A lot has changed since the pandemic started, impacting the way we go to school, work … and shop for cars. Ecommerce trends have accelerated substantially and now the automotive industry, in a similar position as the grocery store industry, is finding that it’s time to make some long overdue changes in order to meet consumer needs.
These changes are especially important when it comes to the way dealers market to consumers. Here are some car dealership marketing ideas to help you make the most of the latest pandemic trends in the final months of 2021 and beyond.
Enhance Your Cleaning Practices
With car shoppers trying to avoid dealerships and opting for a digital shopping experience instead, it’s important for dealers to make their facilities as enticing as possible. This used to be a matter of increasing curb appeal with enhancements like adding LED lighting to the parking lot or arranging cars in attractive formations, but with the pandemic still under way, safety and cleanliness are still top of mind for many consumers.
Here are some of the ways you can make shoppers feel more comfortable inside your dealership facilities:
- Add transparent safety dividers and sneeze guards
- Add sanitizer stations
- Make disposable masks available free of charge
- Sanitize vehicles after every test drive
- Make sure sales representatives and other staff wear their masks when interacting with shoppers
- Clean and sanitize your facilities daily if not multiple times a day
Offer an Online Retail Experience
Despite every effort to entice customers into your dealership, you’ll likely find that most will prefer to shop online from the very beginning of their car search to final purchase, making an end-to-end online retail experience vital. Here are some features to look for as you shop around for a platform or enhance your existing one:
- Inventory search feature
- Accurate monthly payment calculator
- Full credit application capabilities
- Accurate trade-in valuation
- Wishlist feature
- Vehicle comparison functionality
Use Live Chat
With more consumers shopping online, it only makes sense to make the experience as easy and painless as possible. When shoppers aren’t able to get the answers to their questions answered on a website, they won’t hesitate to leave and search on Google or a competitor’s site. Make sure your internet sales team is available to answer their questions in real time with live chat.
Optimize for SEO
Smart businesses know the importance of organic content, especially in this day and age where consumers are turning to search engines for shopping and answering their questions. Not only does it help you show up in search engine results, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving because your content will continue to drive traffic for as long as it’s on your website.
SEO can actually be simple to implement. Start with these fundamentals:
- Make sure your existing landing pages have the right keywords for your audience
- Add a blog to your website and create weekly or biweekly posts
- Add video content to your website that’s optimized for SEO with a description, tags, title, and transcript
- Make sure your loading time and pagespeed meet Google’s standards
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
According to our most recent data at Carzato, mobile shopping is hot at the moment. In fact, for many brands, we’re seeing that the majority of users use mobile devices rather than their desktop computers. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s time to implement these enhancements as quickly as you can to keep up with consumers’ needs.
With the chip shortage, sky-rocketed demand for used cars along with sky-rocketed prices for used cars, and continued global supply chain management challenges, 2021 has been quite an adventure for those in the automotive industry. But savvy dealers can learn from the latest consumer trends, and by implementing a few key changes to their marketing, still continue to grow their sales.