Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
(Part 4 of a 4-part blog series on vehicle merchandising)
In the past 3 blogs in this series, I’ve shared vehicle merchandising best practices for improving and increasing inventory exposure to online car shoppers. While following those best practices will certainly help, if you don’t also pay attention to what’s working best (or not working), it can prevent you from maximizing those efforts.
What are the results?
Be sure to pay attention to your results and be diligent in reviewing outcomes of your newly implemented merchandising efforts. This will give you a new roadmap of where your dealership is heading. You then get to choose the path by making necessary changes. While exploring new avenues you are going to find certain practices work better than others; a huge part of committing to a change is committing to the ups as well as recognizing the downs.
That IS what matters, right?
Think of that path as containing directional signs. The online customer comes (digitally) to many forks in the road. The more directional arrows you can place to help the customer reach your dealership, versus the competition; the more traffic you will see.
So, when tracking the customer’s digital path to your dealership what metrics should you pay attention to?
Which campaign brought them into the dealership?
Which page(s) did they view?
How long did the customer view those pages?
Did they watch a video, or other media?
It’s all about the data
This process starts with collecting the correct data. If you use the right platforms, tools and analytics, you can easily collect data on the precise actions the consumer took, as well as the reactions by your dealership, and track their individual path to a sale.
This data will tell you which of your campaigns is bringing you the highest ROI and how best to interact with and engage those customers. As with a real-life encounter at the dealership, you now have the ability to see and interpret the interests of customers who visit you digitally. Not all customers have the same interests. Bill could be interested in performance while Bob could be interested in safety. By interacting with those customers in a relevant way that integrates those interests, you can exponentially increase conversion.
Use browsing data to gain insight into what the customer’s interests are. Then interact with them in a more personalized way. This increases the likelihood that the messaging you send out is relevant and gets a response.
Custom tailored experiences bring in sales
You can then customize lead follow-up that directly caters to the needs of the customer and their online behavior. Doing so will greatly increase the odds that the customer will respond to the correspondence and begin to create a relationship leading to a vehicle purchase. Why?
Well, let’s be honest here. Most dealerships don’t do anything but send out generic templates with no personalization which are sure to be disregarded by the recipient. These types of messages have no regard to behavior or interest, but focus on a strict sales path that leaves little room for customization.
Today, it’s all about the customer experience. Using data based on these key metrics you will know how best to service that customer based on what they have actually viewed and showed interest in. You can keep track of the customer throughout their journey and change your messaging as they change their behavior.
This is exactly how many leading online retailers have become e-commerce powerhouses – take Amazon, for example. If you follow that example, I’ll bet your shoppers will appreciate it and respond positively -- which will ultimately lead them to you.