People across the country are eager to get back to the status quo, and this would be a great relief for many car dealerships. However, some things that have been gained through the coronavirus pandemic, especially the ability to offer customers a complete digital retailing experience, shouldn't be lost when things get back to normal.
Digital Retailing Is Here to Stay
For the past few years, consumers have been increasingly moving toward an online economy, with experts touting the importance of transitioning automotive sales to a more user-friendly online experience to match this emerging retail trend. With an industry as rooted in the past as this one, many retailers were understandably hesitant to do so.
In some cases, dealer websites remain little more than interactive advertisements, even as more and more consumers start the car buying process online. Enter 2020. This year, in the attempt to crush the COVID-19 pandemic, dealerships all across the nation have been forced to transition into the digital realm.
Though sales have dropped from original forecasts, selling cars online has worked.
Make Digital Retail Work for Your Dealership
As more people across the nation look for the lifting of stay-at-home orders in their states, dealerships have another fight on their hands: to remain in this new digital retailing era, and not revert back to a primarily analog sales model.
When and if things get back to normal, one thing dealers should not cut from their stores’ repertoire is the ability to start and complete a sale online. There’s also an advantage to this approach as, according to Cox Automotive data, dealerships that incorporate digital retailing into their sales process have 26% higher gross profits along with a 30% higher close rate.
In order to make this facet of business work for you in the long haul, you need to have a plan. Here are a few tips:
- Have a point person for all digital retailing business.
- Make sure that your staff is trained in the protocols of digital retailing.
- Ensure procedures used in online sales remain consistent.
- Be sure digital sales staff can identify where shoppers are in the process.
- Keep all interactions online, over the phone, and through social media professional and transparent, and don't forget to build customer rapport.
It's also important to get to know your digital retailing strengths and weaknesses, so once in a while, you should visit your own website to check out what consumers are seeing. In order to provide your prospects with a great experience, make sure that your website is offering essentials like:
- Fast page speed
- Customized inventory
- Easy to use filtering and sorting
- 360-degree photos
- Side-by-side vehicle comparisons
- The ability to close sales online
Get the Word Out to Prospects
Once you've got digital retailing working for you, you need to keep prospects coming in, and maintain traffic coming to your website. With so many dealerships online, and so many prospects searching for the right fit, you have to make sure that you stand out from the crowd.
At Auto Credit Express, we can help you stay ahead of the rest by bringing you qualified leads that have been verified and are ready to buy. We've been an award-winning lead generator in the subprime space for over 20 years, and we want to put our expertise to work for you.
In addition to qualified leads, we can also help your digital efforts by featuring your new and used inventory across a network of over 130 automotive websites with our partner CarsDirect Connect. This is just the tip of our iceberg when it comes to what we can do to increase sales at your dealership. To find out how we can help your store, give us a call at 888-535-2277 or fill out our contact form online.