Today’s car-buying journey has changed. The customers you’re targeting now are making almost all of their purchase decisions online — long before they ever set foot into your showroom. In fact, today’s car buyer decides between less than two dealerships when purchasing a car. That means your chance to sell to them in person is virtually nonexistent.
Before they even reach your showroom they’ve already spent more than 14 hours researching your dealership and inventory online through third-party listing sites, review sites and your website.
To stay in sync with your customer base and maximize your exposure, you need to move more of your business presence and marketing online. So, what can you do as a dealer to ensure you continually earn and retain customers’ business?
It starts online with your digital strategy.
Use CRM Data to Personalize Email Marketing
In today’s digital-centric marketplace, having a reliable, well-organized CRM is necessary. Having a database full of accurate customer and prospect data is invaluable for sales and marketing, but you already know that.
Your CRM is a powerful tool. When your CRM is set up properly, you can use it to track leads through each phase of the journey, across all channels and devices. From there, you can use that information to create targeted marketing and advertising campaigns that drive bottom-line results. This is especially useful for personalized email campaigns.
By sending prospects targeted messaging based on their behavior, you can keep prospects engaged and continue the conversation for sales. Email campaigns can be tailored to different audience interests in pre-purchase and post-purchase contexts. You can send pre-purchase emails designed to increase or renew interest in certain makes and models in your inventory, while post-purchase emails present a unique opportunity to win-back service business from customers who chose not to buy a car from you. These emails are also important for retaining loyalty from current customers.
Drive Engagement with Video
Video advertising is proving to be a powerful tool for dealerships. Research shows that after watching online videos, 61 percent of shoppers went looking for more information and 37 percent searched a dealer’s inventory. It is clear that video is a critical tactic for engaging car buyers and building loyalty. Three ways you can use video to reach in-market shoppers and drive them to your dealership are bumper ads, in-display video ads and in-stream ads.
Manage Your Online Reputation
Today’s savvy consumers are empowered with information at their fingertips. Before buying a car they do their research, know their price point and are not interested in spending five hours at a dealership dealing with F&I.
So, how can you win trust if consumers don’t engage with you before they come into your dealership? Well, it begins online. Some steps you can take to build trust and manage your dealership’s reputation online include encouraging current customers to leave reviews, showcase your customer service awards, offer price transparency as well as live chat options.
Optimize Your Website Experience
Your website and virtual showroom are obviously important for sales. Make sure that your website and any third-party listings capture shoppers’ attention and keep them engaged. A few foundational places to get you moving in the right direction include making the car buying experience more engaging for car buyers. Maximize the value of your Vehicle Description Pages (VDP)s, and make sure that the most relevant vehicle information is prioritized and placed prominently on every page. And nothing incentivizes shoppers more than the fear that they might lose out on a deal. Create a sense of urgency on your website by promoting limited-time offers exclusive to certain customer or audience segments.
For even more ways to build customer loyalty, learn how you can leverage video and your website as powerful engagement tools that can help maximize your sales. Download your free “Dealer’s Guide to Building Customer Loyalty.”