5 Ways your Digital Showroom Must be Like your Brick and Mortar Showroom


Like all good dealerships today, you know that massive numbers of people are starting and completing a lot of their car buying research online. So you invest in a website that can get the process going, allow people to find you, and get shoppers coming through your brick and mortar door.

Here’s the problem: while dealerships work hard to create an outstanding in-store experience for shoppers, a lot of websites fall behind. Difficult navigation, lack of information, and poor design all can keep your website from being as great as it can be– and as great as your in-store experience already is.

So what can you do to make your digital dealership as great as your brick and mortar dealership? How can you ensure customer satisfaction for all your shoppers, no matter where they are?

Here are five ways:

  1. Personalization. When a shopper comes into your showroom, your sales team knows what questions to ask to get the process going– and never has the exact same conversation twice. Each shopper’s experience is customized and unique because each shopper has different interests and priorities. Your dealership website can and should provide this same level of personalization– making each customer feel valued by bringing them the help and information they want:
    • On-site content. Make your digital showroom a one-stop for getting all the information buyers need. Load your website with helpful, engaging, and relevant content that guides customers through the entire car-buying process– from guides for first-time car shoppers, to comparisons of popular models, to information-rich VDPs complete with photos and videos, to maintenance tips. Every car buyer and owner should be able to find what they need on your site.
    • Varied offers. Feature conversion offers that speak to different types of buyers: specific vehicle offers for people who are ready to buy, gift incentives for those on the fence, general offers for people still shopping around.  
    • Smart targeting. Maximize your varied content by using data from your site to analyze your site visitor’ behavior and offer them content they want to see. Equip your website to identify different types of shoppers and show them the offers most relevant to them at the most optimal time.
    • Ways to start the process online. Everyone hates paperwork, but your site can eliminate some of it with great valuation and prequal tools. Improve customer satisfaction by helping shoppers move their process along right on your website.
  2. Transparency. When car shoppers find your dealership website online, nothing makes them leave faster than feeling like you are withholding information. Don’t hide your pricing– or your contact information. Explain, right there on site, how you price your vehicles and why you are better than the competition, and make it easy to book a test drive or service appointment.
  3. Outstanding design and experience. When shoppers come into your dealership, you don’t send five salespeople to approach them at the same time, or hold every conversation in the same crowded corner. But some websites inadvertently create this type of chaos with too many popups, crowded text, and difficult navigation. Just as you work to create a positive experience on your showroom floor that guides and helps without overwhelming, do the same on your digital showroom. Pay close attention to the look and feel of your site and ensure that it draws customers in instead of pushing them away.
  4. Consistency. What your customers see in store should be the same thing they see online, and vice versa. Keep your online and in-store inventories constantly synced. Make sure your branding, from your site to your ads to the signs on the wall– is consistent. This is a situation where predictability is good– customers need to know that they are getting the same service and quality everywhere you are.
  5. Responsiveness. Customers who come into your dealership are greeted immediately and offered help. The same should be true online. When a customer asks a question online, either by submitting a form, emailing you, or chatting with an agent on your site, they need to get a response in a timely fashion. Think about it– in your store, you would never tell customers to wait a few hours for you to answer their questions. Online, the process should be as quick as possible as well.

Use these suggestions as a checklist for your website. They can make the difference between a good website and great one– one that builds loyalty and customer satisfaction, and helps you make more sales.


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