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Google is launching a free marketplace for car dealerships to automatically sync their cars for sale with their Google My Business pages. It comes when dealers struggle to acquire inventory while paying top marketing dollars to listing sites such as CarGurus, Auto Trader, Cars.com, and others, but more on that later.
This feature would allow independent and franchise car dealers to list both new and used car inventory for sale directly on their Google Business Profile.
Listing your cars for sale directly on your Google business profile could drive lots of organic and local traffic to your website, lot, or phone number. Dealers who get in on the ground floor will have long-term advantages if done right.
Let's say a car shopper searches for "Chevrolet Dealers Charlotte."
A familiar Google business listing like this would appear.
But when scrolling down, shoppers will see a "For Sale" section which will show tabs such as New, Used, Categories, Makes, and others.
Now, clicking on Used will show all available used cars for this dealership.
Clicking on a vehicle, will open up the Google Vehicle Display Page. It’ll show all car information including photos, price and features.
Shoppers will have the ability to call the dealership directly from this page, visit the dealership listing, take them now to the dealers' vehicle display page, or share the vehicle.
The inventory listing process is 100% automated. Just like with other marketplace providers, your cars for sale will get updated multiple times every day, adding new inventory, removing sold vehicles, and editing images and pricing.
Google has the cars for sale feature in beta to ensure the inventory feeds are working correctly with their dealer software partners.
For vehicles to publish to Google cars for sale, they must go through an authorized feed provider, have a VIN and price, and at least one image.
Google has not set a price structure for displaying your cars on your business listing. The listing itself will be Free. However, it's not something you can list yourself. There may be fees associated with connecting your inventory to your business listing as you need to go through a Google-approved agency, and those fees will depend on the agency you decide to work with.
This GMB cars integration will become extremely powerful down the road by running Google Ads campaigns on the inventory directly listed on your Google My Business (GMB) profile.
We believe Google Cars for Sale will be much more powerful than Facebook Marketplace since the shopper is interested with intent. Facebook Free Marketplace has been notorious for poor-quality leads.
As of September 13, 2021 - Facebook will no longer offer automated dealer vehicle feeds to the marketplace. The only way to show your inventory on Facebook Marketplace will be to run a paid ad campaign. Google is rolling this out at a great time as Facebook cancels out the free service.
Doing this will put Google in direct competition with CarGurus, AutoTrader, Cars.com, and Wizcar.com.
Franchise and independent dealers will be able to list cars for sale on Google. At this time, Google gives the option of following regions when filling out the early access form; United States, North America (outside the United States), South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Global (multi-region). Chances are, this will be listed worldwide.
At this time, we've seen Cars for sale on Google Business Pages listed in North America.
The types of cars you can list are both new and used. There is currently no documentation on classic vehicles.
Before requesting early access, you must own the dealership's GMB listing. Chances are your dealership is already listed on GMB; make sure that you have claimed the business. If not, you'll need to Create a new dealership GMB profile.
Once your GMB is claimed, if you'd like to participate in this pilot program - you'll need to request access to Google Cars for Sale.
Syncing cars with GMB profiles will most likely have a massive impact on the vehicle industry in many ways. When the product-based shopping ads were introduced, they changed the game for e-commerce businesses worldwide.
As you know, over the last decade - dealers have been forced to become digital marketers. Now, more than ever - dealers will need to make sure their visual marketing strategy is on-point.
Similar to when Google launched Hotel Search, organic listings went down on page one, and their click-through rates dropped significantly; this forced vendors to spend more money on Ads. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing if you're doing it well. It'll give you the ability to know exactly what works and get more of that, unlike spending thousands of dollars on SEO companies who promise the world.
Getting your cars for sale in front of shoppers looking to buy now is the most valuable type of marketing you can run.