What dealerships should do to prepare for Facebook Marketplace changes

What it means and how to get your dealership ready

Times are a-changing, and there are several potentially disruptive changes coming to dealers over the next few months that will require everyone to rethink their approach to dealer listings, car buyer engagement, and advertising attribution. However, as you know, with change comes opportunity!

Facebook Marketplace Changes

As many of you already know, Facebook announced that on September 13, 2021, they will be removing the ability for dealers to push inventory into, and across, Facebook Marketplace including the home page, category pages, and search results using a catalog feed. The change comes as Facebook shifts its focus away from dealers and is pushing towards consumer engagement, including placing a greater emphasis on online transactions for smaller, day-to-day consumer goods, like clothing and used furniture. Many of OfferUp’s Verified Dealers have asked for feedback to try and get some understanding of why Facebook is removing this capability and pushing dealers directly into Automotive Inventory Ads (AIA). We will be sending out some additional details to all our Verified Dealers over the coming weeks, but in short, Facebook’s update seems to be attributed to several key factors - saturation, data, and Messenger.

Listing Saturation

While marketplaces are a great resource for dealers, Facebook Marketplace has had some challenges with market saturation due to automotive partners creating parallel Marketplace listings that have led to duplicate inventory listings across the Marketplace – confusing buyers, creating poor user experiences, and making attribution difficult. For example, with the existing model, third-party advertisers can claim credit and charge more for leads that should actually be attributed directly to dealerships.

Messenger and Your Data

Facebook is also looking to move dealers away from lead forms with a strong desire to push dealers into using Messenger. They believe that by pushing dealers to use Messenger, they will be able to create a more compelling user experience. Moreover, by using Messenger and their recommended dealer advertisements, Facebook will be able to keep all of data/activity directly inside of the platform. Why you ask? Because it enables Facebook to drive more advertising activity from dealers and drivers everyone to rely on their tools and advertising platform to try and reach the buyers everyone is looking for. Classic vendor lock-in. So, what is a dealer to do? How can you continue to get marketplace traffic, and drive more leads into your pipeline?

What does this mean for your dealership?

We know that “marketplace” audiences and listings are valuable to you, and we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the changes set to take place next month. Moreover, we are here to tell you that you don’t have to rely on Facebook exclusively to get your inventory in front of a large audience of car buyers.

You should continue to consider Facebook for high-value listings and similar to OfferUp’s own platform and chat functionality focus on learning how to use chat to engage with car buyers in real-time. Dealers leveraging chat, and who are responding in less than 5 minutes, are converting 60% more leads compared to their previous channels.

OfferUp not only has 20+million, highly engage, monthly users who are using the app more than 19x a month. There is also no possibility of market saturation, and you get the benefits of an integrated “chat” platform without the need to drive users to a separate app. Moreover, with integrated chat and CRM capabilities that automatically sync your leads with your CRM.

OfferUp’s team is here to help you

Contact us today to discover how OfferUp’s Verified Dealer program can reach car buyers today, enable you to automatically list and sync all of your inventory and turbocharge your pipeline with high-quality leads by targeting local users when they are searching for vehicles like yours. Best of all, we can take more of the risk out of it by offering you up to 75% off your first 3-months.