With the end of the pandemic now hopefully in sight, this seems like a good moment to look at the lessons that have been learnt by dealers during the last year and which will remain important in the New Normal. Here’s our top five.
1. The showroom and online are one big sales floor
Before the pandemic, even some of the most switched-on dealers tended to think of the showroom and online as different spheres for different customers. A year later, on-off lockdowns have prompted more and more dealers to create processes that completely integrate those two worlds. At iVendi, we are calling this “connected retail” and all of our latest technology is based on believing that this is the future of selling cars.
2. Ensure your customer journey meets customer expectations
The customer journeys that have delivered results during the pandemic are those that make car buying easy and place the consumer in control. People buying cars in 2021 expect a slick process that incorporates online and showroom elements in exactly the same manner as they would find in any other modern shopping environment.
3. Make your proposition effortless
The single most effective tool we’ve found for dealers since the start of the crisis is something we call Digital Deals. These allow retailers to build a proposition for a customer in less than a minute with elements such as price, part-exchange, finance, upgraded warranty options and more. The beauty of Digital Deals is that they make the customer proposition tailored, simple, flexible and direct.
4. Don’t lose profitability from sales add-ons
Products such as extended warranties and service plans are profitable but have traditionally been difficult to sell online. However, we have found that if they are built into the digital proposition from the start of the customer journey, sales are maintained. It’s a key lesson.
5. Use technology that makes points 1-4 possible
If your current tech isn’t letting you follow the best practice we describe above, you should take a look at what else is available on the market – or risk being left behind.