Despite the push for online everything and the digital trends that are taking over more and more retail space, car dealerships are still in business. Twenty years ago, it was predicted that the internet was going to revolutionize car buying, and physical car dealerships just wouldn't be a necessity. Today, some pundits are giving it until 2030 before mobility fleets take over and private vehicle ownership is a thing of the past ... but that's only one prediction.

The Opposing Views

The sentiment that brick-and-mortar dealerships are falling by the wayside is being spurred on by large corporations like Cox Automotive and IHS Markit, a global information provider. According to WardsAuto, Cox is predicting its New Mobility Group is going to become a $5 billion business within a decade, while IHS Markit predicts a 33 percent drop in car sales over the next 20 years.

On the other side of the issue is Wes Lutz, the National Automobile Dealers Association Chairman, who, late in 2018, called on the media to dispute the notion that ride-hailing services are going to replace vehicle ownership. According to WardsAuto, he also challenges the views that self-driving cars are going to be safer than human drivers, and that dealerships hate to sell electric vehicles.

No matter which side of this issue you come down on, the fact remains that your bottom line needs to grow while you're here, be it for another 10 years or 100. The best way to do this can be through an integration of the technology and media that shoppers need for research and the physical space where they can experience and test drive the cars.

Keeping Consumers Coming In

Are Physical Dealerships Becoming a Thing of the Past?The automotive landscape has been a big part of the American story, and it has continued to grow and evolve with the changing times. This shift in ideology as to what tomorrow may bring for the auto industry is no different, and the best way to be prepared for whatever trend comes next is to stay adaptable.

As the business of selling vehicles evolves, so too must your business. One way to do this is to take advantage of consumers' new hunger for research.

You could integrate new online features on your website that allow customers to chat with someone as they’re building their car. Make sure you have pictures, prices, deals, and incentives in your online listing so that shoppers know what to expect when they come into your showroom ready for a test drive.

Another tried and true method of keeping customers coming through your door is fast, friendly, and courteous customer service – from everyone on staff. This is something that's especially critical for salespeople and service staff.

According to Cox Automotive, consumer satisfaction and loyalty have been trending downward across all service providers since 2015. In order to keep up with the growing demand to have satisfactory service on their schedule, dealer service centers can also take advantage of the advances technology has to offer. Allow customers to book service appointments online or from a mobile app, allow online bill payments, and have valet or ride shares available when customers are dropping off their vehicles.

There are many approaches you can employ to help your dealership meet its sales goals in this new and evolving market, but the one constant is that you need consumers in your dealership ready to buy if you're going to turn them into customers.

Let Us Help Drive Leads to You

That's where we come in. At Auto Credit Express, we can help get quality leads through your doors. We're confident your business can benefit from our expertise and 20 years of experience providing auto leads to dealerships all across the country.

Our new, used, and subprime leads are ready to be delivered to your store, and our automotive BDC can help prepare those leads to come to you knowing what to expect and serious about buying. And that's not all we do. To get a full list of our services and see how we can help you grow your bottom line, give us a call today at 888-535-2277, or fill out our online contact form and we'll be in touch!