Why Achieving FULL Transparency Is The Ultimate Milestone For Dealers
Everyone in the car business is talking, writing, and podcasting about digital retailing. The list of related virtual events is exhaustive. The popularity momentum is depicted when planning a Google Ads campaign with keywords such as “automotive digital retailing”, “digital retailing”, and “modern retailing”. Google’s Keyword Planner shows a month-over-month increase of these keyword searches for the past 24 months. When forecasting your Google Ads budget, you can expect to pay upwards to $35 per click for an average 1.5 ad position. Automotive digital retailing is absolutely on everyone’s mind.
As you weed through the mass content, several ideals are dominant:
- Building trust
- A streamlined sales process
- A seamless online to in-showroom experience
First and foremost is giving consumers more control of the car buying experience. The ability to search on a dealer’s website for vehicles by year, make, model, and type and to explore different configurations is a given. It’s essential to accurately display vehicle pricing, factory rebates and incentives, special offers, dealer fees, financing options, a credit estimator and application, and a tool to formulate payment scenarios. Multi-channel options for requesting information, getting a guaranteed cash offer on a trade, and scheduling a test drive, while enabling consumers to complete their entire car purchase online with flexible pick-up and delivery options – are all must-have components of any digital retailing strategy. It makes sense that this level of transparency builds trust with shoppers, leads to significant time savings, reduces friction, and results in a more favorable car buying experience.
Let’s think about what “transparency” really means… total visibility, crystal clear, open to observation, without concealment.
While digital retailing components play a critical role in creating a transparent online shopping environment, full transparency is achieved when dealers openly display ALL vehicle and dealership information within the digital retailing framework, which saves shoppers even more time and builds a greater level of trust.
As consumers move through the car buying journey, there are hundreds of digital interactions across social channels, video platforms, search engines, industry portals, manufacturer websites, and online review sites. Digital Air Strike’s 8th Annual Automotive Digital Retailing Consumer Trends Study revealed the following about 7,500+ car buyers and service customers:
- 60%+ selected a dealership based on online reviews alone
- 54% said that community involvement influenced their decision to buy from a dealership
- 51% used Google to find dealership reviews
- Only 5% of dealerships shopped sent videos in response to customer inquiries
- 27% preferred to select vehicle warranty and add-ons online
- 93% of car buyers spent a few days or more researching which dealership to buy from
When it comes to achieving transparency in automotive digital retailing, there’s more to it than simply integrating a digital retailing solution into dealership vehicle details pages (VDPs).
 8th Annual Automotive Digital Retailing Consumer Trends Study, Digital Air Strike, February 2020. Available at https://digitalairstrike.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-8thAnnual-Trends-Study.pdf.
By Karla Guleserian, MSEC
Velocity Automotive Solutions