So according to McKinsey & Company’s 2014 Innovating Automotive Retail Study, consumers spend more time online. And based on this study they visit fewer dealerships as a result. Most automotive retail professionals know that already. So what’s the new emerging trend? Consumers not only spend more time online, but they want to do more of the major shopping steps online before they visit the showroom. Until recently, dealers just did not have the retail-specific and dealer-controlled tools available that they needed to convert serious website shoppers into in-store buyers.
Today dealers have access to robust tools that can simplify the online to in-store shopping experience for their buyers and staff. By way of this dealer-controlled technology, dealers can allow more of the shopping steps to happen outside of the physical showroom; all while speeding up in-store transaction time. So technology has fundamentally changed the way people make their purchase decision and is continuing to shape the automotive buying process. Many dealers, as a result, are leveraging digital tools that help empower shoppers to go through many of the car buying steps faster and with greater ease. From searching inventory to calculating payments, checking realistic finance offers and securing a fair trade-in offer, this sort of efficiency is driving record lead to sale close ratios.
According to our data, dealers who offer Digital Retailing tools are seeing a 25 percent website lead to sale ratio after the implementation of streamlined finance application tools on their websites. Today, your online showroom is just as important as your physical showroom. It is clear that shoppers want tools that seamlessly transport them from the shopping experience right into the buying process with the flexibility to complete that transaction on the connected device of their choice. Shoppers want to save time by completing the major shopping steps online and don’t want to repeat these steps again in the showroom.
Is your dealership prepared to give shoppers the automotive buying experience they are looking for?
Ali Mendiola is senior manager, business development, Digital Retailing for Dealertrack. She has been a featured speaker at numerous industry and association events, including NADA, Digital Dealer and state association conferences.