NetSource’s RV classified site, www.RVUSA.com, is experiencing record highs with both traffic and leads. Clearly recreational customers are here, interested, and shopping. But, during these times are shoppers behaving and thinking differently? What if your expectations and methods aren’t aligned to your customers’ behaviors as shoppers? What if your approach to marketing and selling is not as efficient as it could be? What if these shoppers are extending the previous buying cycle and aren’t ready to buy right now? What can be done to turn dealership shoppers into buyers?
Let’s take a look at how to turn dealership shoppers into buyers in a Covid-19 world.
Are Shoppers Buying?
Despite the term “tire kicker” being used for those who aren’t ready to buy, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t ever going to buy. In fact, during unpredictable times, many shoppers lengthen their buying cycle. They are more thoughtful and cautious. This actually provides a big opportunity for those that known how to market and message. It allows your dealership to demonstrate value, but the key is creating digital engagement.
How’d We Get Here?
As dealerships moved from print to digital marketing, most merely continued doing business the same way, but on new venues. This means the primary objective of digital marketing was the same as print – get shoppers into the dealership.
The mindset was that marketing was designed to get shoppers onto the lot so that sales could show inventory and close deals. However, the Internet has been a huge game-changer. As time has advanced, more effective information delivery has developed. Now shoppers can watch videos, get unit tours, examine and consider models, understand features and options, even see the factories where units are made, and more. Not only that, they can access content anywhere at any time.
What is the Take-Away?
In general, dealerships have not adapted to the comprehensive changes in shopping behavior. Yet, one thing is clear – shoppers no longer need dealerships the way they used to. It is the Internet that’s forming pre-sales decisions and if your dealership does not have a robust digital presence (more than inventory) then you can be left out of the conversation (literally).
What are they Seeking?
Think about the questions you have received as buyers (first time or recurring buyers) are going through their purchasing process. These same questions are being sought by shoppers as they explore the Internet. And, when a dealership’s website is able to address these questions and engage with a shopper, it can build rapport with the prospect (24/7).
The Impact of Covid-19
Covid-19 has accelerated the upward trend in the use of web and digital technologies because everyone, regardless of age, has retreated to the Internet. In quarantine, Zoom use skyrocketed. Applications like Nextdoor and Google Duo have seen increases in daily traffic by as much as 70%. There’s been a massive advancement in the comfort and convenience of the Internet.
This is translating to, “distance shopping”. It’s very much like social distancing but has the shopping element. According to Michelle Krebs, an analyst for Cox Automotive, during a May 1st interview on PBS, customers want more digital shopping. This news comes from the automotive sector which already provides an extremely high level of touch-free shopping and where their products are highly commoditized. (source: https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/05/01/may-01-2020-hn-one)
Opportunity for More Revenue
For the few dealerships that have addressed shoppers’ thirst for information, they’ve established themselves as authorities and have been able to “control” the sale. It is the innovative dealerships that capture prospects with strong digital engagement throughout their shopping process.
The Top Performers
Top performers also have shifted their attention, from trying to identify prospects that are ready to purchase right now, to those who are earlier in the buying process. Leaders are using marketing to get email addresses, engage earlier, more often, and reach shoppers with mild interest or even those with a potential interest. This is a massive shift.
How To Adjust
Fortunately, tuning really is not a big deal. With some minor adjustments, your dealership can actually be more efficient in your sales process and prosper. The biggest gain is thinking in terms of a longer pipeline that has a continual flow rather than just the end of the pipeline populated with shoppers all of whom are ready to purchase now. This actually provides your dealership with more stability.
Things to Consider
- Shoppers engage more virtually and less physically
- Dealerships, can and should, provide more pre-purchase value (information/content)
- Leverage digital engagement tools to advance overall marketing efforts
- Form a digital rapport/relationship with shoppers
- Stay ‘top of mind’ to become the preferred dealership
- Address shoppers concerns and questions throughout their buying process
- Increase focus and attention on growing your sales and marketing pipelines
How To Make It Happen
Only by examing the entire buying process can digital engagement be seen more completely and differently. We work to assist our clients in doing this very thing. While other dealership marketing agencies are providing a standard set of robotic services, NetSource has been advancing dealership messaging, engagement, content creation, and delivery. We are highly successful in designing opt-in content delivery campaigns. Our email nurture programs build rapport and address shoppers’ concerns, establish dealership credibility, and more.
NetSource Media’s Unique Role
Our goal is to assist you in using digital marketing technologies to your advantage – especially during these challenging times. Dealerships need to utilize technologies that are affordable, deliver positive ROI, effective, and proven. This is why NetSource Media determines viable solutions by continually testing and analyzing marketing innovations by ourselves, as well as in coordination with clients. We do not recommend marketing solutions that are unproven or on the bleeding edge. Instead, we concentrate on providing viable and beneficial solutions.
Build a Much Better Dealership Marketing Solution? Contact Us!