How digital strategies draw auto shoppers onto the dealership floor, from Crain’s Detroit Business.
Dealerships for vehicles manufactured by Detroit’s Big Three have the benefit of carrying reputable, world-class automotive brands. Thanks to well-funded, sophisticated corporate marketing programs, these OEMs have global awareness, but that means very little to the hometown dealership if the local father shopping for his teen’s first car doesn’t realize the business exists.
According to the study, “The Digital Influence: How Online Research Keeps Auto Shoppers in Control” conducted by C+R Research, one-fifth of online shoppers visit one dealership, with a quarter visiting two and some consumers visiting up to 20 dealer sites before even stepping foot into the actual dealership. Dealers used to turn to print, billboard and TV media to get the word out about their businesses, however in order to reach local customers today, dealers need to meet customers where they live: online.
Yes, the Internet is a great place for dealers to target and connect with customers who live right around the corner. Additional studies indicate that 83 percent of auto shoppers visit dealer websites in their research process and 26 percent have contacted a dealer because of its online advertising. This means that if a dealership’s website and online marketing efforts focus on information and messaging about its local presence, commitment and promotions, a significant audience of predisposed, in-market customers will be there to act on it.