As car shoppers continue to prioritize shopping online as the first step in their car buying experience, it’s more important than ever for dealers to leverage Digital Retailing in their workflow solutions. Today’s digital car shoppers demand transparency and consistency, which is why an online showroom is just as critical as the one at the dealership. In 2014, dealers who invested in Digital Retailing, advertising, and mobile technologies achieved new levels of customer engagement and dealership profitability.
When implementing emerging technologies into a dealership’s digital strategy, there are three key factors that should be top of mind: minimizing compliance risk, eliminating complexity, and increasing exposure of F&I products.
1. Minimizing Compliance Risk
Compliance has become one of the most complex and serious challenges dealers face today. Dealerships should be up-to-date with ever-changing regulatory rules and federal mandates.
Due to the large amount of customer information dealerships gather, there’s a high risk of data security breaches. Do you have digital storage for deal documents? Are you monitoring and tracking compliance activity online? If not, the industry’s latest technology defends against potential loss, protects customers’ information, and complies with federal and state regulations. Dealers should always make sure they have updated software guards to block potential fraud.
2. Simplifying the Process, from Shopping to Payments
Paper methods are rapidly becoming inefficient and outdated. With one click, car shoppers can find out almost anything online. They want and expect full accessibility to dealerships, and have little patience for uninformative and hard to navigate sites.
The easiest way to reduce transaction time and simplify the car shopping experience is through advanced technologies. Dealerships should allow customers to fill out credit applications, explore financing options and even put down deposits before visiting the showroom. The longer a customer spends getting a deal done, the lower a dealer’s CSI score sinks. The good news is that Digital Retailing simplifies the car-buying process, resulting in increased leads, website traffic, and vehicle details page views.
3. Increasing Exposure of Finance and Insurance Products
Dealers are constantly asking how they can get more exposure for their insurance products. To achieve this, dealers must have a completely transparent online presence. Before even seeing inventory, shoppers want to know what cars they can afford and what their F&I options are.
In a study released by MTV, 71 percent of millennials (those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s) surveyed reported that they found ratings and comparisons among different vehicles unclear. Furthermore, 83 percent said they wish car brands would explain how vehicle prices are set. With Millennials becoming an increasingly larger segment of car shoppers, dealers should make sure their sites are catering to this demographic: by leveraging the technology that satisfies the needs and shopping habits of this generation.
Many dealerships are already embracing this technology, and are seeing great results. Port City Nissan in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for example, experienced a 69 percent new vehicle gross profit increase with Digital Retailing tools.
Has your dealership adopted these new technologies? If so, tell us what your business experienced as a result in the comments below.