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From: Jared Hamilton
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Joey Little

Joey Little Vice President of Social Strategy

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Showrooming: Is it Affecting Your Dealership?

What Is Showrooming?1218e038159f4e88948a024a5c3d6a7d.jpg?t=1

Showrooming, according to businessdictionary.com, is purchasing an item online, or elsewhere, after looking at and inspecting the item in-store.

In other words, consumers will come into your dealership to look at and test out features, services, tires, upgrades, or vehicles available but then research online and purchase it elsewhere because they’ve found a better deal.

It’s shown that 63% of car shoppers engage in showrooming while physically shopping on your auto lot. And of those shoppers who use their mobile devices while on your lot, 72% are more likely to visit other dealerships, and 62% visit other dealerships within the day.

Here’s what’s persuading car shoppers to visit other dealerships:

  • Better prices—57%
  • Vehicle available at other dealership(s)—42%
  • Ad for nearby dealership—33%
  • Better reviews about other dealership or vehicle—24%
  • Saw a nearby dealership on a map—22%
  • Compared vehicle specs—14%

How Your Dealership Can Dominate Showrooming

Reverse Showrooming. This, also referred to as “webrooming,” is when consumers do their research online and then come into a specific store or dealership to make their purchase due to their research. Many dealerships are now turning the tables and grabbing people via webrooming by appealing to them online and offering the best branding, deals, advocates, and persona marketing to pull in shoppers.

Have Your Salespeople Armed and Ready. Don’t run from showrooming; embrace it. The General Manager of Magic Toyota-Scion in Edmonds, Washington, makes sure each salesperson has an iPad mini in hopes a shopper will bust out a mobile device. This way, each salesperson can sync up with the shoppers to view and compare the competition and modify their sales pitch to focus on how their vehicle, value, deal, and overall offer is better.

Offer a Distraction. An idea that comes from Internet and Marketing Director for Sellers Auto Group is to provide a screen (or screens) to shoppers that informs them about your products and keeps them occupied and off their own devices during downtime in the sales process.

Believe it or not, Snapchat. Several ideas are available to step up your showrooming game when it comes to Snapchat. Its perishable nature is key in helping:

  1. Your dealership can use Snapchat to send in-store only coupons with a surprise offer. The snap could be for 10%, 20%, or 100% off an item or service—the amount unknown to the user—and the disappearing nature of the Snapchat requires the user wait to open the snap at your dealership.
  2. Start a scavenger hunt on Snapchat by sending snaps of an item or upgrade available hidden at landmarks in the area or noticeable spots around your dealership’s lot.
  3. Take advantage of Bluetooth to know when a consumer is within distance of your dealership and send over a snap offer valid for one day only.
  4. Lastly, simply snap new arrivals within your dealership or have your customers snap their friends to receive a discount or coupon.

Showrooming may be seen as an unfair advantage to car shoppers on your auto lot, but in reality, advantages are available for your dealership to step up its game and take advantage of showrooming. Instead of fighting it, know it’s not going to go away, embrace it, and use it to your dealership’s advantage.

The image used in this post was provided by freedigitalphotos.net.

Ed Brooks
The 63% figure is specifically "63% of auto shoppers researched and shopped online while at a dealership" -- not all 'showrooming'. Meaning that a percentage will be using the phone to confirm and validate the info they are seeing on the lot, not necessarily shopping the competition. Yes, webrooming...

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