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The surge in online video consumption has effectively shifted to the car shopping experience. For Canadian car shoppers, watching online videos has become one of the top online information sources that influence their purchase decision, with 77% of used car buyers and 79% for new car purchasers citing the impact video has on their decision-making process. 1 There’s never been a better time to strategically leverage this opportunity as a sure-fire tactic to move prospects further down the funnel. Let’s deep dive the two primary video types to implement across your inventory listings, along with some guidelines to up your online merchandising game.

Vehicle Videography


Vehicle videos provide consumers with a “virtual walkaround” of a vehicle and actively bridge the gap between the online shopping experience and the in-person dealership visit. car shopper research demonstrates that 42% of car shoppers find walkaround videos of the interior and exterior of a vehicle to be helpful in their car buying journey, proving to be a worthwhile investment to support consumers.2 Additionally, videos of vehicles on your lot help you achieve cohesive, high-quality merchandising by demonstrating your dealership’s commitment to providing a first-class experience, which can positively impact consumer trust as well as interest.

According to an analysis of consumer activity and engagement on, inventory listings that contain video show a 22% increase in lead volume.3 If you’re advertising on it’s easy to generate inventory videos through the Stitch Video and Custom Video features. With Custom Video, you can import your own YouTube videos directly to your inventory listings in a few easy steps.

Your inventory video strategy will only work for you if you curate quality content. Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating videos:

  • Be very detailed and include a full 360-degree exterior view of the vehicle, displaying all angles
  • When filming the exterior, avoid standing too close to the vehicle and ensure your shadow isn’t casting to the vehicle body
  • Showcase all available features, particularly those that standout from other models a consumer may be considering
  • For the interior, sit in the back seat and capture a left-to-right pan of the driver and front passenger compartment, helping your prospects visualize themselves behind the wheel
  • Focus the camera’s lens on key interior features, including the sun/moonroof, premium upholstered seating, keyless entry, push-button start, infotainment system, as well as safety features like lane keep assist, blind spot assist and front collision mitigation
  • Make sure your lighting is good, as videos that are either too bright or dark can cause viewers to skip past the important content
  • Film in an uncluttered location, with ample clear space around the vehicle, with dealership signage in most frames, to showcase your branding
  • Use a high-quality camera, however, if you choose to use a cell phone, be sure to capture the video in landscape view
  • Keep your camera as still as possible for smooth movement; alternatively, invest in a stabilizer
  • Don’t film everything in one go – capturing small segments helps keep you focused and makes editing footage easier
  • Edit, edit, edit – blend clips and sounds to make your videos more dynamic and engaging
  • Add features such as voiceovers, overlays and dealership branding, where suitable
  • Include a call-to-action to prompt customers to take specific action after watching, for instance, “Book your test drive today!”

Dealership Videography


A video that details your dealership is arguably just as important as those that feature your inventory. Dealership videos help promote your store, differentiate it from your competitors, and have the potential to build confidence, trust and elevate your brand perception with car shoppers.

The best dealership videos convey your brand’s message and provide an insider’s view of your operations, giving your prospective customers a view of the experience they’ll have doing business with you. It’s a happy medium between showing and telling car shoppers why they should buy their next vehicle from your dealership. Our Dealership Video feature provides your store with the opportunity to showcase a videos on all your Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs), enabling you to tell your story to car shoppers engaging your inventory listings.

Here are some dealership video guidelines to effectively curate a video that can increase customer trust and confidence:

  • Start with a script, listing out all the unique aspects of your dealership and what sets you apart from the competition, ensuring your story is compelling
  • Be sure to include years in service, brand promise, unique selling proposition, service offerings, and relatable content, such as fun facts about the team
  • Develop a relationship with prospective customers by detailing your team, values, and post-sale support
  • Include customer testimonials and awards to illustrate your dealership’s recognition in your local market
  • Stay on brand – replicate your brand’s personality and tone of voice in the video and include distinct brand elements your dealership is known for
  • When it comes to visuals, capture wide shots of your dealership, vehicles on your lot, your team at work across both sales and service departments, close ups of your awards showcase – the options are endless
  • Use old photos or videos of your dealership to demonstrate the evolution of your store and highlight your years in service
  • Include a call-to-action to prompt customers to take specific action after watching, for example, “We’re Open on Saturdays, so Come in to Test Drive Your Next Vehicle Today!”

When In Doubt, Leave It to the Experts


AutoTrader’s Capture Services offers a first-class approach to capturing your vehicles and your dealership, complete with aerial view of your store’s exterior, inventory on your lot, and a variety of possible indoor footage. Our team consists of highly trained and experienced professionals utilizing state-of-the-art equipment to ensure your brand shines through the lens, providing you with quality video content you can be proud of.

Key Takeaways

  • Car shoppers find video walkarounds featuring the interior and exterior of a vehicle to be helpful in their car-buying journey.
  • Inventory listings with video content on positively impact lead volume, showing a 22% lift.3
  • Videos are effective in garnering the attention of car shoppers and are more engaging as compared to static visuals, as they help consumers see themselves in the vehicle.
  • Dealership videos are great to convey your brand’s message and provide an insider’s view of your operation, which can increase customer trust and confidence.
  • Leverage Stitch Video, Custom Video and Dealership Video across your Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs) to create top notch car shopper experience for your dealership and inventory.

Sources: (1) DIG Insights Vehicle Path to Purchase Research Study, August 2022 (n=1369). (2) Merchandising Research Study, November – December 2021 (n=496). (3) AutoTrader Data Warehouse, October 2022 (n=6,000)