It’s not your parents’ auto dealership anymore. A few years ago, a potential buyer would visit several dealerships, check out different vehicle makes and models, and then narrow down the exact car they wanted to buy. They would haggle with the salesperson, sign the papers, pick up the keys, and go home.
Today, research shows that 59% of car purchasers spend their time researching online before going to the dealership. And how are they searching for car buying information? They are using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
Potential buyers are looking at consumer reports, comparing car makes, models, and prices, and even asking for input on social media. According to Google, 95% of vehicle buyers use digital as a source of information, and it takes 65% of buyers just 3 weeks to research online.
The new automotive consumer journey is complex. Here are 7 ways dealerships can transform the auto buying experience:
Mobile is key
More than half of automotive consumers use a mobile device as their primary search method. When it comes to mobile, shoppers are less tolerant of websites that do not take the smartphone journey into account. An enterprise mobile platform can provide a seamless customer experience and enhance the digital buying journey.
Digital brand experience
The goal of the modern dealership should be to enhance the car buying experience. Consumers can be turned off by pushy salespeople and long wait times. Dealerships must provide a digital brand experience and create a place where shoppers can learn more about the brand and the vehicles. An enterprise mobile platform can create a virtual experience to connect dealers with their customers and prospects.
Increased demand for video
With potential buyers researching from home before visiting the dealership, dealers must provide a video content to consumers. These videos can showcase vehicle specifications, security features, and how to use the vehicle’s console or the navigation menu. Digital buyers can virtually see the vehicle bumper to bumper without leaving the comfort of their home.
Omnichannel communication means giving potential and existing customers more ways to engage with your brand and vehicles. For example, dealers can reach car purchasers on their mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers, and dealership interactive kiosks. The average customer engages in 24 actions before buying a vehicle. Those actions range from performing online research, checking out car reviews, and asking for recommendations on social media.
After researching, potential buyers may have picked out the make, model, and trim package they want on their vehicle. But, what if the dealership doesn’t have that exact vehicle on its show lot? New technology allows dealers to showcase “photo real” imagery of their entire inventory, using VIN-specific, absolutely-correct, vehicle images. Buyers can “see” the vehicle without leaving the showroom.
Dealership staff are often stretched thin. Car dealers can automate simple transactions with a chatbot. A chatbot can provide a trade-in worth on a vehicle, provide information on discounts, offer information on rebates, and answer questions about specific vehicle features.
Bolster brand loyalty
Dealers are seeing decreasing brand loyalty as one of the biggest challenges they face. In the past, OEMs would build it and customers would buy it. But now, digital-first brands are entering the market and making it harder for legacy companies to maintain market share. Dealerships must strengthen every single brand touchpoint with purchasers and meet them on their terms.
READ MORE: 8 Digital Trends For Auto Dealerships In 2020
Consider an enterprise mobile platform
At CatalystXL, we want to help you quickly and easily share information and foster collaboration across your entire organization. We can deliver a no code, custom branded enterprise mobile platform that unlocks answers and provides insights via our Cardware™ platform — sharing categorized content in a powerful flashcard format.
Book a demo today.