Businesses today can no longer count on passive consumers; in fact, it’s a given that shoppers will enter your dealership empowered with more information and technology than ever before.
In order to build trust in your brand and win over savvy shoppers, it’s important to keep up with what’s important to them in the marketplace. While it may not be possible to pinpoint everything that’s transformed shoppers from passive to empowered, it’s clear consumers entering your dealership today have a specific set of needs setting them apart from shoppers of the past.
Informed and Connected Consumers
There are several factors behind today’s empowered consumers, not the least of which is the heightened connectivity available to nearly everyone at the touch of a cell phone button. Additionally, the number of choices available to consumers has been steadily increasing over the years, offering more decision-making power and flexibility in shopping. With the ability for consumers to get what they want when they want it and where they want it, they are empowered in nearly every shopping endeavor.
For your dealership, the choices, information, and connectivity available to shoppers make it essential to make a powerful impression immediately and consistently in order to earn trust and loyalty in a competitive market. Empowered consumers fill every industry, making it important to know their characteristics in order to successfully reach and sell to them. Some notable traits belonging to these shoppers include the following:
- Mobility plays a huge role for empowered consumers. Today’s shoppers are highly connected to their smart phones; in fact, phones serve as their calendars, maps, and even credit cards. They play a huge role in every aspect of their lives and are critical to their daily activities. When your dealership focuses on zeroing in on mobile technology to reach more consumers, you’ll gain ground in this arena. Keep in mind, businesses with mobile apps are able to provide better and quicker service, make shopping easier, and stay connected with customers who are on the move.
- Intelligent shopping has a taken on a whole new meaning for today’s consumers. With access to nearly unlimited information at any point in time, shoppers can be fully informed before making any buying decisions. And it goes even further than that; now more than ever, shoppers are reaching out to gather the opinions of friends and family via social media before they visit your dealership to purchase. Because of the broad reach of your audience and their capacity for gaining intelligent shopping information, it’s essential for your dealership to engage them on the platforms where they’re most active. By creating and maintaining a strong social presence, you can build strong consumer relationships that will encourage shoppers to visit your dealership to purchase.
- Dedication is important, as empowered consumers can be very loyal to specific brands or dealerships. However, your shoppers are smart, and this dedication must go both ways. Today’s discerning consumers identify value, especially personal value, in both quality products, as well as quality experiences. Shoppers are on the lookout for excellence in service, quality products, as well as an overall experience that satisfies them; and for dealerships, this means finding ways to make the car-buying process as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Dealerships that find ways to shorten overall processes, make waiting areas more comfortable, and even offer some online forms will gain the approval of empowered consumers who are looking for positive buying experiences.
Connect With Empowered Consumers
Because consumers have changed and are looking for dealerships that can meet their needs when it comes to communicating, sharing information, and shopping, your dealership will likely need to re-examine its approach in order to successfully connect. Some key points to keep in mind are:
- Finding social platforms of choice will allow you to connect much easier—and in a more natural way—opening up two-way conversations between your dealership and consumers. Keep in mind, a majority of consumers get information and feedback from online social platforms, so when you’re there to offer conversation, content, and feedback of your own, you’ll make inroads to lasting consumer relationships.
- Offering relevant content provides opportunities. By offering content that educates, informs, and entertains, you’ll strengthen the relationships you’re building. Remember, your online posts aren’t about selling; instead, they’re about connecting. So be sure to offer high-quality content that benefits your consumers. They’ll be more likely to share it with friends and acquaintances, and they’ll be more likely to return to you as a trusted source. Not only will you strengthen your brand, but you’ll build trust in the process.
- Analytics are important in order to understand what’s working successfully for you. It’s important to interact and share content with your consumers, and it’s equally important to take time to analyze and gather data regarding how shoppers are interacting with your content. This will provide a deeper understanding of customer viewpoints, what they want, and what does and doesn’t work. Your dealership can base future posts and content on the data gathered, giving rise to a higher quality online experience.
Empowered consumers hold the keys to the marketplace, and it’s up to dealerships to meet them with the experiences, service, and technology they expect to receive from modern businesses. Dealerships that understand shopper needs and work to provide innovative solutions that keep up with the marketplace will capture and keep the attention of today’s shoppers.