Gubagoo, a leading provider of digital retailing and messaging solutions for automotive dealerships, published data showing the continued increase of online retail and messaging tools, even as automotive dealerships return to full operations.
Changes to the automotive retail environment due to the pandemic have increased the importance of doing business online for dealers. Gubagoo’s Virtual Retailing, which allows dealers to sell vehicles online, and Gubagoo’s ChatSmart, which facilitates conversations with customers on dealers’ websites, saw record usage through this period, the company said.
While the use of digital tools during widespread closures increased dramatically, more notable is that the use of these tools continues to increase, even as communities across the country re-open.
In the past four weeks, Virtual Retailing use has increased by 39% nationwide, and messaging has increased an additional 17% from the historic levels seen during the height of the pandemic.
“As progressive dealers have adopted Virtual Retailing, customers are showing the automotive community that it is the experience they have always wanted,” said Brad Title, CEO of Gubagoo. “When we actively engage and serve the customer online, they are far more likely to purchase from the dealership.”
Dealers who staff their online showrooms, even as they bring staff back into their physical showrooms, are seeing strong results with online sales.
Tommy Coppola, general manager at Advantage Toyota Valley Stream in New York, did just that when he implemented Gubagoo’s Virtual Retailing. “Customers are really engaged with us on the Virtual Retailing platform,” Coppola said. “It is simple for them to use, and we can seamlessly desk a deal in real time. We love it, our customers love it, and it is accelerating our sales as business opens up.”
Eastern Shore Toyota, located in Daphne, AL, switched to Gubagoo from a digital retailing vendor that did not integrate customer messaging, right as the pandemic was closing down operations. They are having tremendous success with online sales.
“We have been absolutely delighted with our switch to Gubagoo as our digital retailing platform,” said Emily Brock, internet manager for the store. “Our sales opportunities increased 5x. More than 100 vehicles were sold online in 30 days.”
Rick Campbell of Vann York Auto Group echoes the importance of engaging customers with Gubagoo’s ChatSmart in real time when they are making a complex purchase with Virtual Retailing. “We find that when we jump in and chat with our guests online, the rapport we build helps us increase our chances of selling them a vehicle,” Campbell said.
“The full resources of our company are behind helping dealers navigate the months ahead,” said Title. “While we may be facing uncertainty, automotive dealers are resilient, and we look forward to continuing to play an important part in keeping the industry selling cars.”
For more information, visit gubagoo.com