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Digital Retailing Requires Digital Showrooms

Digital retailing is a hot topic these days, and many dealers are thinking about the best way to establish an online car-buying process. New technology and tools promise to help dealers address the financing and purchasing part of the process, but what about vehicle selection?

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Digital retailing requires a digital showroom that instantly engages customers when they land on your website, helps them through the selection process and adequately reflects your brand experience.

For an immersive and educational online car-buying experience, videos are the answer. A lot of information can be conveyed in short videos designed to capture consumers’ emotions and attention.

For maximum impact, include the following types of videos: 

Interactive Presentations. When customers are buying a car online, they want to be able to research vehicles and ask questions about features they’re interested in. Interactive presentations of vehicle inventory allow customers to control the viewing experience so they can inspect the car at their own pace, and to click on hotspots to learn more information about features they’re interested in.

Test-Drive Videos. Once customers decide which features are important to them, they want to get a feel for how the car drives. Many customers will still come into the dealership for this, but for those who prefer to couch-shop, offer virtual test-drive videos. 

Value Proposition Videos. After a car shopper decides which make and model they want, the next question they ask is, “Where should I buy it from?” Your video showroom should contain several value proposition videos that give your customers reasons to buy from your dealership.

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These videos may have titles like, “Family owned,” “Community involvement,” “Huge selection of vehicles” or “Fair and upfront pricing.”

Educational Videos. Digital retailing is a new experience for everyone. To avoid disappointing customers, create a video that sets expectations. Educate prospects and customers on the process of buying a car online. Tell them how much time it will take and explain why each step is necessary.

Customer Testimonials. Today’s car shoppers want social proof. It’s critical to have several customer testimonials in your video showroom that show ordinary people talking about why they like your dealership. 

Staff Videos. Introduce your general manager, sales director, sales managers, service manager and parts manager with personal profile videos. Ensure your employees come across as likable and friendly. People want to do business with people they like, even if they never meet them in person. Video can immediately create the perception for customers that they already know and like your staff.

I recommend creating a variety of video content for your digital showroom so that you can use it for more than one purpose. In addition to posting videos in your digital showroom, use them across all marketing channels including email, social media, digital ads and on third-party auto sites.

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Within the next few years, 10-20% of customers will choose to complete the entire car-buying process online. To have a chance to win their business, you’ll need to explore solutions designed to deliver the best digital retailing experience to your customers — starting with a digital showroom.

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