The rise in online car retailers has drawn the attention of the automotive industry largely over the last decade, but when Covid-19 hit, that rise increased exponentially. Years ago, most people assumed that nobody would ever want to buy a car without physically seeing and testing it, but that notion has been proven wrong. When Covid-19 hit, the automotive industry saw online retailers thrive, making it even harder for struggling dealerships to stay afloat. If you’re at all concerned about losing customers to online retailers, you’re going to want to keep reading as we’ll provide you with four ways to compete with them.
As the old saying goes, fight fire with fire. There may be many customers who prefer to do most of the car buying process online, and that’s ok, just make sure they have the option to do it on your website. This means more than having an informative, well-performing, easy-to-navigate and appealing-looking site. You should aim to have all of those things plus the ability to actually sell a car completely online. We understand that this could be a lot of work, but it could be the difference between selling a few dozen cars annually and not.
There are so many amazing pieces of technology today that dealers can use to make their lives easier and connect with more customers. Using automated email marketing tools where you can send out campaigns specific to particular customers and have follow-up emails depending on their interaction with the email. Using AVA Credit and AVA Trade are also amazing ways to generate more applicants whether your customers are curious about their credit score or about the value of their trade-in. If you’re using the same technology that you were 10 years ago, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities.
If you’re like many of the dealerships in Canada right now, your inventory probably isn’t quite where it should be. This is an easy way to steer customers away from your dealership and it’s something you need to work on fixing immediately. While that’s easier said than done as we’re still feeling the effects of a massive inventory shortage, it can be done with the right help and strategy. Even if you’re dealership is largely focused on selling sedans, try and bring in some SUVs, run a campaign and see if you garner interest. You may be surprised by the results. Adding AVA Trade or AVA Buy to your website is a great way to increase your trade-in leads and increase your inventory.
Increasing the geographic reach of the customers you’re targeting is another great way to bring in people who may have otherwise used an online retailer to buy a car. This will mean having your marketing team work a little harder to expand on the regions you’re targeting and potentially have some of your sales team do a little bit of extra driving. This should be worth the investment because if you can bring in these customers and give them an awesome buying experience, you should be able to get them as repeat customers.
Most automobile enthusiasts are well aware that frigid winter temperatures can adversely affect the total driving range of an electric vehicle (EV). This quirk is often cited by proponents of gasoline-powered cars as a reason why EVs may face challenges in certain regions. However, recent research from Automotive News suggests that extreme heat can have similar, if not more significant, impacts on EV range.
Car dealerships today still have a bad rap for playing games with their customers. Whether it’s dodging questions, using high-pressure techniques to book appointments, or doing bait & switch tricks with sales offers, these all hurt your dealership's reputation. Playing games and being deceitful in your business may let you walk away with a few lucky deals but it will ultimately hurt you in the long run. Today, customers are smart and aware of the stigma associated with car salespeople so you need to be ethical and provide a transparent sales process.
News has emerged that Ford Motor Company is planning to incorporate the necessary hardware for BlueCruise, a semi-autonomous driving system designed to compete with GM's SuperCruise and Tesla's Autopilot, into an extensive number of 2024-model-year vehicles. However, it appears that utilizing this feature may come at an additional cost.