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2018-08-06 by Paul

The difference between good and bad photos on Marktplaats

Nice (little) research about good and bad photos on Marktplaats.
Recently, dealers and car companies have invested more than ever in photo studios and other hardware to make even better pictures of their cars. For example, beautiful 360 degree views are no longer an exception. The question remains, of course, whether this will generate extra attention and therefore extra sales. Because that’s what it’s all about: do I get more telephone and online leads and more VDP views based on my ad? To answer that question, Marktplaats has done some research.

Research design
We investigated a total of 6,000 advertisements from 16 dealers and car companies, not from private individuals. Of course from different brands, from different regions and various price ranges. An overall picture, but of course with a limited number of cars, 6,000 in this case. In addition, the term ‘good’ and ‘bad’ picture is arbitrary, because one person thinks that a certain picture is better than another. That is why we decided to assess whether the photos have a professional image, there is consistency in the image (first photo, angle from the camera) and we compared that with advertisements in which different photos were used.

Below is an example of an advertisement with photos of which we think there is a good main photo.

With this photo you can discuss light, shadow and a few things, but in our research it was all about whether all photos were equally in order. When you see the dealer’s stock cars all together, all first photos must be made at the same place and from the same angle. Like on the photo below of the same car company. There you see that the image is the same in terms of design. The photos are made consciously and for that reason we have taken this as a good photo.

Professional
With the customers, this gives the impression that they are dealing with a professional company. With these photos you convince the customer to do business with you. The photo below shows the stock of a dealer who chooses a different approach. The photos are messy and there is no consistency, so we labeled it as bad pictures. For me, this is proof that the marketing manager has to take care of the photos and the presentation of used cars, and not the salesman.

Messy
You see that all four cars have a different first photo. If you specifically look at one car, like the example below, you immediately see that it has been photographed in a different way. It seems done in a hurry, without any purpose. The car has to be put online quickly and it doesn’t matter how. Now the price of the car suddenly becomes crucial, because only if you are the cheapest, you stand a chance. The car has no average or above average prices, the customer is looking for a more attractive alternative. We therefore rated these photographs as ‘bad’ in the study.

Results
In the end 2,500 advertisements with bad photos were examined and over 3,500 with good photos. We have put this in proportion. Fortunately, it was easier to find good photos than bad ones.

Good photos are important, because we are currently living in an ‘Instagram world’. Good photos certainly have a consequence for the number of engagement metrics on the car. Not only the hard numbers such as leads, but also VDP views and clicks within the VDP are higher for good photos.

Results per engagement:
• E-mail leads + 52.4%
• Telephone leads + 35.7%
• URL clicks (visit website) + 26%

So?
All ads also had a much larger CTR (Click Through Rate) from the SRP (Search Results Page) to the VDP (product page), making the chance of a lead many times greater. Either way, it pays to invest in good photos, but also investing in your marketing department makes sense. You can’t and shouldn’t have the photos taken by sellers, especially not if your company has a certain scale. They really have to do it, in between, despite all the madness of the day. That doesn’t produce good photos. There is also a good chance that the image is not consistent and the same applies to the texts under the photo that must invite the customer to click. Again, I think that is really a marketing activity and not something for the sellers.

About Paul de Vries
Paul de Vries has a tremendous track record in the automotive industry. He went from owner of a dealer company via the online sales platform Nieuweautokopen.nl to Marktplaats (eBay), where Paul is now Key Automotive Spokesperson. In addition, he is the founder and owner of #DCDW, a platform for dealers and car companies that want to sell more cars online. Paul presents the #DCDW Podcast weekly and under the heading #DCDW Academy he provides training and courses in the field of sales and online automotive for salesmen, sales managers and management. Paul is frequently asked as a speaker at seminars and congresses, he blogs a lot and his most popular blogs were brought together in two books: ‘Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ and ‘Follow up: meer success als digitaal autobedrijf’. More information about Paul, his books and his services can be found at: DCDW.nl.

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