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: 32


You need to be a member of to add comments!


Latest Activity

Ryan Holman posted a blog post

Why Hire Professional Window Tinting Service Providers?

It might be tempting to tint your car windows by using a DIY kit, but the benefits of hiring an…See More
1 hour ago
Bill Wittenmyer posted a blog post

The Best Leads are in Your CRM

New leads are important, and you always want to keep the pipeline full. Yet, it can cost as much as…See More
1 hour ago
John Sternal posted a blog post

Inovatec Systems Corp. Partners with ZestFinance to Enhance Lending Procedures

Inovatec Systems Corp., a provider of industry-leading, cloud-based software solutions for all…See More
21 hours ago
Paul Moran posted a blog post
23 hours ago
Steven Laureys posted a blog post
23 hours ago
Jim Flint posted a blog post
Tyler Newport posted blog posts
Crystal Hartwell posted a blog post

SureSale Certified, the Gold Standard for Quality Used Vehicles and Purchase Protection, Expands to Louisville

SureSale enters the Louisville market with certified used vehicle program that offers consumers…See More
Michael Trasatti posted a blog post
Michia Rohrssen posted a blog post
Simon Hopes posted a blog post

Things you need to know before you buy Mahindra XUV300

A lot of people fall for the bigger, stronger and more masculine look in the cars. However, this…See More
Walter McNulty posted a video

Preferred Dealer Solutions 07/12/19

The many #1 in the industry products we offer.
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @ChrisBSaraceno: A deep contemplation from within, courtesy of #TO5 creator, Mr. Chris Saraceno! #TheoryOf5Thursday * DM us for more Boo…
TwitterFriday · Reply · Retweet
Scot Eisenfelder posted a blog post
Jim Flint posted a blog post

Digital Ad Budget Allocation

In this video blog, Jim Flint, CEO, and Founder of Local Search Group discusses advertising spend,…See More
Simon Hopes posted a blog post

What happens in the world of construction equipment?

Komatsu Europe launches PC360LCi-11 hydraulic excavatorSince its introduction, the intelligent…See More
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @Automotive_News: Ford, Volkswagen to share details on EV, AV alliance Friday
TwitterFriday · Reply · Retweet
Terrel Watkins posted a blog post
Profile Icon via Twitter
RT @ChrisBSaraceno: @thesecret I wholeheartedly agree! Whatever you believe, is what you receive! #believe #thoughts #TO5
TwitterThursday · Reply · Retweet
Dave Anderson posted a blog post

Mission Unstoppable Seat Giveaway

Don't miss this opportunity to attend Mission Unstoppable free, and gain strategies on developing…See More

Get Newsletter

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service