Low vehicle inventory: what does this mean for your marketing?

Chip shortages, shipping delays, bottlenecks in the supply chain. All these factors play an increasingly dominant role in the day to day operation of car dealers nationwide. It all translates to record low inventory of vehicles, a historic crisis that has become an increasingly tricky problem to navigate. Dealerships are working on average with a mere 18 days of supply in their parking lots, 2.5 millions new units below 2019 levels and a stunning 60% reduction in inventory compared to last year when new car supply was already taking a dive.

As sales wobble and prices go up, digital marketing becomes one of the most important aspects in helping to tackle today’s market conditions. A sound and comprehensive marketing strategy will help dealers navigate these difficult times and keep their customers engaged and loyal, to the point of minimizing financial downturns or even decisively rise above the competition. Whether you want to “steal” customers from your neighboring dealerships or engage with prospects in your funnel, you can immediately focus your attention on tactics that will diversify your presence online. And don’t forget to contact the experts at CF Search Marketing as soon as possible to start planning your digital marketing journey and reach results previously unimaginable.  


We all would like to drive the perfect car, to score the perfect match that satisfies our comfort needs, our hunger for power and is expression of our style. But we all know unfortunately that this is very hard if not impossible, and as hard as you try to help your clients, the majority of customers already walk into the dealership with a range of flexible options in mind. 

So, are your clients just looking for brand new vehicles? Probably not. Low inventory of new cars doesn’t necessarily mean that the parking lots are completely bare. Pre-owned cars might give the flexibility that could satisfy many customers. Advertising pre-owned vehicles at your dealership will help maintain your online presence and give options that bring people in the door. After first contact, we are sure that negotiations will be no sweat for your sales team, right?


Many dealers have the ability to pre-order new vehicles and, although delivery times cannot be predicted to the minute, pre-ordering a car guarantees the possibility that any potential customer can become a closed sale. Let’s face it, we have lived in this pandemic, supply chain disruption and semiconductors shortage for almost two years now. All shoppers in the market for a new car can expect some kind of delay or disruption. And with prices rising across the board it makes sense to invite clients to the ultimate customization experience when pre-ordering a new car. Once again the name of the game is flexibility, and although we all would like to see a customer drive it’s flashy brand new vehicle the same day he first entered the dealership, we highly recommend to advertise the pre-order and customization experience to anyone in the market for a new car.


Low inventory of new vehicles means you can advertise your fixed op’s and after sales departments where the influx of customers should usually be constant. Keywords related to vehicle repairs are some of the most searched across all search engines, providing the perfect opportunity to gain visibility in your area. Our SEO experts have optimised hundreds of websites in order to increase organic traffic. Geotargeting will also help direct customers to a dealership’s service center when they are looking for accident repairs. These Google searches are not predictable, they come at a moment’s notice and there is no time for in-depth research. That is why it is of vital importance to be one of those first few names in the search engine’s algorithm ranking. 

Dealers also should avoid leaving the Fixed Operations’ section of the website unattended. That is why CF Search Marketing handles the heavy lifting regularly posting GMB Specials, Offers and Specials, video content and other website management tasks. 

CF also offers the highly profitable Waze ads, featured in the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Waze Ads can help customers find your service center and give them the “push” they need to drive their car through your service department.


So how do you keep your prospects engaged with your dealership when loyal customers are defecting to other brands and more and more people are shopping farther away in today’s market? Custom Shopper Watchlist comes to the rescue! While scrolling through your a dealer’s website shoppers will be presented with the opportunity to join the Custom Watchlist. This new ShopperID functionality will take them to a landing page where they will be able to select all the models they are interested in and that they would like to be notified about. Once subscribed to the watchlist, customers will be notified directly on their phone when new inventory matching their interests is available. Every notification contains a link to the customer’s personal watchlist (where only his vehicles of interest are featured). On this landing page the shopper can schedule a test drive or appointment and becomes a lead that is sent to the dealer’s CRM.