Dealerships Find Success with Digital Retailing During Coronavirus

Dealerships Find Success with Digital Retailing During Coronavirus

Dealerships Find Success with Digital Retailing During Coronavirus

The one tool that dealerships need right now

May 19, 2020

As repercussions from the coronavirus reverberate throughout every industry, dealerships have responded quickly by upping their use of modern retailing tactics – including digital retailing.

The end result is that over the past couple of months, customers have gotten more of what they’ve been asking for in recent years …

  • online transactions
  • increased transparency
  • the ability to buy on their time, from anywhere, etc.
  • improved overall experience

Due to this success, the majority of dealerships (79% franchise/65% independent) currently engaging customers with digital retailing plan to keep doing so post-COVID, according to a study by Cox Enterprises.

However, there’s an even bigger opportunity that comes with automotive digital retail.

Online sales not the whole picture

Being able to buy outside of normal dealership hours is just one growing trend that consumers are driving. Recent numbers show that 17% of online car-sale conversions are happening when dealerships are closed.

Giving car buyers the ability to complete purchases online 24/7 is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to maximizing your sales.

Adding digital retailing functionality to a customer experience platform that tells you who to contact – and when, why, and how to contact them – completes the picture: now you’re communicating with customers who are most likely to buy, in addition to giving them new ways to complete the sale with you that involve never having to leave home.

Making it really easy for your customers who are ready to buy a car, buy from you.

The numbers also tell us that sales closed this way generate more revenue ($500 more) than the average car sale. In more good news, those expecting to delay a vehicle purchase by 6 months or longer dropped from 13% to 2% of consumers in the first week of May, Cox Enterprises has reported.

Which is why we at AutoAlert are excited to announce our partnership with AutoFi, the leading online automotive finance solution, because with this partnership we are now able to offer the only data-backed digital retailing for dealerships.

Where your customers are and what they want now

Meeting your customers where they are today includes connecting with them to communicate a message that resonates with them right now, with the ability to meet all of their needs and expectations. (Or better, exceed their expectations.)

The best and perhaps only way to do this today is through data-backed digital retailing.

We already know that around 86% of consumers start their car shopping journey online.

Now, a recent Cox Enterprises study shows that most customers (62%) are happy to buy a car start-to-finish without ever setting foot in a dealership.

Still, when exactly are they ready to buy? Are they coming to see you soon, for service or another appointment? Have they been shopping other dealerships? Other brands? What type of online shopper are they – or, what’s their typical online shopping behavior – so that analytics can better predict when they’re close to buying? And the data goes on.

Being able to bring all data points to a single piece of personalized action for your dealership to take to meet each customer, at exactly the right time, is what the future of car sales looks like. So is being able to take that action from anywhere, and allowing your customer to respond (and buy) from anywhere.

Keeping you customers … and attracting new ones

The best digital retailing gives your dealership everything you need to pursue and close sales remotely, while also predicting which customers are mostly likely to buy today, pointing them out to you, and giving you action to take with them.

It’s about reaching customers where they are physically as well as where they are in the customer journey.

We know it’s much more cost-effective to keep the customers you have rather than going after new ones. Provide expectation-busting customer experiences with intelligent digital retailing for improved loyalty and let new customers find you …

Including the “20% of people in the United States who do not currently own a vehicle [but] are now considering purchasing one,” as NADA reported earlier this month.

With well-rounded digital retailing in place, every dealership can provide the standout customer experiences that win consumers’ attention, their business, and their loyalty.

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