3 Min ReadOctober 4, 2023

A Guide for Dealers: Incorporating Digital Retail in Your Showroom

A Guide for Dealers. Incorporating Digital Retail in Your Showroom.

The automotive industry is seeing a paradigm shift. While the power of brick-and-mortar showrooms remains undeniable, the convenience and efficiency of researching and shopping online is revolutionizing how cars are sold. According to our most recent Friction Points Study, 84% of dealers have integrated some form of online digital retailing, but surprisingly, only 30% actively include it in their showroom experience. It's time for a change.

Customers today are clear about their expectations: They want to start their purchase online and seamlessly continue it at the store, without redundant steps. However, the challenge for dealers lies in creating a harmonized buying experience. Let’s look at five actionable strategies that dealers can implement today to bring their showrooms into the modern retailing age:

Review your current workflows.

Before you dive into new strategies, take a step back and evaluate your current operations. Ask yourself:

• Where are customers waiting unnecessarily?

• What are the most common frustrations my sales team faces?

• Are there any repetitive processes that can be eliminated?

Identify these pain points so you can streamline the car buying journey and ensure a more efficient and pleasant experience.

Pilot new processes.

Change can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be disruptive. Task a handful of your top performers with testing the new processes. Their insights, given their extensive proficiency and knowledge, will be critical to your success. Your staff’s feedback and lived experience can identify potential pitfalls and optimize the process before it’s rolled out across the entire team.

Begin With What You Have.

New strategies don't always require new investments. Most dealerships are already equipped with the necessary hardware to support digital retailing in the showroom. Tablets, smartphones and existing computers can often handle digital tasks with ease. Remember, the focus should be on integrating the online and offline experience and not necessarily on purchasing the latest technology.

Collaborate Across Departments.

Omnichannel retailing isn’t a solo endeavor. All of your departments — Sales, Business Development Center (BDC), Internet and F&I — need to be on the same page. This will ensure a smooth transition for the customer from online browsing to in-store purchasing. Establish regular planning sessions to help align goals and set a clear pathway for digital integration.

Audit Your Website C T A's.

Your call-to-action (CTA) buttons on your online vehicle listings play a pivotal role in guiding online visitors. However, too many CTAs can be overwhelming and counterproductive. Reevaluate these and keep only one to two that effectively steer customers along your desired buying/selling journey. This will ensure clarity for the customer and align with your showroom's processes.

The convergence of digital and traditional retail is the future of the automotive industry. By implementing the strategies mentioned above, dealers can ensure they’re catering to the evolving needs of their customers while maximizing efficiency and sales. Start today and pave the way for a brighter, more connected automotive future.

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CDK Global
By CDK Global
Staff

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