting the startup ecosystem for Upstate New York.

As an early angel investor in ACV, Chamoun was drawn by the company’s long-term potential. Since then, he says ACV’s performance — and the overwhelmingly positive response of customers — has further affirmed his confidence in the company.

“In just one year, more than 800 dealerships registered for our mobile service, proving the value of our highly innovative service. These are the same reasons we also attracted top venture capital firms to fuel our growth,” Chamoun said.

“We are proving the case that dealers prefer to purchase wholesale inventory on ACV, because we enable transparency, trust and faster access to fresh trades,” he continued.

“ACV Auctions is to car auctions what broadband was to dialup: a superior experience by every measure,” Chamoun went on to say. “Our team is proud to partner with franchise and independent dealers throughout the country by offering a proven service that adds tremendous value to their businesses, and to the dealer industry overall.”

Hirsch elaborated about why Tribeca Venture Partners decided to send resources to ACV Auctions.

“Tribeca invests in world class entrepreneurs and radical innovation — not incremental improvement,” Hirsch said. “ACV already proved in its first year that it can transform the wholesale automotive sector and has a proven team of entrepreneurs that understand how to build a high-growth business.”

Meanwhile, Neiman insisted he will continue focusing on customers.

“Having owned a used car business myself and spending years buying cars in physical auctions, I understand the many challenges that dealers face,” he said. “With ACV, we have created a service that significantly reduces risk for used car dealerships.”

ACV was the $1 million winner of last year’s 43North startup competition, which each year draws startup applicants globally.

“43North is excited to see ACV Auctions receive $5 million in venture funding, and we welcome George Chamoun as their CEO,” 43North executive director John Gavigan said. “We look forward to seeing ACV Auctions continue to grow and revolutionize the wholesale auto auction process.”

Social media use rises among car shoppers, but not overly influential

COSTA MESA, Calif. - 

More car shoppers are using social media during their search, but a small number find the information there to be particularly influential.

According to J.D. Power’s 2016 New Autoshopper Study, 22 percent of internet car shoppers use a social media site as a source during their search. That’s up from 16 percent in 2015.

But of those shoppers who use social media, only 13 percent said the information influenced their purchase decision, and just 2 percent said a social media site was the “most useful site” they visited.

“Social media plays a large role in many consumers’ lives, so it's not surprising that it’s one of the tools they're using during the vehicle-shopping process,” said Mike Battaglia, vice president, automotive retail at J.D. Power.

“While we would not expect social media sites to compete head-on with designated auto shopping sites like Toyota.com and Kelley Blue Book, it's easy to understand the role and relevance social plays in the automotive shopping process.”

The study analyzed how new-vehicle buyers use digital devices to gather information prior to purchase, as well as which websites and apps they use during the shopping process. The study also examined which types of content new-vehicle buyers access during their shopping process and which content they find most useful.

Details about social media use

According to the study, the most popular social media sites used by auto internet shoppers are YouTube (13 percent), DealerRater (7 percent) and Facebook (5 percent).

Thirty-four percent of new-vehicle buyers using social media post a picture of their new vehicle on a social site. Of those, 88 percent will post to Facebook, followed by Instagram at 21 percent.

“Social media platforms aren’t as useful as automotive shopping websites for automotive information, but they do serve the needs of consumers for unbiased dealer reviews, affirmations from other vehicle owners, accessing automotive-related videos and exchanging ideas and opinions with friends and family members,” said Battaglia.

Auto shopping websites still reign

Traffic to auto shopping websites outpaces that to social media sites among internet car shoppers. The study found that more than nine out of 10 visit at least one automaker’s site during the shopping process, while 84 percent visit a dealer site and 79 percent visit a third-party site.

On average, internet shoppers visit 10 automotive websites in their shopping process: four automotive manufacturer websites, three third-party websites and three dealership websites.

The most frequently accessed content on automotive shopping websites is model information (89 percent), vehicle pricing (88 percent) and photo galleries (81 percent).

But automotive internet shoppers find different types of sites more useful for different reasons. For example, they find that automotive brand sites are most useful for their model information, vehicle configurators and photo galleries, whereas dealer websites are found to be most useful for inventory searches, and vehicle pricing and third-party sites are most useful for vehicle ratings/reviews and vehicle comparisons.

