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Digital Retailing Insights:

Control and Connect the Digital Experience

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Article Highlights

  1. Selling cars is a relationship business, one increasingly driven by engaged dealers working through an online to in-store process that aligns with modern shopper expectations and delivers efficiency across all aspects of the deal.

By now you’ve heard the fiction about the future of car sales. The stories about how all you need to do to buy a car is pick the color, choose the wheels, and click on that ubiquitous online shopping cart. May as well just go ahead and turn on the robot. No one even takes test drives anymore.

While all that makes for entertaining talk, the actual story is much different – and far more compelling. The fact is that selling cars is a relationship business, one increasingly driven by engaged dealers working through an online to in-store process that aligns with modern shopper expectations, and delivers efficiency across all aspects of the deal.

Maintain Control of the Online Retail Experience

According to Mike Burgiss, VP of Digital Retailing at Cox Automotive, today’s savvy dealers are learning to embrace the change in order to keep control of the experience, and connect more powerfully with a customer base who now expect to use digital means to inform their purchase decisions. Burgiss points to several crucial and connected online to in-store components, including:

  • Deal communication platforms that build consumer trust through a direct, one-to-one online deal connection with buyers.
  • Trade-in appraisals, a fundamentally critical piece that connects website function with showroom engagement, and reduces confusion by boosting transparency.
  • An integrated credit app that gives buyers financing choices, reduces time, and simplifies the process. That in turns builds credibility when they visit the showroom.
  • The ability for shoppers to self-pencil on the VDP.
  • A seamless in-store process where all that’s left is to pick up where the customer left off — and finalize the deal.
Winning the Deal Online

Perhaps the most important shift of all is in how you establish the bond with your buyer. By first establishing that relationship online, you position yourself to work the deal instead of the lead. That’s critical, because it creates a healthy connection: it’s the way consumers prefer to shop and buy cars, and – done right – it’s a more controllable process that creates dealership workflow efficiencies. It’s all about building an authentic online to in-store retail experience that establishes a profitable and productive sales workflow, with you in the driver’s seat.

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