Creating a Seamless Car Buying Experience in the Digital Age

  • August 22, 2018
  • Steve Manzi

There is an emerging market of car buyers: young people who are getting good jobs, starting families, moving into homes. This is a whole generation of new customers who have never lived in a world that was not digital. On top of that, the current generation of car buyers is continuing to adopt new digital technologies. To ensure a positive experience for these customers and drive loyalty, you need to employ the sophisticated connected technologies the market has come to expect.

Capitalize on Online Media Consumption

The easiest approach, of course, is to make more information available online. More and more consumers are doing significant research online before they even set foot on your floor. In fact, the average car buyer spends over 60% of the car buying process online.1You must be prepared for walk-ins who know exactly what model and trim they want and are ready to make a deal. Think of yourself less as a salesperson and more as a concierge, guiding the informed consumer to the right choice.

Engage Customers with Digital Sales Tools

In-dealership interactive digital sales tools can also help make the sales process smoother. Digital displays and kiosks can be both informative and engaging for customers. By providing additional detail about inventory, options, and financing, you can help your customers become informed before you sit down with them. One important aspect of the digital age is the availability of information to help the customer choose. The more information you can provide in an easily consumable medium—digitally, in other words—the smoother the sales process. LoJack, for example, recently launched a new point of sale app that leverages interactive tutorials and videos to help dealers sell LoJack products in the digital age.

Reduce Wait Times with Inventory Management

Inventory management systems are also very important to ensuring a seamless sales process for customers. One of the keys to a successful sale is the ability to locate exactly the right vehicle for a test drive on demand. Knowing where a car is on the lot, whether its battery or fuel levels are sufficient, and whether it’s already out for a test drive are important tools for the salesman working hard to close a deal. An inventory management system like LotSmart™ can put this time-saving information right at your fingertips. For managers, monitoring how long every vehicle has been out for a test drive can help paint a picture of which sales are going right (or wrong) at any given time, and can provide a safeguard against theft or other improper use.

Leverage Connected Car Technology

Finally, remember that the connected car can continue to drive your customer relationships after the sale. In the digital age, you can offer unprecedented services to customers, helping them keep on top of needed maintenance, locate and track their vehicle when their teen is driving it, and receive alerts if their car is towed or stolen. SureDrive™, our connected car app, is an example of an add-on solution that your dealership can employ to help drive value for customers throughout the lifecycle of the vehicle.

One thing hasn’t changed: sales is just as much about service and relationships as the specific product offered. You can use digital tools to help new and well-established generations of tech-savvy customers enjoy their customer journey. For more information on LotSmart, visit here. For more information on SureDrive, visit here.

1. 2018 Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey