In these turbulent times caused by the coronavirus, something dealers need to really focus on is their online presence. Imagine for a moment that stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders and social distancing lasts longer than anticipated … is your store prepared to shift business practices to the virtual world?

Selling Online Due to the Coronavirus

Is Your Car Dealership Prepared to Sell Online?Since folding up shop isn't a good option for business, you should shift focus to make sure your inventory can move in an online business model.

Think about this: is your website optimized for online sales? Is it easy for a prospect to go from browsing to buying? What about finalizing a loan online, handling signatures, and delivering vehicles? How does your website look on a mobile device?

Dealerships that are still selling have taken the steps to make sure this is an easy operation for their customers. If this isn't the case for your business, what can you do to improve? We have a few tips to help you out.

Here are six tips to making sure customers can still conduct business with you online due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. First things first, make sure you put a dedicated team in charge of handling online business. Need to find some work for salespeople that you don't want standing in a showroom void of customers? Make a rotating schedule of staff that's in charge of checking your online presence and answering incoming customer questions. Also, don't let your phone lines go unanswered just because you're not on the lot. Be sure to forward your phones if your showroom is closed or taking appointments only.
  2. Make sure that people know what you're all about as soon as they click on your page. Foster an attitude of complete transparency, and create a brand promise that helps people believe that nothing has really changed just because they can't browse in person.
  3. Get on your website as if you're a customer, and make sure you know what they're seeing. If you have trouble finding a price, or your website still says to come on in to get details, consider updating for the times. Remember that your website should be easy to navigate while giving consumers the full shopping and car buying experience. If you're closed due to stay-at-home orders, make sure your site is user-friendly and clear.
  4. Now that you know that customers can navigate your website, how does it stack up to others in grabbing a sale? Make sure your site uses customer-friendly features like 360-degree viewing and complete pricing information. No one likes to hit a price wall when they're shopping, especially if they can't come down in person. Additionally, make sure your vehicles are priced to move. Now could be the time to broom some older models off your lot to make room for 2020 and newer models.
  5. With the stay-at-home orders in many states, make sure that your business profiles are updated. If you're unable to open at this time, change your online listings to match the situation. Let prospects know if your service center is still open, and if your showroom is temporarily closed or open for appointments only.
  6. Don't forget to update your social media profiles, too! Now is the perfect time to hop on the stay-at-home video train and tell people about your business, your employees, and why you want to be their go-to dealership to buy from either online or in person when the world rights itself. You can also do video posts highlighting some of the cars you have for sale now and urge consumers to make an appointment for a socially-distanced showroom visit. Get creative! Customers like a dealership with personality – just remember to keep it professional.

Keep Prospects Coming in With Our Help

With everything so up in the air due to the global coronavirus pandemic, one thing you don't want to do is scramble for prospects. Sure, shopping may take a hit, but people still need vehicles. And if things don't get back to normal as soon as hoped, more people will take advantage of the online market.

This is especially true of people who may need more of a helping hand than others, like subprime borrowers. These can be some of the most loyal customers around, and they're the ones that are in need of cars to continue working as society becomes even more impacted by COVID-19.

If you want to ensure that your store stays in the game, let us help deliver you prospects that are out there now and ready to buy. At Auto Credit Express, we've been an award-winning lead-generation business for over 20 years, and we want to help you get the leads you need now more than ever.

Finding prospects that are ready to buy is only one small part of our business, though, and the services we have to offer can help you keep your bottom line healthy in this coronavirus-impacted economy. To see how we can help you maintain business, or reach out to new consumers, call us at 888-535-2277 or fill out our online contact form.