With the pandemic and ever-evolving technology, the automobile market has become highly dynamic. Moving ahead, dealerships would require robust strategies that align with transforming consumer behaviors.
More and more dealerships moved to the online marketplace post-COVID outbreak. Given the new change, there is still a multitude of car sellers who are struggling with the challenges of online business.
Brick and mortar stores have a new variant- the website. Product images for the online catalog are the new ways to display cars before buyers.
Amid everything, the most challenging part is catching the customer’s attention online and converting it into a sale.
This is where these 4 actionable tips can help dealerships to find the right digital approach.
Here, we have listed the directives that can prepare your dealership for the emerging competitive landscape in the auto industry.
1. Analyze what has worked in the past and what didn’t
Before you dive into creating a strategy for your dealership, you should take the time to study what worked best for your dealership in the past.
Do comprehensive research on your digital strategies so that you have a fair idea of how to go forward with your new strategy.
There are certain steps you can follow for creating a robust strategy:
- Analyze your campaigns across social media and your investment.
- Cost Per Lead, Cost Per Acquisition will give you a fair idea about your potential customers.
- Understanding your click-through rate and engagement metrics will help you understand how customers are reacting to your posts and campaigns. Also, you’ll know what kind of content works well in your market and for your target audience.
- Check if you have good reviews on platforms like Google and other review sites.
There are more metrics but these are the basic ones that you need to work with to create a new plan for your journey ahead.
This will help you understand your performance in the past, and how you can optimize your past strategy for better performance.
2. Understanding your customer journey
Customers are moving digital, so if you’re not investing in your digital presence, then you’re losing out on a lot of potential clients. Almost all of your competitors are already leveraging digital for greater visibility and customer acquisition.
You should know that after the pandemic hit, people were more inclined toward shopping online, be it for groceries, cars, or anything else.
As a dealership, you need to understand a few points clearly:
- Did you witness a decrease in footfall, if yes, by how much?
- How well did you do on digital?
- How did your customers reach out to you?
- Did you receive any feedback from your customers?
These are the things that will help you understand the buyer completely. If you already have a dealership website, you need to improve your user experience and make it easy for customers to find the right car.
Help your customers make customized searches and enable them to explore your cars with good high-quality photos and 360 car walkarounds. This will make sure that you give them an in-store-like experience.
3. Focus on digital
Post pandemic, everything has changed and so has the car buying process. Almost half of the car buyers are willing to make their car purchases online if possible.
Whether you have a dealership website or not, you need to understand that a good online presence will give you an edge over your competitors and will help you convert more customers.
According to a recent study, 90% of the customers like to research online before purchasing a vehicle. The two most important research that a buyer indulges in is: comparing websites and car reviews.
Leverage those platforms to attract more customers to your store and gain their trust with the right information and better offerings.
- Make sure that your visitor has a good experience when exploring your online dealership website.
- Use customer-tailored information to attract their attention.
- Make sure you are transparent with the buyer so that they don’t feel cheated.
- Use high-quality images and 360 videos for a better understanding of the car – inside and out.
- You should also make sure that your potential buyers can run customized searches as per their needs and requirements. Try making it easy for them to search for a car according to their preferences.
4. Prepare your next marketing strategy
Now that you know the digital trends in your industry and how you did in the past year, you’ll be able to pull off a good marketing strategy.
You’ll need to brainstorm ideas with your team based on previous analysis and how you can improve the performance.
Some things that you can improve on are:
- Double down your efforts on having a good presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Leverage technology to create good car images and videos that you would like to post on your website from time to time.
- Automate your workflow to make sure that you improve time to market.
- Plan your next campaigns and the channels of promotion.
- Focus on your virtual sales events, and so on.
When it comes to gearing up for the future dealerships are completely unaware of where all the action is. What is even more shocking is that all of them have been missing out on a lot of opportunities in this digital age we live in.
All in all, the world of the automobile industry is constantly changing. People keep shifting from traditional buying behavior to a more modernized kind of buying behavior.
This year, due to the massive changes in technology and consumer perceptions, certain consumer needs need to be addressed through clever marketing strategies. If you optimize your strategies, there’s no stopping you from achieving success.