Everyone is bombarded with study results including those of us in the auto industry. If you look hard enough, you can find data to support almost every issue.
Over the last few years, studies have shown that dealership visits were down to a range of between one or two during the research process. Considering the fact that one visit is necessary for consumers to take delivery of a vehicle, this data is compelling. However, recent data shows that the number of dealership visits is actually higher than this range. Regardless, the goal is to get the consumer into your showroom.
The dealership visit used to sit at the very start of the research process, but the Internet changed that. Now, dealership visits sit at the end of the process. After hours spent online, today’s consumers go to dealerships to reaffirm, or to get clarification, about what they already learned online.
There is, however, a data point that’s hard to refute from any study – and that is the time consumers spend researching vehicles online and the increasing number of websites they visit. Like a Merry Go-round – they stay on the internet until the ride stops and then they start visiting dealerships.
If the ultimate goal is to get consumers into your dealership, your website should be the last one they visit before they visit YOU at your dealership. How do you do that? How can you stop the Merry Go-round and get them from the internet into your dealership.
Your website – or “virtual showroom” – should mirror the experience of your physical showroom. You need to “show” them around just like a dealership visit.
That means visitors to your virtual showroom must have a way to engage in a two-way conversation with you. By enabling consumers to communicate with you in real-time, whether by a phone, text, audio, or video dialogue, you improve your chances of engaging them all the way to the point of sale.
Virtual showroom technology also enables your sales team to observe what customers are doing on your website in real time, and to actually “co-browse” with visitors – by adding your mouse to the screen so you can guide them to pertinent information such as inventory, vehicle information, current deals, or to even assist them in completing a finance application online. Like in your brick and mortar showroom – show them rather than tell them.
Your website should have all the information consumers want but can they find it on their own? Virtually guiding them around your website will improve engagement. Using virtual showroom technology to start that engagement, to provide all the information they’re looking for in real-time, and to put a stop to the Internet Merry Go Round. Find out more by attending my session at the upcoming Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition.