5 Tips dealerships can use to win in today’s digital retail world

We all know consumer buyer behaviour is changing. Your digital forecourt is more important than ever. But, as buyers spend more and more time online and less time in our physical forecourts I know some dealers are finding the change a struggle.

 

The problems

You only have to think back to how your website looked 5 years ago to see just how much Automotive websites have improved, but there’s still so much more we can do to improve.

One of the things i’ve noticed is that dealers are getting better and better at reaching customers that are ready to buy, but we often neglect customers that are still researching and haven’t quite made up their mind.

This is where i see the biggest wins for dealers.  Only 25% of buyers purchase the car they first start the journey on, so chances are; if you’re not appearing early enough in the buying journey you’ll be missing out on customers.

 

What car dealers should be doing online to attract customers earlier

Reviews

Reviews are a great example of how you can attract customers earlier in the buying journey. Reviews help provide more of the information buyers need to make an informed choice. A buyer shouldn’t have to head elsewhere to find the information they need. If you don’t have the resource to write reviews yourself why not include customer reviews?

 

Comparison tools

Customers want to be able to compare the different cars they’re considering. Whether they’re looking for the most economical or  family friendly car comparisons are key. I know many dealers are worried about adding comparisons to their website, especially across different brands. But if you don’t give buyers this information they’ll only find it somewhere else.

 

Following up on online leads

Customers are getting used to shorter and shorter reply times online, with many websites now including live chat customers expect replies almost instantly. Dealers often ask me how they can generate more leads into their business, the first things I always tell them to do it look at the leads they’re already generating. Usually you can win more business by simply improving the time and quality of your customer replies.

 

Mobile

Is your website mobile friendly? Customers now have more freedom to search for a car at any time of day on the device of their choice. If you’re website isn’t mobile friendly I can guarantee you’ll be missing out on customers. According to Google 1 in 3 shoppers use their mobile to as part of the purchase process or to call a dealer.

 

Social Media

Social media is a great way to build trust when buyers are trying to decide if they should buy from you. Here are some easy ways to build credibility and trust using social media:

  • Share handover pictures. A picture of a happy customer collecting their new car will do wonders to build trust and credibility. People trust peer reviews and recommendations. South Coast Volkswagen do a great job of showcasing happy customers on their Facebook page.
  • Showcase the culture if your business with pictures of staff birthdays and team events. Remember people buy from people.
  • Post regular content (weekly should do it) when a company hasn’t updated their social media customers are left wondering if the company is even trading anymore.

 

Read next: Three more ways for your car dealership to stand out online >