26 Mar Coronavirus and Car Sales: Moving to Digital Commerce
Up until now, many auto retailers haven’t been willing to embrace the e-commerce movement. However, the coronavirus pandemic might be shifting the way dealerships operate. With the rise of coronavirus and car sales decreasing, it’s time to do something different.
With foot traffic in the showrooms disappearing, online traffic is rising. Verizon says that web traffic is up 22%, and those numbers continue to rise. If your car dealership doesn’t embrace the digital tools available to you, sales will be lost.
It’s possible to sell more cars without a handshake or having people visit your dealership; you just have to become innovative. As you make these changes, you will become the leader in your region and possibly come out on top.
We will take a closer look at what is currently happening and how e-commerce could change the direction of your dealership during these hard times.
What Happened to Auto Dealer Sales Since Coronavirus?
So, what is the relation between coronavirus and car sales? USA Today posted a report stating that auto sales would decline by a minimum of 15.3% in 2020 due to the pandemic. The effects could even be felt in 2021.
Are you prepared for this drop in sales, or could it put your dealership out of business? There is light at the end of the tunnel if you are willing to make some changes.
People are still browsing online and looking at car deals. If you want to increase the website traffic for your dealership, you have to put forth the effort. It isn’t just going to come to you magically.
What is Automotive E-Commerce?
A dealership that utilizes digital avenues to make sales and solve problems is engaging in e-commerce practices. Carvana is a good example of this. The company is an online used car retailer best known for its multi-story Car Vending Machines. In fact, in 2018, the company was the fastest-growing used car dealer in America. Even then, the idea was taking off.
Dealerships Must Increase Automotive Digital Marketing Strategies
Nothing is going to stop people from going online. While locked down in their home, your customers are browsing the internet and some hope to find a deal on a car. We predict a huge jump in the online purchase of both new and used cars during this time.
Even beyond this time, the digital market is going to take over. Millennials are taking over the car market and they have long preferred virtual interactions and purchasing options. If you gear your marketing toward this crowd, you can’t go wrong.
Steps to Engage in E-Commerce and Digital Automotive Marketing
If you are just getting started, we have a few strategies that will help you engage with customers through e-commerce avenues.
#1: Be Where the People Are
Everyone, including your grandmother, is spending more time on the internet right now. That time includes visits to social media platforms.
When used correctly, social media marketing has become a powerful tool. You must carefully consider who your audience is and then curate content that generates interest with them.
Marketing on social media does take time. You will need to devote yourself or hire a marketing firm to help you. However, there is a real benefit around the corner if you put your all into it. Users will connect and you will pull ahead of your competition.
#2: Incorporate Dealer Video Marketing Tactics
Video is going to continue being the king in the marketing world. There’s a Think With Google article that suggests nearly seventy percent of people that have seen a YouTube video while car shopping were influenced more than with magazines, newspapers and TV ads.
These statistics were found before the coronavirus and car sales crisis, so just imagine how much more valuable it’s becoming.
Now, car buyers are searching for video test drives, featured spotlights and walkthroughs. However, you can’t just post a video and expect it to perform. Instead, you must focus on quality. Put extra time into the production of your videos or hire a professional if you need to.
#3: Step Into Online Car Sales
Consumers are craving more e-commerce options, even while purchasing a car. If you aren’t willing to give that to them, they will look elsewhere. With social distancing and the increase in internet usage, online car sales might be your only lifeline at this point.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, shoppers were looking for ways to purchase online. During the Digital Commerce 360 Online Vehicle Shopper 2019 Survey, nearly half of the 1,089 consumers stated that they wanted to buy a new car online, without visiting the dealership. Just imagine what those numbers look like today.
Smart dealerships have already made the shift and are profiting as a result. The first step is to offer test drives from home or at the office. Within a specified mile radius, your dealership needs to be willing to take the cars to the customer. In addition, you should allow them to drive the car themselves if they are practicing social distancing.
From there, the majority of the car-buying process can occur online. From getting a trade-in estimate to securing financing, there’s no reason for customers to sit at the dealership these days. Your company could provide a lot of conveniences that would make your services more appealing.
Hire a Professional to Battle Coronavirus and Auto Car Sale Slumps
You can’t be expected to navigate this tumultuous year on your own. Now is the time to hire an automotive marketing professional. At AimLogic, we have been dealing with digital marketing for dealerships for many years. This isn’t a new endeavor for us.
We have the specialized tools and tactics that will help you stand out among all of the online noise. From finding In-Market Buyers to creating content that stands out with OEM Style Video Ads, we are ready to help you excel.
Schedule your consultation with us today. We will look at your current strategies and show you where you can improve. Our automotive marketing experts are ready to help take your sales from 0 to 60 today.