Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, car buying is not a quick process. According to a JD Power index, it took new-car buyers on average 3.6 hours to complete a purchase. If you want to include the time for research, it goes up to 14.44 hours. Consumers have responded to surveys throughout the years asking for a quicker car buying experience. Automotive digital retailing has been gaining momentum and then was supercharged into usage when COVID-19 placed the country on lock-down. Digital retailing went from something of a luxury item to a necessity to keep dealers selling cars, and now that it is here – it isn’t going anywhere.
Fact: 69% of dealers added at least 1 online step because of COVID-19. What was yours?*
The definition of digital retailing goes beyond a dealership having a website, email campaign, and some sort of digital reputation. At its core, digital retailing enables consumers to have a complete and realistic scenario of a purchase, from locating the exact vehicle to financing and payment options. Digital retailing in automotive is not a one-click “easy button” purchase; while we all enjoy that feature while shopping at our favorite online retailers, there are much higher expectations involved with the purchase of a vehicle.
Fact: 80% of franchised dealerships surveyed said they plan to implement more digital purchase elements in the next year or two. Are you one of them?*
Digital retailing in automotive allows a dealership to tailor the car buying experience based on consumer search behaviors. Car buyers can complete as much or as little of the process online, placing car buyers in the driver’s seat even before they hit your showroom’s floor. If done right, online car buyers who have gone through your digital retailing process are 6x more likely to close at a 28% higher gross profit.
Fact: 84% of consumers and 79% of dealers say digital retailing creates a more seamless buying experience. So, how does your team help car buyers get to a “yes” faster?*
When responding to leads, don’t use a generic template that isn’t personalized to the car buyer. Most emails only include the vehicle inquired about without any pricing. Include the car, answer any questions, have additional vehicle options (new + used), available programs, trade-in and test drive information plus pricing.
Online Chat & Text
The number of people wanting to be contacted via phone and email has been decreasing since 2018. In comparison, online chat and text have been steadily increasing as the preferred first point of contact. Ensure your website has a chat function that can assist your team and customers during the day and capture those leads after business hours.
Easy & Breezy Trade-in Values
Give customers the ability to estimate their vehicle trade-in values online, including in your chat feature where they can ask and get answers to any questions.
Get Buyers’ Financing Approved Online and Securely
More car buyers are concerned about monthly payments, and they don’t want to spend hours at the dealership only to find out they can’t afford the car they want. Most car buyers are payment driven versus vehicle price-driven; the more information you can provide with options, the better. Streamline the buying process for all customers.
Content May Be King, but Video Is Queen
Use video to show off vehicle features, explain the financing process, and your online and at-home buying and servicing options. Use video technology that tracks engagement so your team understands where the consumer is in the buying process and can follow up immediately.
More than 80% of consumers say they want to complete 1 or more steps of the car-buying process online. With just 1 in 3 dealerships offering all of the purchase steps online, there are opportunities that will set your dealership apart from the competition!*
Don’t know where to begin in digital retailing and your dealership? Digital Air Strike is the industry leader in consumer engagement technology – providing not only the technology but an award-winning team of experts to enhance your digital presence and streamline your process.
Get a free Mystery Shop of your dealership to see where you stack up when it comes to Digital Retailing and quick tips to improve your process and get car buyers closer to purchase.
IT’S A GAME CHANGER!
“Digital Air Strike is the most successful thing I’ve used to keep moving forward during COVID-19.”
Fact: 41% of car buyers only visit 1 dealership.*
*Info from Cox Automotive 2019 and 2020 surveys.