Car research and buying habits have changed with advances in digital technology. Dealerships need to exploit this technology to the full, to benefit customers and to ensure they’re not left behind by competitors.
One element of the digital landscape under a dealership’s complete control is their website. A survey by Auto Trader found that 71% of used car buyers visit a dealer’s website before making a purchase. Websites must be mobile friendly, as 41% of consumer interactions across automotive websites were made using a smartphone or Tablet – compared with just 5% three years ago. So what are customers looking at?
- 57% are checking your stock
- 41% are checking if the car they want is available
- 53% are comparing prices.
Car Care Plan has recently launched a mobile app to help customers submit cosmetic warranty and alloy wheel insurance claims. Find out more.
What does a good dealership website look like?
Firstly, dealers can take their cue from manufacturers who have long provided customers with the ability to build their perfect car online. This level of interactivity is highly prized but making search easy, useful and intuitive will allow customers to find the vehicle they want in the first place. Essential components of great dealership websites include:
- User-friendly finance calculators
- Service and test drive booking facilities
- Click-and-collect options
- Financial aftercare choices
- Live chat functionality
- Flexible and intelligent search
- Regularly updated multimedia content
- Fully smartphone and tablet compatible.
An attractive homepage on its own no longer cuts it. Dealers need to ensure their online presence is reflective of their customer service – going that extra mile to ensure a sale. 75% of car buyers claim to do all their vehicle research online, and cars.com found that 20% of shoppers will only visit one showroom, 25% will visit two. So dealerships must capture prospective buyers early.
Car Care Plan’s latest eBook – Digital technology for dealerships – provides further information, advice and guidance. Download it for free.
How can digital technology give your sales team the edge?
- Tracking customer searches – if you know what customers are looking at on your website, you will learn a great deal about what vehicles, features, products and finance deals they’re interested in. This will help you tailor the sales approach when they come to the dealership.
- Making the most of reviews – word of mouth is still an essential marketing tool, maybe even more so now everyone has the internet to air their views. Around nine in ten car buyers read reviews as part of their purchasing journey, so elicit them from customers visiting your website and then leverage them both online and in the showroom.
- Access to technology – many dealerships are providing their sales teams with a wealth of research data on their customers, from website searches to customisation interactions, enquiries to finance preferences, bringing together the online and offline experiences to create a coherent purchasing journey.