It seems as though everyone has adopted a digital retailing tool in the past year, and if you have not, you most likely will have to soon. Shopping and the path to purchase of vehicles has been morphing over the past few years with the addition of Carvana and Tesla and will continue to grow and change with new technologies and customer expectations.
The number of dealerships visited has also continued to drop, while 41% of car buyers only visit one dealership – up from 30% just two years ago. Customers are shopping and buying online, and it is our job to make that transaction easy and transparent.
One of the main discussion points is what to do once you have your Digital Retailing Tool (DRT) on your website. One thing we all know is that you can throw a widget on your website, but if you don’t set expectations for yourself, your dealership team, and your customers, it will never show the ROI you want or hoped for.
How you brand, market, educate, and evaluate your DRT will determine its success, and there are a few key areas you can address that will help drive more interactions, leads, and potential deals if done correctly and consistently.
Three Ways to Increase Engagement with your Digital Retailing Tool
Brand Your Tool
One area that most don’t think about with the adoption of a DRT is the ability to brand the tool specific to your dealership. The tool is an important element of every website, but the branding is equally important to showcase your dealership’s approach to online sales and the digital buying experience. Some savvy dealers and groups have gotten ahead of the curve and created a branded experience that walks the customer through not only how to navigate the tool, but also the process.
The branding of this tool will not only showcase the ability to purchase a vehicle online to your customers, but also to shoppers from a variety of areas outside of your normal marketing area. Branding such as “ABC Motors Easy Pass” or something similar to General Motors “Shop Click Drive” will give consumers a way to recognize your brand, your online capabilities, and describe the ease of use and transparency of the online transaction. And remember--focus on the time saved and ease of use.
Market Your Tool
Once you have created a branded digital retailing plan, the next step is to market this tool to the public. Similar to the way you would market any initiative, you want to present to the public in an omni-channel approach.
- YouTube Videos
- Landing pages
- Social Posts
- Paid Search Efforts
- Website Banners and “Skinny Banners” on the Search Results pages
Respond to Leads Quickly and Correctly
This is the most important element of the entire process. If you are spending money to bring people to your website and interact with your online tools, you need to ensure you are engaging the leads quickly and intelligently.
Customers have come to expect a quick and informational response, and digital retailing is no exception. These savvy consumers have done their research, connected with you via your website, input information, and are ready to buy.
If they get a text, email, or call in a response to a Digital Retailing Lead, and the representative does not pick up where the customer left off of the tool, they will perceive that their time was wasted and that you are not prepared to help them finish the deal. This is where educating your team is of the utmost importance.
Take time to educate your staff on the importance of digital retailing. Make sure your team reviews the leads and all the information in the CRM. Know what they have submitted, how far along they got within your tool, and then how you can best assist to make the transaction as seamless as possible. Some customers will complete the deal solely online, but the majority will take steps but need assistance with the completion of the process.
Make it simple and as easy as possible.
Make it an enjoyable experience.
Surprise and delight them with your customer service.
The above reasons are why consumers like the Carvana and Tesla experience. It is our job to make it even better!
If you do not have the team or the bandwidth to do this well, you may be creating a poor experience for the customer and they will go elsewhere. If you need help with this, or if you are looking for a team who can respond to your leads, click here to learn more about what we do and how we can help you maximize every lead.