Today’s car-shopping journey is no longer as simple as visiting several dealerships and taking test drives. Instead, modern consumers are increasingly turning toward technology to help them research and decide on their purchases—before they ever think about visiting a dealership. And for dealerships, this means it’s imperative to create both the best in-house and online experiences to reach consumers.
For shoppers, the number of devices, channels, and platforms continues to increase. In fact, for the first time ever, shoppers overall recently reached the point of making over half their purchases online. Dealerships that work to target consumers throughout their chosen buying journeys will have the best shot at building new customer relationships, retaining existing customers, and, ultimately, boosting car sales. To put things in perspective, keep in mind where shoppers are likely to be found in the earlier stages of their vehicle searches:
If your dealership wants to strengthen its appeal to shoppers, it’s important to take the entire buyer journey into consideration, and the best way to do that is to reach out to shoppers—before they’ve contacted you—through the online platforms they’re using to research and discover the products they want to buy.
Consumers go through many steps before purchasing, and dealerships that know where they are in their journeys are more successful in closing deals and building lasting relationships. In today’s technology-driven world, successful dealerships are leaning on data to deliver valuable insights that give them an edge and allow them to deliver exactly what customers need. Comprehensive platforms like AutoAlert’s One-to-One Intelligent Marketing pinpoint in-market consumer behaviors and help dealerships target the best opportunities at exactly the right times. When your dealership delivers what individual customers need—precisely when it’s needed—via valuable data-driven insights, you’ll see increased bottom-line gains.
We know shoppers are doing a majority of their research before they get to the dealership. In fact 88% of consumers shop online for cars! This means it’s imperative for your dealership to reach out, make a great impression, and build lasting relationships with consumers online. That’s what will bring them to your lot to purchase their vehicles. To get you started, here are 6 Easy Ways to Reach Shoppers BEFORE They Get to Your Dealership:
1. Be mobile-friendly. It’s key to ensure your website is viewable on any device and browser, and it’s vital your site loads quickly; if not, you run the risk of losing customers:
2. Beef up your brand. Make sure your general brand and your brand advocates are working for you. When branding is appealing and working well, in-market consumers can easily run across your dealership during their online research, and they’ll want to interact with you because you’ll stand out from the crowd.
3. Know who’s car shopping. Invest in technology that gives you valuable in-market consumer insights. Dealerships that are using data mining and leveraging advanced analytics are gaining an edge over the competition. AutoAlert’s PandoSocial delivers insights directly to dealership CRMs so they can capture in-market consumers when they’re ready to buy.
4. Offer relevant and consistent content. Consumers want consistency, and 61% are more likely to buy from a business that delivers customized, real-time content. It makes them feel like they can count on you and trust your brand. Be sure to offer content that’s helpful and timely, and steer clear of selling. When you focus on ways to engage and educate your audience, you’ll ensure your followers continue to come back for more.
5. Interact. Today’s consumers love to interact, and they want to know they’re being heard by your dealership. Take time out to respond to emails, social posts, reviews, and any other interactions. When you stay engaged and show you’re listening, consumers will be more likely to remain loyal to your brand and advocate for you when opportunities arise.
6. Be available and visible. Make sure your dealership knows where the majority of your consumers hang out. Once you’ve established a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other platforms your customers love, be sure to be consistent when you post. Your followers will come to expect it, and that’s how you’ll grow your audience.
To appeal to modern consumers who do a majority of their research and shopping online, it’s important to make your brand available to them via a variety of outlets before they get to the dealership. Bridging the gap between your consumer and your dealership as quickly, efficiently, and seamlessly as possible is the best way to ensure more customers choose you over the competition. Utilize all the tools in your toolbox to ensure you’re up to speed with today’s shoppers and their needs—and you’ll benefit by reaching a larger audience, retaining more repeat customers, and selling more cars.