Covid has changed the way dealerships operate. To stay successful, dealers need to adapt to the new way of trading or risk falling behind the competition.
We get it, making a change to anything is difficult. Even though you may have been in the auto industry for years, you still need to adapt to customer and economical changes. The way dealers sell cars in 2021 is a whole lot different to the way they sold cars in 2018.
Customers have changed their buying habits in such a short space of time, 92% of Australian car buyers use the internet to research for their next year instead of attending a dealership. Such is the massive shift to online, this indicates a 45% growth on 2018’s numbers.
As Covid continues to effect businesses around the world, many dealerships are still experiencing low foot traffic. Anxiety is at an all-time high for Australian consumers with many being concerned about their health safety at the dealership.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the used car industry! The used car industry is experiencing record prices and unprecedented customer demand. With international car production still facing heavy delays there is so many opportunities for Australian used car dealers to grow…. You just need to understand the current market.
Here are a few tips you can use to transition your dealership to the new Covid world:
Leverage Online Sales
An April 2021 study found that 1 in 3 used cars are sold online. Australian buyers are now so familiar with buying things online. To be successful in 2021 your dealership needs to embrace online world. You need to do everything in your power to make sure your intended customer can view, enquire, and even purchase your stock online.
The key to being successful online is positioning. If your dealership is not in a particular area online where your competitors are, you could risk losing sales. It is vital that dealerships have a designated dealer website that customers can access.
The benefit of an online website is customers can minimise their interaction with your dealership – which will ultimately make them feel more comfortable. Your website can show them everything they can get onsite. You can offer them free PPSR & Car History reports, virtual walkthroughs, your dealer finance offers, customer reviews and even sign the paperwork. Everything that you would normally do onsite you can do online – remember it may feel different or you may think it is silly, but at the end of the day you need to adapt to your customers demands and buying preferences.
Embrace social media
There is no bigger platform for used car dealers then social media. Sure, you may already have a dealer Facebook & Instagram page but there is a whole lot more you need to do on social media to be successful.
Let’s face it, selling cars online is extremely competitive. On social media you often find your stock positioned right alongside your competitors and you often lose valuable leads. If you want your stock to sell you need to present your stock differently and away from your competition. The way to do this is through Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads.
What are Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads? Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads are automated vehicle advertisements that are optimized for dealerships to serve ads to potential local customers who are in the market for a vehicle on Facebook. The benefit of Facebook Automotive inventory ads is your stock is positioned on its own – directly on your intended target markets timelines.
Related Article: How to use social media to grow your dealership.
Adapt and empathise with your customer
Adaptability is the key for success. The auto industry is continuing to change, to be successful your dealership needs to change with it. Your customer is the foundation to your success, you need to adapt your style to meet their demands.
Make your sales process easy and empathise with your customers. Many Australians went through heartache during covid. Listen to your customers situation, hear their concerns, and do everything in your power to make them feel comfortable in a purchase.
Related article: Top strategies to improve customer service at your dealership.
Promote a Covid safe dealership
The number 1 key to being successful at a fragile time like this is to promote a Covid safe dealership. Customers are petrified to attend crowded places. You need to do everything in your power to show them that your dealership is safe.
Regularly clean your vehicles, mandate the 2 square metre rule and minimise your face-to-face contact until the customer has made a decision. Promote the ways your dealership is keeping customers safe – publish posts on your website and social media, any way you can get the word out about your covid safe environment do it.
Manage your dealership through a web-based DMS
Lockdowns showed us all how important it is to be able to trade remotely. Dealerships that managed everything manually or on desktop-based applications felt the pinch – with some having to halt trading until lockdown was lifted.
To be successful you need to use a web-based dealer management system like EasyCars to manage your dealership. The benefit of web-based dealer management systems is you can manage your day-to-day tasks at anywhere at anytime – all you need is an internet connection.
Related article: Why web-based technology is now vital for car dealerships.
The auto industry is continuing to change. To be successful your dealership needs to change with it. Using the tips above – you will put your dealership in a strong position for continued success.
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EasyCars by Jeal is a web-based dealer management system that automates all day-to-day tasks of running a motor dealership in Australia. Using the latest technologies, EasyCars removes the common frustrations faced by dealers – opening the doors for future growth and higher profitability.
EasyCars includes all your everyday needs including Stock Management, Automated Advertising, Government Compliance, Business Reporting, Integrated accounting, Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads, Reviews management and so much more– everything you need to run a successful motor dealership.
With over 38 years’ experience creating custom solutions for motor dealers around Australia we understand your vision and know what it takes to operate a successful dealership.
Want to learn more? Call us today on 1300 473 744 to get a free no-obligation demo of EasyCars.