Breaking Down What’s Valuable to Modern Customers at Today’s Dealerships

November 21, 2023

We can’t know what tomorrow will bring. But we can prepare for it the best we can. Not knowing what turns are ahead for automotive retail doesn’t put us behind the 8-ball. Instead, it gives us an opportunity to learn and grow. We are sitting in Q4 of 2023. Are we where we thought we would be a year ago?


I’m sure some guesses have been long forgotten. Perhaps some strong voices made predictions that stuck. The truth is, however, that we are at a point where we have decisions to make. Automotive retail is robust even in the face of disruptors. The question will remain as to how we can amplify that. To answer this, we need to uncover where value rests for sourcing, managing, and selling to the modern consumer.

Start with how you acquire. For many dealerships, what you can’t see can hurt you. This applies to the appraisal process and how you source inventory. If you are operating with blinders on, deploying an inefficient trade-in process, or not breaking free from outdated practices, you are putting yourself at risk.

What do I mean?

Simply put, your lot needs vehicles. Automobiles are the lifeblood of your business. However, the used car market continues to ebb and flow. This means that the better your stock, the better your ability to provide options to your community. If you couple a strategic approach to consumer acquisition with a data-backed philosophy, you gain insights that tell you not only what and why to stock…but where to get it. 

(Hint, hint: Try ClearCar)

Don't stop there. Build value into how you manage your inventory with a next-generation system. Never before has there been such a glut of solutions for your dealership. With data as a component, you learn the best cadence for your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. You’ll get the upper hand on merchandising and marketing, and discover new avenues to connect with consumers and improve the overall experience.

Now, value will never go out of style. As it stands, there are different approaches and styles to how a dealership can sell vehicles to the public. But every shopper is different. Their story, their trade-in, their desire…it produces a unique method for how they want to engage with your dealership, find their automobile, and finally drive it home.

Never discount how much the brick-and-mortar or digital shopping experience can bring a smile to a consumer’s face. Your dealership needs to offer multiple touchpoints. And each of these touchpoints needs to provide value. Always be giving and thinking outside the box. What would you want if you were purchasing a vehicle for yourself?

While many consumers will view buying a car as a simple transaction, you need to build further value into the process in order to create repeat business, drive brand awareness, and manage your reputation. Specifically for the importance of your ratings, encourage customers to engage with you on multiple levels through social media or search engines. 

Not seeing the full picture can hurt you. Much like if you do not take the time to properly assess a vehicle or walk a customer through the appraisal process, ignoring the building or nurturing aspect of the transaction will leave a bad taste in the shopper’s mouth.

Value is valuable. It’s up to you to break down your operations into a series of spots where you can give more to the customer. Only then will you be able to integrate new technologies that streamline consumer acquisition, maximize inventory management, and bolster your ability to sell more vehicles at a higher gross.

I recently discussed how to protect grosses while driving sweet spot sales through a data-driven pricing strategy. I am passionate about helping your lot uncover new ways to build worth into your processes so that you AND your customers win. Modern consumers are looking for benefits. And modern dealerships are poised to deliver value more than ever before. Don’t believe me? Reach out to me at and let’s chat.