What Used Car Customers are Looking For Online

November 16, 2017

Increased access to the internet and the proliferation of smartphones have changed the way consumers navigate the used automotive market. Now buyers crave information and put hours of online research into their decisions. Attracting customers in the modern used car market requires providing consumers with the information they want via engaging content.

Here’s what modern shoppers expect from your online automotive merchandising strategy.

How to Reach Modern Shoppers with Your Online Automotive Merchandising Strategy

What Consumers Search For

Modern used car buyers start their shopping process with broad level searches. They’re typically looking for a select few makes and models with a specific year and mileage range in mind. Most importantly, they want the pages they find to include pricing information. Optimize your vehicle display pages for these searches, and include the information they want when they get there.

Good Value

Despite the importance of having pricing information on ads and VDPs, shoppers aren’t necessarily looking for the lowest price. Most dealerships already price their vehicles at or below market value, making it difficult to stand out for pricing alone. Chasing the lowest price is a losing battle as well because someone will always be able to undercut you for the same vehicle.

What most shoppers are looking for in a used car is a good value for the price. They’re willing to pay a little bit more for the better vehicle. This means your pricing information needs to justify what you’re charging. A major part of demonstrating value will be highlighting the vehicle’s unique features.

Unique Features

Modern shoppers are interested in what sets your used cars apart from similar vehicles. Your online automotive merchandising materials should highlight any special features or equipment packages the car offers. Does it come with optional accessories? How about modern infotainment tech? Maybe it includes a special off-roading package. Highlighting this information helps you defend the vehicle’s price and foster customer excitement.

Vehicle History Reports and Reviews

Nearly every used car buyer is going to check a vehicle’s history report and reviews. Don’t force potential customers to look them up themselves. Post links to the reports on your VDPs and feature a few reviews. This lets them know you have confidence in the quality of vehicles, helping you build trust before they even enter the dealership.


Another way to foster trust with customers is to be transparent. Include thorough information on the vehicle. Try to anticipate any questions they’re likely to ask and answer these questions in your ads or on your VDPs. These questions may include:

  • Is this car right for me?
  • Why should I buy from this dealership?
  • Why is this car better than the others I’ve seen?
  • Is this car a lemon?

MAXDigital’s innovative online automotive merchandising platform can help you optimize your strategy for the now buyer. Schedule a demo to learn how MAX can help you enhance your VDPs and attract customers with quality, detailed ads.