Upside Down, Inside Out and Round and Round

Any of you familiar with that classic song from Diana Ross, “Upside Down?” Well, sometimes it’s an apt description of what can be a complicated sales process for today’s car buyers.

 

There’s a focused shift in the automotive community to reduce friction and create a more seamless experience for consumers from online to on the lot. Sure, some consumers – albeit the minority at the moment – want to complete the entire transaction online. But the majority still want to kick some tires and take a test drive before they commit.

 

Technology companies in the automotive industry are hyper-focused on developing integrated technologies to allow consumers to complete as much, or as little, of the transaction online as the consumer desires. Perhaps that’s to fend off industry disruptors, or perhaps that’s to provide a better customer experience. Consumers are used to an “Amazon-like” experience. Same-day, 2-day and free shipping. But is that what they really want when buying a car? Would they buy a house that way?

 

Don’t misunderstand me. There will always be a consumer-base that want to get as much of the transaction out of the way as possible prior to coming in, simply to avoid spending eight hours at a dealership. Statistics, however, show that around 80 percent of customers don’t buy the vehicle they originally came into the dealership for.

 

Shoppers spend countless hours online researching, visiting all those touch points, landing on a specific car online and drive to the dealership, only to change their mind once there. That statistic can only mean one thing -- They aren’t sure. But what does that mean for the dealership? It means that they better have the best possible customer experience on the lot and do a great job of providing the customer with the information they need – right there on the lot.

 

I am sure most dealerships have spent a ton of money creating a funnel that entices the customer down from research through to their website, ultimately landing on their lot. So, it is vital to ensure the journey from on the lot to the sale is just as seamless as the experience from online to on the lot.

 

The problem is, what happens when they arrive on the lot and fall out of love with the vehicle they came in for?

 

Only one of two things are possible. Either they leave and start the research process all over again, or they do the research while standing on the dealership’s lot. I am sure any dealership would prefer that a customer NOT leave their lot once there. So, what’s the best option?  

 

Make sure going backwards to research and find that information on the lot is just as easy as the online experience makes it to find the information and continue on forwards.

 

What the heck do I mean by that?

 

In my opinion, we can all get lost in the importance of the online experience and how to capture the customer’s attention online. There is also a lot of talk about ensuring that the online to on lot experience is seamless. But then all goes silent…… Well, what about the all-important part of the process – what about moving the customer along from on the lot to the SALE?  If they arrive on the lot and no longer want the vehicle they have moved forward through all that research to find, how do you help that customer go BACKWARDS, do the research they need to make up their mind on a vehicle and drive off the lot with it?

 

It’s an established fact that VDPs are a very important piece of the research puzzle. They help land the customer on a specific vehicle and bring them into the dealership. Those VDPs contain information the customer needs in order to decide on a vehicle. Successful dealers combine a ton of visual information such as 40+ photos, along with video, and all the specifics about the vehicle, because this helps keep the customer engaged online, answers any questions they may have in this decision-making process, and brings them down the funnel towards a sale.

 

OK, so now the customer arrives on your lot and they are standing in front of the vehicle. At this point they certainly don’t need pictures or video. They can see the vehicle in person! The only thing that’s missing here is information, (although it’s a good idea to ensure the car is well presented, nice and shiny and clean). Just a Maroney sticker or watercolor sale price on the window does not cut it in this day and age. If the customer can’t get the information they want because that dealership fails to make it easy for them to access, they’re simply going to whip out their smartphone and get it someplace else. The danger in that should be apparent. What if someone else has a similar vehicle priced lower, that has less miles or is in better condition? Well, that customer is going to leave faster than a blink.

 

By ensuring all vehicles are displayed with the right information, which is relevant, rich with details and easily available, consumers may just stick around on the lot a little longer and move all the way down the funnel to the sale.

 

While the salesperson is an important part of this process, and they should be well versed in all the details about the vehicles they sell, the customer isn’t going to trust the salesperson immediately. They like to look around a little bit and do some research on their own first. And, for the most part, it’s simply not possible for a salesperson to know everything about every new and used car on the dealership’s lot.

 

Dealerships certainly shouldn’t be afraid to ensure all the information a customer needs to make a buying decision is just as easy to access on the lot as it is online. The fact is, most dealers already provide it online, so why hide it on the lot?  Forcing the customer to research that specific vehicle using their own resources just increases the chance that the consumer will buy elsewhere.

 

And no dealership wants that.

Views: 33

Comment

You need to be a member of DealerELITE.net to add comments!

Join DealerELITE.net

Latest Activity

Dave Anderson's blog post was featured

Master the Art of Execution

The reason most organizations fail to achieve desired results is because they lack an effective…See More
Friday
Sally Whitesell posted a blog post
Friday
Cory Wright posted a blog post
Friday
Scot Eisenfelder posted a video

Maximizing Dollar per Unit in Operation

Scot Eisenfelder shares a factor that dealerships should be looking at in order to maximize revenue at their dealerships.
Friday
Mike theCarGuy Correra posted a video

Social Media vs Broadcast Media

Account Manager Mike Correra explains the difference between social and broadcast media in this video blog.
Friday
Jim Flint posted a blog post
Friday
Lehel Reeves posted videos
Thursday
Jeff Cowan posted a blog post

Write Service Podcast: Episode 70- Q & A with Jeff Cowan- Service Advisors MUST LISTEN!

This week, Jeff does some Q & A from his viewers! After Jeff had been on the road for a few…See More
Thursday
Dan Beres posted a blog post
Thursday
John Sternal posted a blog post

Lease Credit Approvals Dip Slightly To 68.9% in August

Lease Approval Ratings Drop Slightly in August Following Increase in JulySwapalease.com, the…See More
Wednesday
Crystal Hartwell posted a blog post

SureSale Certified Increases Used Vehicle Sales and Turn Rates for North Carolina Dealership

 New case study shows how Reed-Lallier Chevrolet leveraged this one-of-a-kind CPO program to…See More
Wednesday
Bill Wittenmyer posted a blog post

Stop being lead-centric. It’s about the customer experience.

Today’s customers expect and demand an amazing customer experience. The dealership with the right…See More
Wednesday
Reynalda Lor posted a discussion

Car Dealership Design Ideas?

Greetings!According to our marketing and HR teams, the sitting arrangements, interior and exterior…See More
Wednesday
Rob Gehring posted a blog post

Overrides

Today’s…See More
Tuesday
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

WittsWiseWords: Super Workers

Are you setting your employees up for success? In this #WittsWiseWords, automotive retail expert Bill Wittenmyer talks about why your super-start employee ma...
Sep 16
Michael Trasatti posted a video

New Thought Processes in Hiring

Mike Trasatti shares why companies should rethink their hiring processes in this video blog.
Sep 16
Samuel posted a blog post

Top Anti Phishing Softwares that are Affordable

As the security threat is increasing more, people look for a secure way to increase their data…See More
Sep 16
Courtney Evans posted a blog post
Sep 13
Anthony Giagnacovo posted a blog post
Sep 13
Mike theCarGuy Correra posted a video

Why Buy In is Important When Adopting New Technology

Account Manager Mike Correra shares why staff buy-in is vital to success when adopting new technology.
Sep 13

Get Newsletter

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service