You used to drive to your favorite car dealership to see what they had to offer, but with the use of the internet, car shopping is online.
While some customers still find their way to the dealership to finalize the sales contract and drive away in the vehicle they choose, many are completing the entire process online. The pandemic of 2020 certainly made online sales more prevalent for car dealerships, but there’s more to it than just the shopping experience.
The Research Begins at Home
There’s no denying that customers are more informed and educated than ever before. Many of us will look at a few different websites, search for coupon codes, and try to find the best deal for the item we want to purchase. The same can be said about the vehicles that we’re going to buy.
According to dealermarketing.com, more than 230 million people will begin their car shopping experience online before heading to the dealership. This can be done through online research, various third-party sites, and while looking for the absolute best deal possible. For this reason, it’s important for your dealership to be visible to your customers who will begin the car shopping process online and then come in and see your team to complete the deal with you.
The Landscape of Online Car Shopping is Extremely Competitive
Because your potential customers are going to start their search online, you need to be present in every area they will look to find the right vehicle. This means putting your inventory on Twitter and Facebook Marketplace, offering several YouTube videos that showcase your dealership, using the Stories feature of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, while also offering a website that’s easy to use and understand.
With so many of your customers starting their car shopping experience online, your dealership has a huge advantage over the dealers of many years ago. You won’t be haggling over prices, going back and forth over details of the deal, or showing several different models to the same customer. Even so, you will spend more time working to make sure your online presence is ready and right for those who will come in and see your team.
Digital is the Marketing of Today for Car Shopping
Not only will you need to ensure your customers can find you on social media, but you also want to ensure you’ll come to the top of the page when specific terms are searched for. This means you pay for some of the keywords so that you can be at or near the top of the search list when customers are looking for vehicles being sold and using the keywords you pay for.
To engage with more online car shopping, you need to make sure your website is easy to use. The price you show online needs to be the same as what a customer will find when they arrive at your dealership. Transparency and clarity are part of what you have to offer to your shoppers to ensure they can have an easy experience when looking at the vehicles you have for sale.
Your Reviews Will Make a Huge Difference
One of the most important parts of any online shopping experience is the reviews for the company. When you get ready to go out to dinner at a restaurant, you look at the various reviews and the overall score of a business. The same is true for a car dealership. If you’re a new dealership, you need to make sure customers are filling out positive reviews for you once they drive away.
To make sure you have high customer review scores and have the ratings that will bring more customers to your dealership, you need to have a system to request a review from every customer that has a positive experience. You will have a few negative reviews along the way, but when you make sure you’re earning positive reviews to let future customers see that you offer the service they want.
Put Your Energy into the Online Part of Car Shopping
Instead of having to haggle, test several models, and work out the details of a deal, your customers are making it easier for you to close the deal at your car dealership. You will need to put more of your energy into creating the most impactful online experience for your customers to grab their attention. This could be more fun for you and help bring more sales to your dealership through your online digital marketing efforts.