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You could argue that digital retailing places your customers in the driver's seat. Maybe. Maybe not. No matter the driver, though, neither party wants to get caught in a staring contest. It truly is a bad look. Keeping your eyes on the road up ahead is far more productive for all involved.
At the most basic level, digital retailing, virtual retailing, or distance retailing encourages car buyers to easily engage with and maneuver your dealership's website throughout the purchase journey. For retailers, this translates into assisting your customers in the deal-making process at every step of the way by filling out the paperwork and signing them up for in-person or for virtual test drives, for example.
Digital retailing also means transacting online and presenting the vehicle in a contactless, paperless delivery. Possible? Not Probable. Ready? Or not. This isn’t a who’s going to blink first staring contest. Considering the advantages for customers, many are looking for the option of handling most of the car purchase process online.
So, how does implementing a digital retailing strategy benefit your car dealership and improve customer experience? Showing car buyers add-on options, discount, and Finance and Insurance (F&I) products early on provides them with important information that they’ll acquire elsewhere if given the opportunity in this information age. The choice to share your information with customers gives you the ability to engage the customer and continue the conversation. No engagement, the customer blinks, looks away, and then walks away--electronically--to the stores (yes, plural) that did reinvent themselves coming out of a global pandemic.
The modern car buyer will also have their vehicle serviced at a dealership with online scheduling and cost estimation options. Your customer does not always want to call in or walk in to schedule a service. A seamless process that starts online makes it more likely to execute a smoother transaction. In the end, your salesperson and service advisors serve as specialists guiding customers through the final purchasing stages.