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Automotive Retail and the Communication Techniques to Scale It

The last few years are very challenging for the automotive retail industry. Semiconductor shortages led to fewer cars produced, more empty showrooms, more customers viewing online listings rather than a dealership, and a wider gap between digital and physical automotive retail. And here arises the question of how to close it. In this article, we wanted to dive deeper into the car buyer’s journey and how to optimize it with the help of technology. Read more below.

According to a 2021 McKinsey industry insight, automotive retailers are struggling to connect all digital touchpoints during the car-buying journey. As customers expect to have a well-rounded omnichannel buying process, retailers must navigate this change. Something else that looks a whole lot different now than ever is customer preferences as almost 60 percent of potential car buyers under 45 prefer to purchase their vehicle online and even 45 percent of people in the over-65 age category would consider buying online. This means that about half of potential buyers are circulating online and the other half are roaming around dealerships. A wide net has to be cast to capture them all.

By understanding the different communications channels automotive e-commerce would have a competitive advantage. Here are some of them:

1. Online communication channels:

  • Website – your front window online. A well-structured, easy-to-navigate, and a lot of product filters will help visitors with their buyer journey. Detailed information and car specifications are essential features of a listing posted online. Don’t forget to also optimize your content for search engines so more customers will land on your web pages.

  • Special offers – one-time exclusive offers, time-limited offers, personal offers – you name it. Bringing an extra value unexpectedly has a huge stimulation for making a one step further in the buyer’s journey. Consider coming up with personalized instant offers and distributing them on your website.

  • Chat – live chat initiation, AI-driven chatbot. 24/7 customer support is crucial to a car dealership’s online presence. Customers need assistance promptly and we mean within minutes. A potential buyer's attention span and interest engagement do not last much, and capturing it on time is essential. The least you can do is provide instant answers to all common frequently asked questions (FAQs).

  • Email – a proven communication channel. Emails are secured and trusted ways to engage with potential customers. They can add value to the conversation chain via additional benefits a customer can gain – insight information, early access to new launches, personal promo codes, and more. Capturing a lead via email is not an easy task but sending the right message will increase the chances of doing so.

2. Offline communication channels

  • Car dealership visits – if a person is taking time out of their day to visit a car dealership, this means that there is a high probability that they need a new car sooner than later. A skilled professional would be able to negotiate a deal on the spot but for a well-rounded customer journey, it is important to understand what communication channels supported the customer in their buying decision. To optimize its sales funnel a car dealership has to remove the guesswork on how the customer has landed on this decision.

  • Phone calls – another direct approach for more conversions. Prospecting potential customers via the phone is a tried and true way of bringing traffic to the car dealership. This communication method works well as the sales personnel can build a better understanding of customers’ needs and can prepare themselves with suitable offers.

  • Advertisement placements – ads are all around us and it makes sense to advertise a widespread commodity such as a car to the broad public. Out-of-home advertisement placements are an inexpensive and effective way to catch as many eyeballs as possible. Done right it will generate a conversation and demand in potential customers.

Whatever the communication channel might be – it has to be optimized to perform its best. Managing multiple online streams might be daunting but with a seamless conversion software solution, it would be a breeze. Get more high-quality leads and optimize your marketing spending by implementing smart tracking software on your website. We at Panaton make it easy for you to navigate the way toward a 30% more traffic conversion. Contact us if you are interested in making every visitor count.


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