The newsLINK Group - Selling Cars Online . A Guide for Dealerships
Editorial Library Category: Automobile Topics: Marketing Title: Selling Cars Online: A Guide for Dealerships Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: The Internet has changed the way people buy cars. It’s not just the research (although that has certainly had a large impact on car sales in the last ten years, but especially since 2010). It’s the fact that some people want to take care of the entire transaction online. Editorial: Selling Cars Online: A Guide for Dealerships 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 The Internet has changed the way people buy cars. It’s not just the research (although that has certainly had a large impact on car sales in the last ten years, but especially since 2010). It’s the fact that some people want to take care of the entire transaction online. As of the middle of 2014, a research company called R.L. Polk said that Internet buyers are responsible for 10 percent of the 15 million passenger cars being sold annually. That percentage is increasing every year. Who is most responsible for the increase in online sales? For that, you can thank the millennial generation. Born in 1980 and after, they have essentially used computers their entire lives and are completely comfortable with making purchases on the Internet. If you run a dealership, selling cars and services online is a no- brainer, but you have many different options. That’s the problem. You can be paralyzed just thinking about all the choices you have. This article can help you to make the choices that will be right for your dealership. A few points are important to keep in mind before you begin: Internet sales make it harder to build loyalty and develop long-term customer relationships. You will have to work harder to make up for that loss. This can be done in part by increasing your efforts on social media websites. Your Internet-only sales staff can offer customers more variety in terms of what is available, as well as price, by finding vehicles that are not even on your dealership lot. Selling maintenance and extended warranties will be more difficult as online sales increase. You won’t need as many brochures, because you won’t have as many customers coming into the dealership. Online-only discounts can help close the sale. Some dealerships are offering discounts of as much as $1,000. Design a Good Process Digital marketing is something you should put effort into every day. Putting together the right team is a key aspect of that effort. You may want to have Internet-only staff in your sales department who make Internet sales their entire focus, and have them work closely with media-savvy staff or consultants who can help with the technical aspects. Good leads and a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) process are what generate sales. Therefore, you should create effective processes for your employees to use. Manage calls, chats, leads and texts as effectively as possible to give every client or potential client will have a great experience. If you combine good processes with the efforts of talented employees who know how to communicate, the result is magic. You will create happy customers who buy cars and services from you. If you get the whole process working well, you will find yourself growing. Neglect it, however, and you will throw away marketing dollars because the people you find on the Internet won’t buy what you are selling. You have to get your processes working first. The Website Your dealership’s website is almost as important as your processes. Take the time to decide on business goals and then make sure your website supports these goals. Possible areas to consider are new and used vehicle sales, parts and accessories, the service and body shop, scheduling, and so on. OEMs work hard to create branded sites for dealerships to use, but you still might want to operate your own website. For a single-point store, however, having two websites can complicate your digital marketing strategy. In those cases, you might want to just focus on the OEM site and work with a vendor to make sure the website is customized enough so it will work for your dealership.
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