The Future of Car Dealers Teeters on One Thing

October 14, 2020

It’s not time for flying cars just yet, but the future of car buying is definitely here. As a result, there are many different flavors and styles of digital retailing. And with each passing day, these shades will vacillate with the changing trends of both the automotive industry and the technology of the world around us. We have seen a lot of these changes take place throughout quarantine and the coronavirus crisis. But that does little to diminish the progress that dealerships have been making to truly enhance the car buying experience.

Gone are the days of slick salespeople donning checkered suits passing around circulars with out of date options. Today’s consumer demands a truly omnichannel experience. One that provides them with the information they need at their fingertips while also delivering options with competitive pricing. As dealers, you can’t rely on your gut all the time. You need information that inspires change and results in increased sales and improved gross. You need to be data-driven with your strategy and translate those touchpoints into digital retail wins.

And that’s what it all comes down to: data.

This is the driving force of a dealership and your best friend for success. The problem is that there are just so many touchpoints on the lot and in the showroom that car dealers need to be proactive with the solutions they incorporate. With all the data available to be captured, you need to find creative ways to leverage these analytics for improved success. Take telematics technology for example. Move this tech beyond simple lot security, and instead leverage IoT and telematics together to create a streamlined user experience. Those experiences will be driven by data points such as knowing which cars on your lot are being driven the most, which are being ignored, and which have been off the lot for too long.

With data ingrained in your processes, the future of sales becomes apparent. It isn’t just digital retailing either. Online shopping is poised to help consumers browse vehicles for the foreseeable future. The issues that come into play is that of cultivating trust and customer loyalty. How does one establish these key relationship factors between themselves and the person shopping for a car? Simple solutions like inventory management and a digital showroom will allow you to add transparency and thoughtfulness to the process. Taking it a step further, dealers should incorporate pricing and appraisal tools that will help the customer to better understand the true value of their vehicle. After all, the future isn’t a guessing game. It is built on these touchpoints of data and analytics.

Just as new technologies will continue to emerge, it is imperative that smart decisions are made to incorporate these technologies into the car buying process. Consider the usage of Augmented Reality (AR) for consumers. Through AR, a customer can use their smart device to place a car in their driveway and get a realistic, 3D idea of what their new vehicle will look like. They can also sit in the driver’s seat of the car without leaving home, customize options, colors, and finishes while at the dealership, and even service their own car with the assistance of a virtual technician. Taking that idea a step further, virtual reality is capable of letting dealers serve customers from anywhere. The experience is heightened by providing digital models of cars that consumers can see and interact with...from the comfort of their own home.

We have the data associated with knowing what the future holds. The automotive industry is poised to take advantage of the same technologies and trends that are currently dominating the global marketplace while accounting for what is anticipated in the future. As it stands, by 2030, nearly all new manufactured vehicles will have some sort of level of connectivity in them. The goal is to enrich the experience for driving. But it will also transform the way you sell. New avenues for business will be created and better value can be established.

At the end of the day, the future is bright for car dealerships. Increased usage of technology trends will improve the customer experience while also streamlining processes for dealers to hold more gross. Now is the time to transform the way you are selling cars by capturing more data and leveraging this knowledge to improve every facet of your dealership. Contact MAX Digital to learn more about how tools, solutions, technology, and data are disrupting the modern car dealership.