Think Like Your Customers
You’ve been in this business long enough to know what sells. You’ve answered hundreds of questions. You’ve sold thousands of parts. You know who’s going to buy what and how much they’ll pay for it. But your online sales need a little boost. You’re instincts are good, you just need to tune them to the customers on HTP. They want the same thing you’ve been selling for years, and they want to know the answers to the same questions. You just need to give them the answers up front.
You also need to know your competition. Online you aren’t the only yard in your area. You’re in competition with yards that have similar inventory and close prices. What can give you an edge? Product details and images. Get on HTP and look at what other yards are offering. If you were a customer looking for a part, what would you want to know? Which yards give that information? How? Armed with that, you can now use ITrack to prove to your customers that you have what they are looking for. That will increase your online sales by making your inventory as or more appealing than your competitor’s. It takes some time to set up, but it will improve your online sales, and that will make you money.
Add as much detail to your part in ITrack as you can. You’re not the only yard selling these parts. Giving details about the parts helps your customers know if it’s worth their while to contact you. Put the same type of information in your Parts screen as your best competitors do. Once you have the details, go to the Advanced tab and add some photos and video (yes, video).
You can give your customers a lot of information with good photos. Give them a variety good, focused images. Always include a picture that shows the entire part, and then a few that show details. Does the hood have a scratch on it? Get a good picture of the paint. You know what the customers are going to ask. Answer it with a picture.
Lighting is important, but a flash can ironically make detail harder to see. Use natural light as much as possible. If you need to take photos in the shop, use several work lamps or headlights from various angles. Shooting with a bright light coming from one angle is beautiful, but it obscures the detail.
A crisp image will keep your customers from working too hard. Focusing a camera phone can be as simple as tapping the screen and waiting. If you’ve had a little too much coffee, try using a tripod or propping the phone up on something solid.
- Move a little closer
Try getting closer instead of zooming. It will give you a better image. A little cropping can make a big difference too. It’s the electronic version of pointing.
Photos are great, but a 360 view of a part can really get your customers’ attention. You can get a lot of information out of a video, and you don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to make a great video for HTP. A few simple things can make your video better.
- Don’t Make a Sequel to the Blair Witch Project
One too many cups of coffee and your video can become a low-budget horror flick. Use a tripod, or prop up your phone or camera on a stable surface. If you’re doing a 360 view of a part, try moving the part itself, or move the phone/camera on a cart with wheels. Steady as she goes…
- Don’t keep your Customers in the Dark
Natural light is great for shooting video. Taking photos and video outside on a clear or overcast day will give your customers a clear view of what you’re selling. A strong work light or headlights can work indoors. But keep them in one place, or you’re back to low-budget horror flick land.
- Good Audio or No Audio
If your customer has to work too hard to make out what you’re saying, they won’t stick around. Use a small mic for sound, or leave the sound off completely. A lot of people watch video with the sound off anyway.
If you want to show detail, get close to the part. Using the zoom on your phone will degrade the image. Getting closer is cheaper, but if you like gadgets you can also use lenses to magnify the images.