Why You Need a Digital Retailing Option on Your Dealership Website

Digital marketing for auto dealers

Digital retailing is expanding. Customers may increasingly complete the whole car-buying process online, including selecting a vehicle, arranging financing, and scheduling delivery.


While many dealerships still question whether it’s worthwhile to provide a digital retailing option on their website, not all of them have embraced this trend.


Dealerships are in danger of losing customers to rivals who do if they don’t provide a digital retailing option. Customers are increasingly using the internet to study and buy vehicles, so businesses that don’t provide a digital option risk losing out on possible sales and seeing their market share decline.


Let’s examine why you may or may not want to offer digital retailing on your site, as well as a few pointers for getting started, to help you make a more informed decision about whether to do so.


What precisely does dealership digital retailing entail?

Your consumers can finish the majority (or all) of the car-buying process online with a digital retailing option.


This involves browsing the dealership’s website for particular makes, models, features, and price ranges, accessing affordable financing choices, seeking more information or setting up a test drive, and even filling out a credit application.


One in five car buyers completes the majority of their web research before making a decision.


It’s more than just a website with car pictures and prices or some simple calculators to figure out monthly payments. Additionally, it goes beyond simply having a website that advertises available inventory and directs visitors to the dealership to make a purchase.


Digital retailing aims to give customers a seamless and satisfying shopping experience, from the preliminary online research stage to the in-store sign-and-drive procedure.


Advantages of digital selling for auto dealers

Why would you think about providing your customers with a digital shopping experience? Faster sales, improved client retention, and greater market access are the main advantages.


Enables auto dealers to compete with online merchants

Simply put, certain consumers favor Internet shopping. You’re losing out on a growing segment of clients if you don’t provide a digital route to car purchase, and rival dealerships will be pleased to swoop them up for you.


You can access a higher market share if you meet your customers where they like to shop.


Can aid auto dealers in keeping consumers

Positive digital retailing experiences increase the likelihood that customers will frequent your dealership again and refer others to it. If a customer is putting off buying a car, a strong digital shopping experience might keep them interested even before the sale.


A 2021Cox Automotive survey on car purchasers found that, in comparison to customers who finished the process in person, consumers who completed essential financing steps online were happier with the time they spent at the dealership.


improves the efficiency of sales

One in five car buyers is categorized as being “primarily digital.” In other words, they have finished using the internet to accomplish more than half of the entire automobile purchasing process.


They can choose the car and options that seem suitable for them and complete this process at their own pace in a relaxed setting. Instead of spending an additional hour in a back office completing papers, they may drive off the lot with their new car at record speed once they arrive at the dealership.


This not only improves the customer experience but also gives your team more time to handle more sales each day.


Customers are more knowledgeable and skilled

Customers can arrive on the lot knowing exactly what they want if they take the time to conduct their homework and determine which options are best for them. They arrive highly qualified (with a 46.4% higher close rate than from other lead sources) even if they haven’t finished the final buy stages online, which reduces the time and effort required from your sales staff.


Digital retailing’s limitations

Of course, no system has perfect trade-offs or no restrictions. Before continuing, keep the following in mind:


Not all buyers find digital retailing to their liking. Still, the vast majority of automobile purchases are made on-site. Even though internet sales are on the rise, don’t make anyone utilize digital retail if they don’t want to.


Digital retailing for BEVs might not yet be the ideal choice. Unexpectedly, BEV customers are less satisfied with their online shopping experience than consumers of internal combustion vehicles. This is probably because BEVs, which have various needs, including tire and maintenance requirements, require additional consumer education.


Regulation: When establishing a digital retailing option, there are frequently new legal considerations to make, such as data privacy issues.

Further training for employees: Workers who have proven themselves to be professionals at in-person sales may require further instruction for a hybrid digital approach. Your staff as a whole needs to comprehend how a digital retail setup can enhance their performance and foster stronger interactions with clients.


Let’s go over some fundamental prerequisites for starting your digital retailing journey while keeping these restrictions in mind.


Digital retailing implementation at your dealership

The length of this essay does not allow for a comprehensive discussion of digital retail strategies, but to get you started, consider the following capabilities and features:


Customers can use the search option to find a specific car


* Estimates for a vehicle’s trade-in value

* Transparency for monthly payments (based on the money down, terms, dealership inventory, etc.), as well as all applicable incentives, taxes, and fees

* Scheduling for appointments and delivery

* Smooth transition to in-store purchase so they can continue where they left off

* Allowing customers to make deposits to reserve a vehicle

* Financing and credit applications

* Offering additional F&I products, such as real-time F&I upsell


These are just a few ideas to get you started on giving your clients a thorough digital buying experience. More delighted customers, a more effective sales team, and improved customer retention are all benefits of a superb digital retail portal.


However, sometimes a positive shopping experience is insufficient to keep clients coming back for service. You’ll need to be more deliberate about building the kind of relationship that keeps customers returning for service because they’ll be spending less time at your dealership.

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
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