When the light bulb finally goes on, you recognize the “brave new world” is upon you, and you understand and are ready to embrace the constituent base that is crying out to do business with you in a new manner, congratulations are in order.
The “Amazon demographic” only continues to grow, and as you craft a strategy and path to engagement with this constituent base, here are a few keys to establishing and implementing a digital-retailing value proposition.
Most entities moving to the “digital retailing” space purport to engage in “retailing” but, in reality, they are engaging in nothing more than another well-disguised lead-generation tool.
Don’t clutter your website with buttons that consume valuable digital real estate and are nothing more than slick lead-gen tools. They can actually set you back and cause you to miss engagement with this rapidly growing market demographic.
If you’re a forward-thinking retailer ready to capture this economically critical subset of buyers, start by onlyvetting companies that can truly sell a car digitally, online. You shouldpartner with a digital-retailing team that gives the pricing, selection and appraising decisions to the dealer.
To guarantee success, consider these three key factors:
First: To find a “best-in-class” digital-retailing solution, ask the following questions. The answers you receive will be critical.
• Does the digital-retailing solution ensure continued engagement by the consumer on your dealership’s website?
• Does the solution anticipate the path that a consumer would expect and encourage continued and sustained time moving through the process? Was the solution created by a software provider or by a team who understands the road to the sale at a granular level?
• Does the solution offer functionality that not just protects but grows profit centers for your store?
• How accurate are the tax and fee calculations? Virtually all the market options do not include taxes, fees, rebates, incentives and payoffs.
• Does the solution allow the consumer to receive an actual loan offer and buy the vehicle they choose? This feature allows a consumer to have their credit processed and then routed to lenders as determined by the dealer. Look for a real-time response that shows multiple offers to the consumer and allows them to choose their payment option.
• Does the solution include a “showroom mode” that enables the sales team to offer the consumer a digital-shopping experience from their home or the showroom?
Second: Get the word out. You now have something new and innovative to differentiate yourself. This is especially important for those market areas with exposure to TV commercials from companies such as Carvana, CarMax and others.
Give this new offering the same promotion you would if you just opened a brand-new franchise location or used-car center:
• Leverage television. Hitchhike on the ad dollars Carvana is investing.
• Leverage radio, billboards and social media.
• Use your website, especially if your solution offers “best-in-class” performance.
Third: Encourage your sales team members to engage their customers withyour digital-retailing solution. Assure the sales team that your digital-retailing solution is going to streamline the sales process and improve customer satisfaction.
• Make sure to share the positive online feedback, encouraging customers and salespeople to post things like positive Google reviews, etc.
• Incentivize the sales team with a spiff, such as $25 for every customer who starts on the digital-retailing solution and then interacts with the showroom, BDC or phone.
• Discuss digital-retailing results in every sales meeting and celebrate the wins.
• Train sales team members to use the “showroom mode” of the digital-retailing solution. They can then assist multiple “ups” and coach the consumer through the process.
• Create, provide and train word tracks for the BDC and role-play real-world scenarios that engage the consumer who is accustomed to an Amazon-like buying experience.
The solution is a dealer-centric web app that is simple to install and engages the user in an easy-to-navigate process for buyers. It provides the dealer with the decision-making ability to control all facets of pricing, appraisals and accessory/aftermarket/F&I profitability in one, easy-to-use solution.
A digital-retailing solution allows dealerships to attract a whole new group of customers they’ve never served before, selling their in-stock inventory with higher gross profits from their own websites in a hassle-free, user-initiated, end-to-end process.
This demographic is exploding, yearning for a dealer partner who “gets them” and allows them to purchase a car from them in their way, time and place. In return, they’ll pay you higher profits, position to leverage their loyalty and create for you opportunities to carve out a tremendous niche in the market, being the first to offer what people truly desire.
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