What is Digital Retailing in the Automotive Industry?

Digital retailing in the automotive industry is nothing short of transformational. The advent of digital retailing has changed the automotive industry as we know it, ushering it into the 21st century.

Car dealerships now use digital retailing to merge their traditional in-person customer service with a seamless online shopping experience that better serves their customers. Ultimately, digital retailing in the automotive industry is a powerful tool that allows customers to shop for and purchase vehicles online, completely changing how car dealers sell vehicles. 

If used to its capacity, digital retailing has the power to turn every member of a car dealership’s sales team into an online retail agent. This new and innovative tool isn’t meant to replace the way cars have traditionally been sold but rather to complement it. Using a digital retailing platform, dealership salespeople can continue to assist customers in-person while simultaneously connecting with customers on the dealer’s website. In essence, digital retailing is meant to function in harmony with the physical dealership, including its showroom and salespeople. The goal is for a dealer’s traditional marketing and sales to become completely integrated with its online marketing and sales. Think of your new and improved website as a valuable extension of your showroom, providing an opportunity for growth and profit like never before. Choosing to implement digital retailing in your dealership allows customers to search for and purchase a new vehicle at any time of day, from anywhere in the world. The possibilities are endless. 

As we’ve discussed what digital retailing is, it’s equally important to discuss what digital retailing isn’t. Digital retailing is not a simple website with basic photos of cars and prices that people can browse. And it isn’t a website that provides a few bits of information and otherwise encourages customers to visit the dealership in person. Rather, it’s an innovative and interactive platform that allows dealers to communicate with potential buyers online. Digital retailing systems enable customers to shop for cars online and buy a vehicle online should they choose to do so. Or they can go the traditional route and complete this final step in person at the dealership. Digital retailing is changing the automotive industry for the better, making buying a car more accessible than it’s ever been. 

How Digital Retailing Will Affect Your Dealership

Digital retailing offers plenty of benefits to both dealers and consumers and is sure to affect your dealership positively. First, it is essential to understand what digital retailing offers the customer. Many components make up digital retailing platforms. For example, such platforms allow consumers to do things like conduct a detailed search for a preferred vehicle using filters like type, make, model, year, and price, see transparent and upfront prices, as well as taxes and fees, find information on rebates and other incentives, configure a vehicle with options, consider a wide range of additional purchase options like an extended vehicle service contract, complete a credit application, schedule a test drive at the dealership, schedule a phone call or meeting with a salesperson from the dealership, schedule a date and time to pick up their vehicle at the dealership, and of course, purchase a vehicle online. This list isn’t exhaustive, but as you can see, there are many ways consumers can choose to interact with your website once automotive digital retailing is implemented. 

The impressive capabilities of digital retailing platforms also offer a plethora of benefits to dealerships. Some of the key advantages of automotive digital retailing for dealers include making your dealership more efficient and streamlined, increasing sales and net profit, improving customer experience, fostering trust, loyalty, and transparency, extending your dealership’s reach as it makes you available 24/7, and reducing customer dissatisfaction by simplifying the financing and insurance elements of car sales. Overall, dealerships have everything to gain and nothing to lose from implementing digital retailing. Automotive digital retailing not only improves your relationship with your customers but also makes for happier employees and increased sales. It’s a win-win-win. 

How to Choose the Right Automotive Retailing Platform for Your Dealership

The right automotive retailing platform for your dealership is the platform that boosts customer engagement, offers seamless integration, provides invaluable data analysis, and allows you to reach customers quickly and efficiently. When it comes to automotive detailing retailing platforms, we recommend choosing a user-friendly system that offers the necessary customizations to help you connect with customers. The main goals are more leads, better engagement, and greater profits. As an example, taq Automotive Intelligence’s one platform has a wide range of capabilities for dealers to use to their advantage, relating to leads, credit, and portfolios. Lead features include a custom lead dashboard, a mobile app that allows you to connect with customers 24/7, custom templates, scheduling of meetings, test drives, and follow-ups, text messaging, and reporting on KPIs to help track team performance and sales. Meanwhile, credit features range from messaging lenders to tracking notes on deals, and portfolio features include data mining, buyout insights, targeted customer communications, and weekly portfolio notifications. So, circling back to choosing the right automotive retailing platform for your dealership, it comes down to the platform that seamlessly combines the essential elements of digital retailing into one intuitive system. 

How to Implement Digital Retailing at Your Dealership

Implementing digital retailing at your dealership is far easier than you might think. The reality is that most digital retailing platforms, including taq Automotive Intelligence’s one platform, do most of the work for you. All you need to do is provide the necessary information about your existing website, which typically includes your DMS provider, IT contact, CRM provider, and a few other details. From there, a representative from the company whose platform you chose will set everything up for you.