Digital Retailing – Why do it when you don’t have to?Greg Kelly
In today’s automotive retail landscape, there’s little incentive for dealers to spend money on marketing when inventory is so limited. But, it is an opportunity to hit the reset button in the showroom and back office.
Digital retailing is one place where dealers can shift gears and take advantage of the inventory shortage to “evolve” the car-buying process. Rather than fearing digital retailing, dealers should embrace it as an opportunity to improve the buying process, making it more transparent, customizable, user-friendly, and, most importantly, more profitable. Digital retailing is really a win-win for the consumer and the dealer. Consumers appreciate a more streamlined process to minimize “perceived” pain points and dealers win by providing a digital checkout option that requires minimal re-work to close and provides solid front and back-end margins.
According to J.D. Power, 25% of people are willing to conduct the car-buying process online. And more importantly, the digital retailing process can be controlled to provide a pleasant experience every time. J.D. Power also notes that digital shoppers are more willing to purchase F&I products and dealer accessories when purchasing digitally.
When selecting a digital retailing solution, many dealers don’t realize they have several options. What is key is to invest in a solution that actually provides a minimum 25% close rate.
When selecting a digital retailing solution, dealers should make sure of the following:
- Intuitive & easy to use.
- Can the solution actually provide hard payment options.
- 100% compatible across desktop and mobile devices.
- Maximize all profit centers, don’t let the digital retailing tool diminish your profit!
- A comprehensive appraisal tool that is fully integrated with the entire solution.
- Utilize the same digital retailing tool across stores
- Best in class support including performance metrics
On the flip side, the keys to digital-retailing success also depend on a 100% buy-in across the store, from the owner to the GM to the used-car manager to the parts manager to the F&I manager. It’s also important to select the right calls to action on your website. And finally, utilize your current marketing tools, like email, social and traditional digital to “brand” your digital marketing tool and create a competitive advantage in your market!
The time is now to hit reset. For many dealers, digital retailing is something that’s being shoved down their throats by automakers. However, that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case, dealers have a great opportunity to demonstrate again to the OEMs that retailing of vehicles belong in the hands of the franchised network.