Setting Up For Success During an Inventory Shortage

Setting Up For Success During an Inventory Shortage

Written By Eric Schlesinger

In this blog, you’ll learn how to:  

  • Adjust your strategy during the inventory and chip shortage to maintain pre-owned stock. 
  • Intercept selling-curious people just seeing what options are available and arrange appointments. 
  • Adjust your advertising and marketing strategy to encourage customers to sell or craft incentives to push.
  • Get a great messaging experience that can keep you top of mind in the future for being accommodating and available.  

With vehicle inventory at concerning lows again as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, car dealers are struggling to keep vehicle sales volume flowing. High demand at the onset of the pandemic brought about an initial shortage. And now with a global chip shortage and production delays, both new and pre-owned vehicle inventories are threatened. 

You can’t sell cars that aren’t there, right? The answer to spur more inventory might seem simple on paper, but a little more difficult in practice: shift focus to buying customer’s cars. 

If you’re going to come out of this inventory shortage ahead, it’s vital that you allocate more staff and advertising muscle into purchasing customer vehicles to ensure you have the pre-owned inventory buyers need — or any pre-owned inventory at all, for that matter.

4 Ways to Get More Cars in an Inventory Shortage

The process will involve multiple parts, and take a great deal of effort, but should overall resemble your approach for car buyers. 

  1. Incentivize your staff. Charge up your sales and BDC staff to go for purchases in addition to sales. It might seem counterintuitive, but if you want to push more inventory, you need more inventory! Incentivize with bonuses: remember, auctions are pretty expensive.
  2. Incentivize your former/current customers. Go on the offensive for your former/long-time customers to offer them a surprisingly good deal on their current vehicle. They may just need a little awareness and a gentle push to make the move. This will also help you stay top-of-mind for future car purchases and potential referrals when things get moving again. 
  3. Targeted advertising. Ramp up your marketing messages about buying customer’s vehicles. Think about making it a front-page installation on your website, or by implementing a behavioral pop-up strategy like ActivEngage’s ActivTarget solution. In short: make buying customer's vehicles a whole big, exciting thing!
  4. Unify your team to make it all happen. At the risk of sounding cliché: these are uncertain times. Your team is more than likely a little worried about the whole situation and what it means for them. Putting the inventory shortage into context and reframing the issue to be positive can give your team the morale boost they need to secure more inventory now and close more deals later. 

Stay On Top of the Inventory Shortage with ActivEngage

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown us all in the automotive industry a 100mph curveball as we’ve never seen before. Adaptability and flexibility are must-have attributes in order to get ahead of the inventory shortage and secure your success when normalcy returns. 

Whether it’s targeting customers with specific offers based on their place in the buying journey or offering virtual test drives to excite car buyers, ActivEngage leads the industry with managed messaging solutions and products designed to increase sales, close deals, and provide the best possible customer experience.


Ready to discover how ActivEngage helps your dealership succeed?