Other key findings:

— More than half (53 percent) of automotive internet shoppers use a mobile device. For 2016, smartphone usage surpasses tablet usage (37 percent versus 33 percent, respectively). The use of desktop or laptop computers remains most common at 92 percent, but has been decreasing from 99 percent in 2012. But the proportion of time spent shopping on mobile devices continues to increase, with 33 percent of the total shopping time now conducted on a mobile device.

— The three most frequently visited third-party sites have remained consistent since 2012 (listed alphabetically): Consumer Reports, Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book. Among the 37 third-party websites measured in the study, TrueCar experiences the largest increase in site visitation for a second consecutive year.

The 2016 New Autoshopper Study is based on responses from 17,349 purchasers and lessees of new 2014 to 2016 model-year vehicles who used information gathered digitally during the shopping process. The study was fielded from February through June.

 

Why IPO & new board are ‘exciting’ for Cars.com

CHICAGO - 

Cars.com chief executive officer and president Alex Vetter called it an “exciting week” as the company announced it would be spun off as a separate, publicly traded entity through a process expected to be finalized during the first half of next year.

For dealers who list their inventory on Cars.com, perhaps they should be excited, too, since Vetter described the company’s future by emphasizing one of the most intriguing segments of the spin-off announcement. It’s the part that stated, “As an independent company, Cars.com will be able to focus more sharply on its key strategic priorities, including rapid innovation within a growing marketplace and active evaluation and pursuit of acquisitions to open up new, adjacent opportunities.”

During an exclusive conversation with Auto Remarketing, Vetter began by highlighting the resources Cars.com already possesses, which includes DealerRater that was acquired earlier this summer.

“I think days like (this past Wednesday and Thursday) are really a testament to our employees and all they’ve done past and present to build this business into what it’s become. It’s also a testament to all of our customers and partners. We work with over 20,000 dealers and every OEM. It’s their partnership that drives us on a daily basis. It’s really a celebratory time for our young company,” Vetter said.

“Over the last two years as part of being singular ownership, we’ve really been investing in the business and preparing the business for continued growth,” he continued. “We’ve done that by largely investing in product, technology and innovation. Much of that will benefit our customers directly. As a distinct, independent company, we’re going to be much more positioned to focus on distinct strategic priorities, which will be great news for our users and business partners.”

The business progression Cars.com gets to develop as a publicly traded company is to establish a new leadership structure as well as roll out an initial public offering. Vetter again reflected on what Cars.com’s accomplishments have been and how they've set the foundation for what might happen next year and beyond.

“It’s great validation to all of the hard work that has taken place over the years to get Cars.com ready. I think it increases our focus on our mission and strategy. It allows us to bring more talent on board to help pursue strategic priorities,” Vetter said.

“For example, one of the things we’re excited about is forming our own board of directors that will be exclusively focused on helping Cars.com realize its strategy,” he continued. “In addition, it will give us higher evaluations for the business because we know both automotive and technology companies tend to trade at higher multiples, which gives the ability to access more capital to be able to strategically invest in the growth of the business.

“It will take us several months to finalize the board. But clearly we’ll be adding people who can bring strategic and industry insights as well as rich and diverse narratives to the business that helps us look broadly at the opportunities that are in front of us,” Vetter went on to say.

While Cars.com has at least the remainder of the third quarter as well as the fourth quarter of this year to navigate before the ticker symbol CARS appears on Wall Street, Vetter emphasized what’s now directly in front of the company, including expanding on the recently launched enhancements to its mobile platform.

“We’ve been very focused on innovating on the mobile front. We continue to innovate there at a faster clip,” Vetter said.

“We have a number of product and technology investments that we’ve been aggressively pursuing to grow our overall site experience. And we’ve also been deploying new solutions for our business partners as well as operationalizing our newest acquisition, DealerRater,” he continued.

“We have a number of key initiatives that we’re pursuing as a business. In addition we’ll be adding more talent and growing our workforce to better prepare us for the growth that we anticipate on happening in 2017,” Vetter concluded.

Cars.com rolls out new advertising campaign

CHICAGO - 

Cars.com has launched a new brand advertising campaign dubbed, “For Every Turn.”

