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I’ll say it again: All (or almost all) of your car shoppers are online shoppers. Don’t believe me? While people often come in to see the model in person, take a test drive or purchase, it’s almost guaranteed not to be their first impression of you.
Take Google’s latest auto shopper study. They say that 95 percent of vehicle shoppers use digital channels to research. They’re now going to 24 “research touch points,” and 35 percent use their smart device to conduct online research.
So those shopper you see on your lots? I bet the vast majority researched the car and your dealership online at some point. You were one of the few dealerships they chose to visit...good job! Want to boost your chances even more in the future? Then get your dealership ready to meet more of those shoppers when they start researching.
After all, both Google and Borrell note that these shoppers are only in the market for about 3 months...the time you have to influence them has dropped by half. And, according to a recent Dataium live chat study, 49.8 percent of those who submitted a lead form on a dealership website also chatted within 30 minutes. These folks are impatient, and they’re not going to wait for your follow-up.
What can you do to meet and treat them the way they demand? It’s not something one piece of software can change (though the right tools always help!). It’s going to take adapting your Internet strategy. Make it a main focus of your dealership and get your entire team ready to engage those shoppers online just as if they walked in the door. Answer their questions in real time. Make it easy for them to get the help they need. In other words, treat them like real ups.
Want some tips on digitizing your sales team? Watch this video from a dealer who’s done just that.
More stats and information on this and other recent automotive studies available here.