Attract Passersby For Right Reasons

Good outdoor merchandising by car dealers lures people in, doesn’t turn them off.

Richard Ashworth

June 8, 2016

2 Min Read
Attract Passersby For Right Reasons

The objective of outdoor merchandising devices is to draw buyer attention to dealership inventory. Great merchandising draws shoppers’ eyeballs as they drive by.

Practical and low-tech lot merchandising techniques include banners, signage, balloons and other inflatables, special-event tents, showroom window decals and various eye-catchers.

We think of merchandising as a means of getting shoppers to “look at me,” and yet merchandising should and does fall in a separate category of “tell me more.”

This includes elements such as point-of-sale racks and materials, window and windshield QR codes and other visuals that communicate, instruct and direct.

Dealers often fall back on familiar lot merchandising elements because it’s easy to do what you already know, but stale merchandising may not pull in buyer interest as much as new ideas are likely to do.

The following can help get shoppers’ attention:

Have a plan and work it. A good merchandising plan promotes well. No planning can result in missed opportunity.

The wrong kind or wrong number of signs, balloons, and pennants, for example, may be perceived by customers as clutter and send the wrong message.

A plan also helps avert potential problems. For instance, product choices that seem appropriate for the lot may not be effective when seen by people driving by.

Walk across to the other side of the road fronting the lot or drive by the dealership and look carefully to envision what a passing motorist is likely to see.

Will a vehicle displayed on an elevated ramp stand out when seen from the lot but not so much at a different angle and elevation, such as the frontage roadway?

Develop a theme. Because an item looks interesting or personally appealing to a manager isn’t good reason to buy in. Stick with a common theme: patriotic flags and banners; air dancers and inflatable signs; antenna pennants and balloons. 

Avoid a mismatch of various items. Most individuals perceive symmetry when they view a scene or walk into a situation. Mismatched themes that create an impression of imbalance can negate this. Creating an uncomfortable environment is not how to start a sale.

Check local signage codes: Be sure any merchandising products you wish to purchase will not conflict with your local signage regulations.

Don’t settle for same-old: The point of merchandising is to stop traffic and entice potential buyers to your lot. Therefore, don’t settle for the same product strategies you’ve always used.

And don’t settle for having to use similar items, designs, and signs that your competitors use.

Richard Ashworth is president at Wheel’s Automotive Dealer Supplies, a supplier of merchandising and related materials.

Subscribe to a WardsAuto newsletter today!
Get the latest automotive news delivered daily or weekly. With 5 newsletters to choose from, each curated by our Editors, you can decide what matters to you most.

You May Also Like