With the recent introduction of tools that cater to vehicle sellers and service seekers on the site in addition to its long-standing shopping platform, Cars.com highlighted that its new campaign focuses on how the site is a one-stop-shop, helping consumers at every turn of vehicle ownership.

“Cars.com has long been the go-to site for car shoppers,” said Jenny Chan, senior director of consumer marketing. “With our new campaign, we’re going a step further to tell the full story of how Cars.com is there for consumers during every milestone in the car ownership lifecycle.

“From the excitement of buying a car, through the repairs, the adventures, all the way to the moment you’re ready to trade it in for a new one,” Chan continued.

The site noted that “For Every Turn” will come to life across a variety of marketing channels so consumers are surrounded by Cars.com messaging while they watch TV and browse the web on mobile and desktop devices. Tactics include:

• TV ads: The new television ads capture highly relatable moments of a family as they go through key ownership milestones with their car, including buying a new one, road trip shenanigans, repairs, the adventure of learning to drive, all the way through the trade-in process when it’s time for a new set of wheels.

• Digital/print ads: Similar to the TV commercials, the print and digital ads will hit on key car ownership milestones, demonstrating how Cars.com helps consumers for every turn of the journey.

• Campaign landing page: A splash page was launched as a destination for fans and visitors to view all of the new commercials and extended, never-before-seen outtakes. Various vehicle shopping tools and resources are also thematically integrated into the page depending on which video is being viewed. The page allows Cars.com to promote relevant editorial content and help guide consumers deeper into the site. 

• Social media: An organic, engagement-focused social media campaign was launched across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to announce the new campaign, share content, drive traffic to the new splash page and encourage fans to chime in with their own personal anecdotes about memorable moments in their vehicle.

With research tools designed to be simple and easy to understand along with reliable expert content and unparalleled platform for consumer reviews, Cars.com chief executive officer and president Alex Vetter said his site is the only "true source" for the total ownership experience.

“The lifetime of your car is actually a reflection of your own lifetime,” Vetter said. “So many memorable moments happen within that space, and Cars.com is there through them all.”

For more information, visit www.cars.com/foreveryturn.

Edmunds unveils dealer ad tool tailored for Facebook & Instagram

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - 

On Tuesday, Edmunds launched what the company called Edmunds Ad Solutions, a new mobile-optimized ad product for dealers to target in-market vehicle shoppers on Facebook and Instagram.

Site officials explained Edmunds Ad Solutions uses exclusive first-party shopping data from Edmunds to serve shoppers with highly relevant native ads on Facebook and Instagram to drive buyer traffic directly to dealer sites.

The data also is used to identify and target “lookalike” shoppers — individuals who show similar shopping behavior — on those premium partner sites.

Edmunds explained its engineers worked closely with Facebook’s solutions engineering team to design and build an end-to-end automatic ad-buying system that leverages Facebook’s marketing APIs and dynamic ads platform. As a result, Edmunds Ad Solutions can give subscribing dealers added exposure to Edmunds’ vast audience of highly qualified shoppers.

Officials highlighted that a national pilot found that Edmunds Ad Solutions delivered 20 times more click-through traffic to dealer sites when compared to a Google-rich media gallery display automotive click-through benchmark study from November to December of last year.

Dealers in the pilot program also enjoyed up to a 61 percent increase in new visitors to their sites, as well as a 50 percent increase in overall visitor site engagement.

“Edmunds Ad Solutions is proving to be an indispensable tool for a dealer’s comprehensive digital marketing strategy,” Edmunds.com vice president of dealer sales Scott Fanelli said.

“Not only does it get dealer inventory in front of Edmunds’ rich audience of in-market shoppers, it also gives them exposure to other shoppers who perform similar ready-to-buy behaviors on other sites,” Fanelli continued. “There’s no better way for a dealership to expand its inventory’s digital footprint to an audience of relevant shoppers.”

The site went on to mention Edmunds Ad Solutions is specifically optimized for mobile devices, which have quickly become a popular tool for vehicle shoppers.

According to a Facebook IQ study, 71 percent of all respondents used mobile during the purchase process. And 58 percent say that in the future, their smartphone is likely to be the only device they use for all their vehicle research.

Edmunds said it’s no surprise, then, that early testing found an overwhelming 90 percent of Edmunds Ad Solutions traffic comes from mobile devices.

