In last week’s blog, we reviewed three aspects of the new automotive trends that accelerated our use of digital retail, technologies, and solutions. Today we will review actionable plans to continue to move your business forward and not only end Q4 strong, but set you up for success for 2021.
There have been many pivots and changes in the 2020 automotive world, and they have left many of us looking for a game plan for success. Our old way of doing things, while still having parts that will continue to grow our success, needs updating and must include digital solutions that customers have stated they want. 66% of automotive shoppers stated they are comfortable with a completely online car buying process, and we need to either get in the game, or start perfecting it.
Have a Digital Retailing Tool and Process
Since at least 2017, Digital Retailing Tools have been a topic of discussion. With the race to ensure customers interact with your website, inventory, and online buying process, dealerships without a digital retail solution found themselves not only behind the 8 ball, but trying to quickly search for the best option.
There are many onsite and off-site solutions, and all have their benefits and blind spots. But if you are a dealership without one, now is the time to move forward. If you don’t have the information or capabilities that customers want and have become used to, they will go to another dealership site or a third party endemic.
Adoption of the tool is not the band-aid, though. Once you have chosen the DR solution, you need to market this to the customer and then train them on all the benefits of the tool. This is new to them as well, and the customer needs to understand how to utilize this and why it benefits them.
Here are some basic ways to educate the customer:
- Create a video that walks the customer through the online shopping/purchasing experience
- Have banners on the homepage and skinny banners on the SRP/VLP pages that highlight the online/at-home offerings
- Include the Online Purchasing/At-Home options in your SEM copy
- Utilize organic and paid social to get your message out
The success of your digital retailing tool hinges on the marketing and education you provide to your customers. Otherwise, it will just live on your website like so many other widgets that take up real estate and show no ROI.
Advertise your At-Home Services to your Customers
At home services (such as Pickup and Delivery for Service and At-Home test drives) are no longer a novel idea, but an expectation for our customers. Service customers have stated that they would pay for the convenience of dealership personnel coming to their home or place of work to pick up their vehicle, complete the service and then return the vehicle–all while the transaction remains either limited contact or completely touchless.
How are you informing your current customers as well as potential ones of all the options you have to keep them safe, healthy, and comfortable all while making the process frictionless for the consumer?
Google My Business (GMB) is a great resource to share your messaging at no additional cost to you. Here are some suggestions for GMB:
- Separate your departments in GMB. You can have a page for Sales, Service and Parts. This allows you to add accurate hours of operation, it separates reviews, and it allows you to highlight the elements within the department
- If you decide not to separate your accounts, you can still post service related elements on GMB
- Add posts about Pickup and Delivery, At-Home solutions, and Service Specials
Videos that focus on your sanitization, pickup and delivery, and at home experiences are a great way to bring a relational message without being face-to-face with the customer. Whether you showcase this on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, your website, or any other platform you desire, the message will be viewed and received. And since Youtube is the 2nd largest search engine, and video is the most consumed medium on the internet, this is an excellent way to get your message out to the largest crowd.
Create a landing page on your website that highlights your At Home offerings (online purchasing/Pick up and drop off) and explains the processes well. Possibly have your video embedded on the landing pages
Once the landing pages are created, there are a few elements you can add to promote these services.
- Add copy to the headline (Buy Your New Vehicle Online) to attract customers searching for these solutions
- Add sitelink extensions that drive customers to your landing page
We know the digital landscape has changed dramatically, and with the addition of so many elements to master, you may need an expert to help guide you through. Please reach out with questions and we are ready to help!