Digital retailing is a process that transforms how car dealers sell vehicles. Dealers use it to merge online tools with their traditional in-person customer service to serve all customers better. These tools allow customers to purchase vehicles entirely online.
We are truly living in the age of the Internet. We hang out with our friends via videoconference, email our bosses about work, use search engines to answer every question we don’t immediately know the answer to, and buy just about everything online. For some reason, however, car sales have remained staunchly, stubbornly offline. Not much has changed in the retail automotive space for years and years. While of course some dealerships have been ahead of the curve and adopted online automotive shopping tools, most have held onto their traditional brick and mortar, in-person sales practices for decades. However, recently, that all began to change with the surge of tech-savvy dealerships and online auto auctions in response to the stay at home orders of the Covid pandemic. After all, consumers are buying groceries, medications, and even toilet paper online, so why wouldn’t they also take their car shopping to the Internet?
Going virtual during the pandemic
Social distancing is probably a temporary measure, but online car shopping likely won’t be. Even before the coronavirus came about, many prospective car buyers were on the Internet rather than walking into dealership offices. Studies have shown car buyers spend 60 percent of their time online. Many customers already preferred to conduct research and choose cars online. Automotive news asserts that the shift toward online automotive shopping has been underway for years, but dealerships have adopted varying elements at different speeds. Now that the coronavirus has made that a necessity, the prospective buyer probably won’t want to go back to the old fashioned car shopping experience once the pandemic is over.
Whether it’s simply a question of unexpectedly accelerating the existing automotive digital retailing transition or driving more dramatic changes in the automotive industry (such as encouraging more customers to skip the dealership visit altogether through OEM delivery programs), the automotive retail marketplace will almost certainly take a dramatic digital shift in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. Dealers need to consider where their own challenges and opportunities lie in the months and years to come.
Many automakers and dealers have launched or reinvigorated programs for home delivery of vehicles during the pandemic – and it’s likely that most of those programs will continue in the aftermath. While many consumers may take every opportunity to leave their homes in the immediate aftermath of lockdown orders being lifted, in the long term it’s likely that at least some will have gotten in the habit of moving every component of a traditional retail transaction online.
For dealers, this means making your participation in your OEM’s delivery program something you’re planning on doing in the long term, rather than just doing in the interim.
Forward-looking dealers can also take investments in delivery programs. If your analytics identify consumers who are likely to be in the market for essentially the same vehicle, consider proactively offering them a hassle-free delivery as part of the offer. This may not only work for loyalty customers, but also as a potential conquest option for customers who may have moved into your market or do not have an existing dealer relationship with your brand.
Insights for this Critical Time
This is where dealer auto transport services can come in handy. At RunBuggy, we have you covered with the largest open marketplace of trusted auto transporters. We believe in great customer service, and a level of transparency almost unheard of in the transportation industry. With instant, upfront pricing you know how much it costs before you ship. The price you see is the price you pay, so you’re guaranteed to get the best price always. We’re not a load board or a broker, we are just a better way to move cars.
We offer many different dealer auto transport services, from your basic open car transport to full-load transportation, enclosed transportation, and much more. Our resourceful and experienced concierge team works hard to ensure that your transportation goes as smoothly as possible, and our dealer auto transport prices are some of the most competitive out there in the industry. Whether you’re looking for motorcycle shipping services, car transport services, SUV or pickup trucks, whatever you need to move, RunBuggy can help.
We can provide dealer auto transport services from anywhere to anywhere in the country, regardless of where you’re shipping from or to.
If you’re interested in learning more about how RunBuggy can help your dealership, let’s schedule a time to chat