“Edmunds Ad Solutions is one of the best ways that dealers can keep their inventory top of mind for consumers from the beginning of their online shopping journey, right through the moment they're ready to purchase,” said Mike Miller, digital marketing manager at John Elway Dealerships.

“The product delivers serious and engaged customers who spend far more time on our vehicle detail pages than other paid marketing campaigns,” Miller continued. “The bottom line: Edmunds is helping us to deliver highly targeted ads that are getting the right cars in front of the right buyers.”

With millions of visitors every month, Edmunds insisted it has built a powerful network that both shoppers and dealers have come to trust.

An estimated 59 percent of all new-vehicle shoppers will visit Edmunds at some point in the shopping process, and a study by CDK Global found that shoppers who visit both Edmunds and dealer sites are four times more likely to buy than shoppers who visit a dealer site only.

Dealers interested in subscribing to Edmunds Ad Solutions can reach out to their Edmunds account executive or contact dealersupport@edmunds.com.

The social media network car-shoppers use most

CINCINNATI  - 

Facebook and other social media platforms are certainly key to dealers in reaching shoppers. But the one that’s perhaps most useful may come as a surprise.

Swapalease.com polled approximately 2,500 car shoppers in June and found that YouTube was most popular, with 43 percent using it in car research. 

Facebook was second at 33 percent, followed by LinkedIn (10 percent), Twitter (9 percent), Instagram (7 percent) and Pinterest (5 percent).

Respondents had the option to choose more than one.

“Millions of car shoppers now utilize the Internet as a way to research their next vehicle, as well as look for the deal that's right for them, and this includes social media websites,” Scot Hall, executive vice president of Swapalease.com, said in a news release.

“Our research tells us that YouTube is an effective social channel since it gives shoppers a virtual tour of the vehicle they're looking at, as well as an opportunity to see how it handles on the road,” he said. “Online videos can be powerful in car shopping, particularly as people gravitate toward the Internet and away from actual test drives at the dealership.”

 

DealerRater integrates LotShot into iOS app

WALTHAM, Mass. - 

DealerRater recently announced that LotShot, previously a web-only photo review application, is now available as a feature in the DealerRater for Dealers app for iOS.

Considered to be easier to use than ever before, LotShot can allow salespeople at DealerRater Certified Dealerships — which currently stands at more than 5,600 stores in the U.S. and Canada — to snap and share customer photos at vehicle delivery, email them to a customer and “dramatically” improve their chances of receiving a review.

The site insisted nearly 50 percent of all LotShot review requests made by dealership salespeople to their vehicle-buying customers result in a review on DealerRater.

“Purchasing a car is a significant event and LotShot has proven to be both a fun way to share the moment and a very effective way to quickly earn a review,” DealerRater chief executive officer Gary Tucker said.

“Adding LotShot to our smartphone-based employee app streamlines the picture-taking, sharing and review invitation process,” Tucker added.

In a social media-powered consumer economy, DealerRater highlighted that studies have shown that photos perform best for likes, comments and shares compared to text, video, and site links. In addition, product and service reviews that include customer pictures greatly improve review credibility.

Photo reviews on DealerRater earn more than twice the amount of helpful votes from consumers compared to plain text reviews.

“LotShot is simply cool,” said Chuck Prosch, fleet/Internet manager at Pearland, Texas-based Strickland Chevrolet, a two-time DealerRater Texas Dealer of the Year and Consumer Satisfaction Award winner.

“I don’t know anyone who doesn't like to see a picture of themselves with their new vehicle,” Prosch continued.

DealerRater emphasized the LotShot app capability is simple to use. A dealership salesperson opens LotShot on their smartphone, takes or uploads a photo, enters the vehicle-buyer’s name and email address, previews the note and sends the photo along with DealerRater review completion instructions.

“What we have found with LotShot is that customers not only get back to us about the experience they had with their salesperson,” added Prosch, “but they also share LotShot photos with family and friends, adding to the positive feeling they have about our team members."

The DealerRater for Dealers app for iOS is included in Certified Essentials, the company’s reputation-management toolkit. The iOS version of the app is available for immediate download by DealerRater Certified Dealers.

An Android version of the app will be released soon. Certified Dealers can sign up to be notified when it becomes available.

For more information on LotShot, visit info.dealerrater.com/Lotshot.