Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Jason Jewert

Jason Jewert Director, Customer Advocacy

Exclusive Blog Posts

How to Develop Sales Talent

How to Develop Sales Talent

Rather than a genetic predisposition or birth talent, one learns sales talent. That means managers who lament that their sales team doesn’t make the …

Why Knowledge Workers are our Future.

Why Knowledge Workers are our Future.

  What is a Knowledge Worker? I often describe myself as a knowledge worker or as the Internet defines it so eloquently, someone who wo…

A Guide To Automotive Keyword Research For Your Dealership

A Guide To Automotive Keyword Research For Your Dealership

Keyword research for your automotive dealership is vital in ensuring that your ad spend is utilized to its maximum potential. The good part about this is t…

Close A lot More Sales, By Applying These Simple Concepts, Not Technologies

Close A lot More Sales, By Applying These Simple Concepts, Not Technologies

This article was inspired by Amanda Gordon who responded to a very recent article on this site by suggesting that no matter what, it always comes…

Customer Value Ladders For Dealership Fixed Ops Departments

Customer Value Ladders For Dealership Fixed Ops Departments

Most local businesses (dentists, gyms, chiropractors) have what's known as a customer value ladder. This is a map of the customer's journey as t…

What Automotive Retailers Can Learn from Amazon

What if I told you that Netflix didn’t kill Blockbuster and that Amazon didn’t kill big box stores? Considering that Toys-R-Us filed for bankruptcy this week and many blame Amazon, this statement may seem bold. But stay with me for a moment. I’m not arguing that the success of companies like Netflix and Amazon didn’t have an impact on the success of these other companies. Instead, I’m arguing that their company strategy — and unwillingness to embrace a changing industry — ultimately led to their death. This week I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on the state of online retailing in the automotive industry with dealers and vendors at Digital Dealer in Las Vegas. While many are hinting at the need for change, it’s time we take the next step and start taking action to ensure that the automotive industry doesn’t meet the same fate as these other epic failures.

When we look at the companies that have lost to the new tech giants, there’s one thing that becomes exceptionally clear. The problem isn’t the technology —failing to be customer-centric kills an industry or a company.

Let’s take a moment and look at three industries and companies that are embracing change, adapting their strategies and adopting new technology with one goal in mind: to better serve their customers and ultimately, survive.

Airlines

The airline industry is a close comparison to the automotive industry. Both center on emotional purchases, have to deal with margin compression and are $900+ billion dollar industries. Both industries also face negative feedback about the customer service offered.  While airlines haven’t quite mastered the customer service aspect of their business, their online and purchasing experience offers valuable insights to the automotive industry. One of the greatest lessons we can learn from airlines is their focus on choice and transparency. When customers are shopping, they have the ability to compare prices and options, while also having the opportunity to bundle different items like travel insurance, hotels and car rentals to create greater discounts.

Amazon

Amazon has long been seen as a leader of customer service, specifically related to how they use their online platform to better serve the customer. While a car shopper will likely never buy a car with one click, the automotive industry can learn a lot from the retailing giant. For instance, Amazon provides a lot of relevant and helpful information for each product that helps the consumer make decisions. In addition, they predictively suggest additional products that might complement the one they’re already buying. Dealerships can similarly suggest warranty or service packages or other accessories and upgrades during the buying process based on consumer behavior.

Insurance

It’s fascinating to see how the insurance industry has embraced the online process, especially considering how complex purchasing insurance is. But because it’s so complex, they’ve gone out of their way to make the process of buying insurance as simple as possible. One particularly helpful feature is the guided selling feature many companies use to walk someone through the process, calling out additional ways to save and asking clarifying questions along the way. In addition, they provide the ability to chat with someone — not intrusively, but just in case a customer needs that personal touch.

So, what can dealers do today to embrace online retailing?

1. Embrace online

First and foremost, it’s time for all dealers to embrace online retailing for what it is – inevitable.

2. Always mobile first

It’s not enough to just embrace online retailing, you also have to ensure that your online retailing platform is set up to meet customers where they already are — on mobile. 

3. Transparency

Customers are extremely price sensitive and want to know exactly what they’re getting. Show clear pricing online.

4. Accuracy is essential

The best online retailing technology will go nowhere if the payments that customers create online don’t follow them into the dealership. Make sure that your online payment building process translates to your showroom down to the penny.

The shift to online retailing is well underway, but we still have to continue to pursue better processes and not just better tech. Are you learning and moving fast enough to stay ahead?

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now