Why Dealers Should Sell Cars Online 

A great customer experience is everything.

Creating brand loyalty in today's computerized world requires excellence and speed at every step of the automotive customer lifecycle, from first contact to repurchasing. If your dealership can't keep pace, we can guide you through a digital transformation to streamline your operations.

We provide a comprehensive and tailored solutions suite that converts manual tasks and face-to-face interactions to the digital applications you need to create a fantastic customer journey.

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At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many dealers rushed to create virtual shopping experiences to sell cars online. Many dealers expected these digital purchasing experiences to be short-lived, and potential customers would return to showrooms when governments eased shopping restrictions. 

But, as e-commerce expands in every industry worldwide, more people are buying automobiles virtually, resulting in fewer or shorter trips to the dealership. As a result, dealers must prepare now to accept this sales strategy as the norm, not the exception. 

Not all dealers, however, are convinced that digitization is a practical long-term solution, mainly because they are unaware of the potential benefits. As such, this article discusses three primary reasons why dealers should sell cars online. 

3 Reasons to Sell Cars Online 

1. Dealers Can Display a Full Inventory at a Lower Cost

Dealers can provide would-be customers with an up-to-date inventory online, segregating the collection by make and model. Buyers can then review vehicles of interest via a filter. Creating a similar physical design in the dealership showroom would require prominent floor space and a significant financial investment.  

  • Offer high-quality pictures of every vehicle at multiple angles. Customers are more inclined to visit a dealership with clear visuals and a quasi-virtual walkaround. 
  • Make photos easier with an imaging editing app. A smartphone app can offer a guided photoshoot option that gives instructions on taking shots with ideal lighting and from perfect angles, transforming unprocessed photos into powerful, studio-style automobile images. 
  • Be up-front about vehicle blemishes and scars. Customers will notice them when they visit the dealership to inspect the car in person, and they will lose trust if they find a dealer was not transparent about the vehicle’s condition. 

2. Online Sales Can Boost Customer Satisfaction 

Most customer complaints about the vehicle buying experience involve convenience and time. However, switching much of this journey to an online experience allows those disgruntled buyers to research at their own pace and at times convenient to them. 

In today’s face-paced world, consumers value time and a seamless purchasing experience as much as they do product costs, including vehicles. Providing these enhanced journeys means advanced online features, which should include the following:  

  • Multiple messaging channels  
  • Accessible and resourceful customer service teams 
  • Interactive chatbots to answer questions after hours 
  • Online scheduling for test-drives 
  • The possibility to e-sign documents 

3. Digital Channels Can Increase Customer Reach 

Nowadays, consumers find products online more often than in a physical store, making many discoveries via search engines and social media sites designed specifically for online product research. 

With several digital communication channels available, dealers can reach potential car buyers where they are (not where a dealer needs them to be), increasing their chances of growing sales volumes.  

With the help of search engines such as Google and social media sites like Facebook Marketplace, dealers can reach potential customers who are already shopping for cars.  

Strategies for search engines might include: 

  • Creating paid ads 
  • Enriching the website with keywords 
  • Writing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) driven blogs 
  • Practicing proper website design to facilitate Google indexing 

Strategies for social media pages such as a Facebook Business page might include:  

  • Providing a schedule of your store’s hours. 
  • Using Facebook Messenger to respond to customers in real time 
  • Incorporating mobile-friendly listings to attract buyers who typically search on their phone 
  • Using call-to-action buttons to promote transactions 

Maximizing Online Sales Requires the Best Technology 

Dealerships can longer afford to wait for customers to visit the showroom. Many potential buyers now prefer most (if not all) of the shopping experience to take place online. And dealers who add online options will grow their market share and increase revenue. 

However, to sell cars online successfully, dealers must leverage the industry’s top data-driven solutions that find the ideal target base, encourage interaction, and direct more shoppers to the dealership website. 

Contact us today and discover how Affinitiv’s innovative technology can help your dealership reach a larger audience, improve the customer journey, and sell cars online successfully. 

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