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by
Dave Doff
| 6 April 2020

Build Your Online Presence

We are definitely in unprecedented times. From restaurant and bar closings, to working and schooling at home, this is something most of us have never seen before. With the recent shelter in place extended through April 30, this is not going away anytime soon. Businesses of all kinds need to find a way to adopt.

Despite these challenges there is reason to be optimistic. Today’s technology allows many people to work and shop from home. It even gives us plenty of streaming options so we aren’t running out of programs to watch. The same is true for automobile dealers. Technology can still provide a great way for your dealership to stay open and continue serving customers during this time.

What you do now not only will help you continue operations in the short term, it will also set you up for long-lasting success as consumer buying behaviors continue to evolve.

Here are a few things you can do now to help your vehicle sales continue.

Build up your website

  • Ensure you have a responsive website for consumers to easily navigate while shopping for a new vehicle at home. A responsive design creates a user-friendly viewing experience every time and ensures shoppers stay on your site instead of the competition.
  • Ensure your website is up to date with:
    • Inventory: Are your VDPs and VSRs up to date with all of your new and used available inventory? If they’re not, do that right now. Customers shopping at home can only see what you have listed on your website!
    • Quality Photos: Potential customers are using your auto dealership website to shop at home and very likely won’t be stepping foot in your dealership for a while. This is your opportunity to make your vehicles look their very best to help you secure the sale.
    • Pricing: It’s no secret that car shoppers shop by price. What they can afford on a monthly basis drives their decision. Make sure that all of your new and used car listings are priced accurately. Wherever possible, offer buying options such as finance and lease payments in addition to list price.
    • Incentives: Do you have all of your OEM and dealer incentives clearly posted? This directly ties into the pricing of your vehicles. Without accurate incentives listed, potential customers cannot really determine the final price of the vehicle.

Online Retailing Tool

Your website is really just the first step to completing a sale remotely. You’ll need a powerful online retailing tool to continue the consumers down the sales path. A good online retailing tool will give you the flexibility to sell vehicles online right from your website the same way you do in the store.

When considering an online retailing tool for your website, there are several factors to think about:

  • Is it ACCURATE? It’s critical to meet consumer expectations by providing accurate pricing, incentives, trade-in evaluations, local taxes and fees and more. With the entire purchasing process happening remotely, this is more critical than ever.
  • Is it PROFITABLE? Ensure the tool you use is supplied by automotive retailing experts. While you will have complete control over the deal building process on your website, having the right guidance and structure will make it that much easier for you to have confidence that your online sales will be the same as those made in your store.
  • Is it INTEGRATED? If you’re going to complete this deal online, it’s imperative that deals are integrated to populate directly into your CRM, Desking, Credit and F&I tools. Without the customers physically coming in to sign paperwork and take delivery of the car, these workflows need to be well thought out and seamlessly flow from one to the next.

COVID-19 or not, online retailing has reached the automotive industry and is here to stay. If you haven't implemented a tool yet, now is the time to contact your solution provider.

Check out the NADA website for additional online tools to help you operate through the COVID-19 crisis.

For more information on CDK Connected Store, our online retailing tool, contact your CDK Sales Rep.

Dave Doff
Dave Doff

Dave Doff leads marketing communications for CDK F&I products. He has 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and building brands. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and golfing.