Industry research shows that a new demographic of consumers is looking for a more digital and transparent car-shopping experience. Dealers who recognize and respond to this trend will see tremendous success. But it won’t come without some adjustments.
Last month, we discussed interviewing potential digital retailing solutions (DRS) vendors and implementation in your dealership. This month, we’ll dive into how marketing and training are essential elements to your team’s success.
Get the Word Out
Now that you have a dynamic DRS at your disposal, crank up your marketing efforts and communicate this capability to your marketing area.
This is especially important for those consumers who are seeing commercials from such companies as Carvana, Vroom and others and are reconsidering the need to visit a traditional dealership. Simply placing a “Buy Now” or “Express Checkout” button will only appeal to those shoppers on your site. The homepage of your website should have your DRS front and center as well as banners on the search result pages and vehicle detail pages. Ask your DRS provider if it offers white-label options that would allow you to brand the buy-online experience as your own.
• Give this new offering the same promotion you would if you just opened a new body shop or used-car center.
• Keep the message relevant. Utilize various occasions to rev up sales, and use your DRS as a marketing lever. Launch “Cyber Spring Sale” events and encourage customers to “buy your next vehicle online at XYZ dealership and save $500. Just search our inventory and click the ‘Buy Now’ button!”
• Find a solution that supports your team with a marketing strategy and a dealer marketing toolbox with free web banners and ads, email marketing materials and consumer-focused video for sharing on social media and your website.
• Consider creating a video, and introduce this brand-new option with your dealership.
• Don’t forget to leverage social media. Connect with customers on the channels they use. For example, a member of your team could record a happy customer’s experience and post it on Facebook or Instagram.
• Also leverage your traditional advertising channels to build awareness. Utilize billboards. It’s a powerful question: “Why shop online when you can BUY online?”
Provide Appropriate Time for Training Your Sales Team
The more your team knows about the potential of the DRS and how to work with it, the better the showroom experience for buyers.
• Make sure training is part of the DRS integration, helping the sales team transition a consumer to a digital approach.
• Digital metrics should be part of your overall statistics. Put a spotlight on the digital-sales progress.
• The solution should educate the sales staff to use your dealer dashboard for admin reports and analytics.
• Train sales team members to use the “Showroom Mode” of the DRS. They can then coach the consumer through the process. Leverage the digital transparent experience, and allow the consumer to utilize the solution in the showroom.
• Whether consumers complete the entire process in the showroom or start at home and finish in the dealership, your credibility grows dramatically by giving the dealership online-conditioned consumer control of the process.
• Explain the dealership’s overall sales strategy to ensure everyone is on the same page.
• Provide the word track and documented process for the business department center (BDC) that addresses the consumer who is part of a digital deal.
Dealerships across the nation have integrated digital retailing into their online and showroom sales strategies. A dedicated dealership team partnering with a world-class vendor is bound to achieve digital-retailing success.