Industry Trends

Trade-In Tools: More Than a Digital Retailing Checkbox

Without a doubt, the pandemic accelerated the transition to digital retailing tools for auto dealers. As adoption continues, we’re seeing more data on what consumers value most when jumping into the digital retailing experience.

Consumers Want…Trade-in values

PureCars, an automotive digital marketing firm, released an industry survey of which digital retailing tools consumers were using the most. The task consumers gravitate towards first? Surprise! They want a trade-in estimate.

Digital Retailing Tools Most Frequently Used

  • Trade-in Estimate: 71% 
  • Virtual Test Drive: 64% 
  • Contactless Delivery Options: 61% 
  • Build Your Vehicle: 57% 
  • Lease/Payment Calculator: 52% 
  • Finance App: 46%

These results closely mirror our own customer research studies, which show that the #2 reason a consumer visits a dealer’s website is to value their trade-in, with researching inventory their #1 objective.

Digital Retailing Paired With Trade-in Tools

Let’s pull back a moment and reflect upon the big picture. Dealer websites work best when they meet customers where they are in the shopper’s journey, and through the means that’s easiest for the consumer. 

Digital retailing solutions work well for creating high value, high intent leads for the dealership, or the “super” lead. They are not meant to be high-converting, car sales lead generation tools for your website. Given their lengthier forms and questionnaires, they are less than ideal for maximizing website conversions for the consumer looking for a quick value on their trade-in. 

Trade-in tools like Trade are a separate and critical part of website conversion that bring in more vehicle inventory sourcing opportunities and generate more car sales leads.

This isn’t an either/or discussion, it’s a both/and argument. The newfound implementation of digital retailing tools will not backtrack — digital retailing is here to stay. Dealers need both a digital retailing solution and a trade-in tool that specializes in converting website traffic for higher funnel consumers.

Our two most recent case studies on Wolfchase Hyundai and Unstoppable Auto Group highlight exactly why trade-in tools need their own space. In both cases, the dealers were relying upon their DR solution for trade-in values, and only seeing a trickle of inbound leads. Unstoppable’s Director of Dealer Development says it best: “Trade has been a tremendous asset to our team. Digital retail solutions do many things well, but we trust the experts like TradePending for converting website visitors into trade-in leads and inventory sourcing opportunities.” Listen to him! They grew trade-in leads 1,326% in one month by devoting website real-estate specifically to Trade, and pairing it with excellent sales and marketing execution.

Make Vehicle Valuations Match

There also remains an overlooked but critical element to the one-two punch of digital retailing and trade-in tools: making sure the values in those two solutions match. If a consumer gets a trade-in value in your digital retailing tool than what comes back from your trade-in tool, they’re baffled. 

Fortunately for car dealers, we integrate with most major DR tools via our real-time valuation API. This ensures that the values provided to your customers across your different tools are the same every time. Matching trade-in values across your website maintains credibility and builds trust with your customers.

The key takeaway? There’s never been a more important time to generate as many trade-in leads and inventory sourcing opportunities than right now. 

Give consumers what they want: both an optimized digital retailing experience and a fast, easy approach to valuing their car or truck. See how we do it with Trade and Offer.