Brandon Baker
| 23 June 2017

Three Ways to Make Your Dealership Like Amazon

With its recent acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon is slowly taking over the world. Okay, that might be a bit dramatic, but their business model has proven so effective that they’re willing to risk diving back into the brick and mortar world they originally fought so hard to outsell. What’s so alluring about Amazon, along with their unlimited selection and pricing parity to the penny, is their ability to understand, engage and meet their customers’ needs through personalization. They sit on a lot of data, customer shopping habits, previous purchases, searches – and they use it all to their advantage and their customers’ benefit.
While dealerships don’t deal in ecommerce, they have the power to build the same relationships with their customers that Amazon does. Dealerships also collect massive amounts of data on their customers’ buying habits and desires. Dealers have access to data collected from their website, third-party websites like and the DMS. But the data you have is only as powerful as how you use it. Together, your data can tell you a lot about your customers and help you better meet their needs, both online and in the dealership. Here are three ways to leverage your data like Amazon:

1. Advertise and Retarget on Facebook Once you combine your data sets, you have a lot of relevant information you can use to advertise to potential customers on Facebook. Pair that with your dealership website analytics and you can create different advertising campaigns with differentiated messaging for shoppers in each stage of the cycle. Think about the data you have and how you can leverage it to target different types of customers: for instance, use Facebook retargeting to keep your brand and inventory in front of those who have already visited your website or target ads to your past customers whose lease is about to end with an offer for a new vehicle. Often, ads are seen as an annoyance, but when relevant messages are served up in their feeds, they’re seen as helpful instead of a hindrance.

2. Personalize their Experience Online If you’re connected to other partners like or third-party advertisers, pull the customer’s actions into their website experience. If you already know they’ve been looking up prices on Chevy Tahoe’s, don’t serve up all the vehicles on your lot – instead, change your page so the hero image shows a Chevy and the inventory that appears pushes Chevy Tahoe’s up to the top. You might be balking at the idea of changing your website for every customer, but that’s not what we’re suggesting. Website personalization allows your website to automatically adjust based on the shoppers’ internet history with the intent of reducing shopper clicks and getting them to take action as quickly as possible. Personalization changes the shopper experience, and gets you looking at more, searching for more, and returning again and again.

3. Continue the Experience in the Dealership You’ve spent so much time and effort meeting your customers’ needs online, it shouldn’t stop when they walk in the door of your dealership. Online, you know so much information about your customers, so ensure that that knowledge translates into your store by pulling it in to your CRM, and updating it as they continue to research online.

A lot of people have access to data, but not everyone knows how to use it – or can connect it in a meaningful way. When it exists in so many disparate places, you need the right tools that can pull the data together and make it actionable. There are other retailers who sell everything and have lower prices, but Amazon differentiates themselves. Amazon would be just another online retailer if they hadn’t figured out how to use their data to connect with and engage shoppers – and ultimately sell. If you start to harness data in the same way, you too can become like Amazon

Want to learn more about connecting your data in an actionable way? Learn more about CDK Customer Cloud.

Brandon Baker
Brandon Baker

Brandon M. Baker is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at CDK for both Owner Marketing and Audience technologies. Brandon is tasked with developing sales resources and helping tell the story of CDK’s strong digital backbone and ability to leverage data to support online marketing. Outside of CDK, Brandon is a semi-professional improv comedian with one of Seattle’s oldest comedy companies: Jet City Improv.