Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
It is becoming more difficult and less cost effective for dealerships to attract customers through traditional lead paths. Privacy and spam concerns, as well as years of mismanaged lead programs, have soured the consumer on using quote forms on either dealership or third-party research sites. In fact, according to JD Power, 55 percent of all car buyers in 2012 did all of their shopping and research online, but did not submit their contact information to a dealership through a traditional lead form. This segment of the audience, which today represents over 8 million buyers, continues to grow as consumer sensitivity to privacy and spam issues increases.
In our research, more than 85 percent of online shoppers claimed that privacy was the most important reason for not filling out a traditional lead form. They did, however, do their research. This means they’re arriving at your dealerships better informed than ever before and, in many cases, believe that they have more knowledge about the car and its pricing than your salesperson.
It’s time to examine your processes and look at the buying experience through the eyes of the consumer. Are you making it difficult for people to gather information? How quickly are you responding to customers? Are those responses thoughtful and relevant, or are they canned templates and auto-responders? I can guarantee you that customers can tell the difference.
How do you capture a higher number of these online shoppers that aren’t submitting their contact info through lead forms? Try making your process closer to what customers have come to expect from traditional retail sites. In doing so they’ll be more willing and interested in shopping on your website and doing business with your dealership.
Unfortunately, whether justified or not, consumers as a whole, have an inherent distrust of dealers. The only way to combat this is by changing how you interact with them. Look to retail and e-commerce sites like Amazon and create an experience as similar as you can. By transforming from today’s typical online dealership sales model, to one more like a traditional consumer e-commerce experience, you’ll be a step closer to repairing that trust relationship.
If you plan on attending AutoCon 2013, I hope you can stop in on my session where I’ll be providing actionable ideas and strategies that can be implemented immediately; helping transform your dealership into an e-commerce machine. In my workshop, attendees will learn how to directly influence those eight million stealth shoppers and how to win a disproportionate share of traditional internet leads by providing the exceptional online experience that both of these groups expect.
I’ll also be providing a separate detailed workshop on CarWoo! best practices and providing a glimpse into the soon to be released CarWoo! Connect for Dealership Websites – nominated for the 2013 Driving Sales Innovation Cup Award.
I plan on catching a few sessions myself from other presentations while there. Check out the online agenda. AutoCon2103 promises to be a great event. I hope to see you there!