Digital Retailing. Sound familiar? The buzz phrase that I personally first heard dealer.com use when offering a service on their website for dealers to help generate stronger leads from the Vehicle Detail Page (VDP). This goes back maybe five or six years for me personally. It allowed customers to make an offer on the specific vehicle. That offer would come in to the dealership’s CRM as a lead only to create a disappointing shopping experience to the customer.
Wah Wah Wah (as we sadly to wonder why this is such a disappointment)…
Why the disappointment? A dealership (well most dealerships) that start a BDC or Internet department still continues to operate on the mentality that “we need to get these people in the door before we give them anything else” trains or convinces the staff to follow up with a goal of making appointments (but do not give any information). Now today in 2018 we wonder “why do customers only visit less than 2 dealerships to make a decision?” or “why is there not enough walk in traffic coming in anymore?”
This pattern grew further as other digital marketing vendors started offering digital retailing services. The good news is that improvement is on the way (for those that want to grow in 2018). Technology has allowed business communication and transactions to be truly done in real time. I have had startups with true digital transaction retail plugins for websites reach out to me to help them support the movement in getting dealers on board. Paragon Honda in New York has embraced such technology and is successfully changing the way that people are buying cars. Since I live in the area I know of a dealer group that is rolling out the same technology in some of their stores.
But still there is such confusion…”Can I really completely purchase a car on my mobile device or computer? This looks too easy. Is it really possible?” (What customers are thinking once they give it a try)?
These same companies that are doing digital retailing have been telling me that they notice a trend of people starting a transaction but never going through with it because it feels too new and strange for them.
What this means is that while the technology is there people still need interaction. They still need to touch, feel and experience the second biggest purchase they will ever make (after a home). This means we still need professionals that know the product and can interact with people. What most businesses fail to realize is that sales skills are still just as important now as they were in the beginning of time. Now is an even more important time to gather sales skills because these interactions happen everywhere in person, on social media, by text, by chat and every other way in between.
Human capital is still important. In fact between having properly trained sales people and utilizing real time technology that incorporates not only marketing but also the ability to communicate there has never been better opportunity. This is why companies like TECOBI impress me. Please do not think that I am selling or reselling a product to get my point across. I am simply referring to an example of the game changing ways that dealers can sell cars.
The bottom line is that People + Technology = Profits!
We at Dealer eTraining believe that you need to have a well-trained staff that can communicate with customers and use readily available technology to get the job done. You want to talk about gaining market share? It is the people that you hire and train plus the technology that you invest in that will help you gain it. Don’t have time to train your people? I suggest that you make the time and investment to develop a strong team. We at believe that you need to have a well-trained staff that can communicate with customers and use readily available technology to get the job done. You want to talk about gaining market share? It is the people that you hire and train plus the technology that you invest in that will help you gain it. Don’t have time to train your people? I suggest that you make the time and investment to develop a strong team.
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