Prepare for Upcoming Changes to Dealer Listings on Facebook Marketplace
With more than 20 million people clicking on listings each month, Facebook’s Marketplace for Autos is one of the most popular places to shop for used vehicles online, but come September, significant changes will be hitting the platform.1 Facebook announced the decision to end mass listing of used vehicles on Marketplace with partner catalog feeds, which means that dealers will no longer be able to rely on partners like Sincro to promote their used inventory on Marketplace. While this may sound ominous, it does not mean the end of automotive on Marketplace, but rather a change in listing vehicles at scale and an opportunity to consider other strategies to promote inventory on Facebook and keep shoppers engaged.
On September 13th, 2021, the only way to list used vehicles on Marketplace will be to create listings from a Business Page manually – and you guessed it, that means these listings will require manual removal, one-by-one as well. A common reaction to this news is frustration because it will be a heavy lift for dealers to support this time-consuming work internally.
However, we have also witnessed industry reactions of relief and recognition of the opportunity at hand. Historically, listing used inventory on Marketplace has been messy for dealers to manage across multiple partners. It was challenging to get inaccurate listings corrected by the right partner in a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, as a Marketplace Partner for dealers, we experienced spam and fraudulent attempts over the years that wasted both partners’ and dealers’ time. For those curious about what opportunity this change to Marketplace could create, think back to 2019 when Craigslist decided to start charging $5 per vehicle listed. Shopper demand did not decrease, but the overall volume of vehicle listings certainly did, which created an opportunity for savvy dealers to stay in the game and gain a competitive advantage. We anticipate that this Marketplace change will yield a similar result with a significant reduction of listings starting on September 13th and no shift in shopper demand. In preparation, consider a few strategies that you may choose to make a part of your new plan to promote inventory on Facebook:
1. Prioritize vehicles for manual listing. If your dealership is committed to Marketplace, it is wise to rethink your approach to reduce the time and resources required to support this work. For example, rather than listing all used vehicles, maximize your return by focusing instead on a smaller subset of inventory. Think strategically about which inventory is most advantageous to sell quickly and make those vehicles a priority. This could mean listing aged units or focusing on high demand certified pre-owned units. Whatever strategy you choose, lowering the number of vehicles listed manually will save you time but also limits your exposure on Marketplace.
2. Promote all inventory on Marketplace with Automotive Inventory Ads (AIA). An excellent alternative to listing vehicles on Marketplace is promoting inventory in the Marketplace feed (in-between listings) with an industry favorite, Automotive Inventory Ads. AIA is available with a vehicle catalog and offers a couple of options to consider: traditional Automotive Inventory Ads (click to website) and On-Facebook Destination for AIA (click to in-app VDP). Both ad types offer ad placement directly in the Marketplace feed, plus On-Facebook Destination for AIA boasts premium placement. These ads produce 3-5x more reach and impressions for clients, and there is great opportunity for dealers to captivate shoppers and earn their trust by engaging with them on Messenger in real-time. Also, if you aren’t entirely set-up for support on Messenger, Facebook just released On-Facebook Destination Lead Form Ads which is a great option until you establish your Messenger support model.
3. Turn your dealership’s Facebook page into your social showroom. About one third of auto shoppers visit a dealer’s social media profile page during their purchase journey2. Don’t miss your chance to allow shoppers to browse inventory directly from your business page. With a vehicle catalog, dealers can list both new and used inventory on the Vehicles Tab of their Facebook page with a few simple clicks. Make “View Inventory” the primary CTA on your business page and allow shoppers to filter inventory vehicles based on their preferences (e.g., price, mileage) with the same filtering experience available on Marketplace.
Don’t wait to decide how your dealership will continue to drive inventory engagement with the changes coming to Marketplace. Start making your plans and consider turnkey VIN advertising solutions like Social Suite to remain competitive in one of the most popular channels for auto shoppers.
1 Facebook internal data. Jan 2019
2 “Auto eCommerce Study” (Facebook-commissioned online study of 1,153 Auto Buyers and Intenders ages 18+, USA, August-September 2020)