In 2020, the industry scrambled for solutions in response to sudden and unexpected showroom restrictions.
In 2021, dealerships tried everything to combat the massive supply shortages that now plague nearly every industry. So how does that shape the dealership trends going into 2022?
Well, in case you hadn’t guessed, you’re going to want to double-down on digital. A lot of dealers have maintained an enduring distrust of digital tools and trends, and still want to view traditional methods as the “default.”
Unfortunately for those dealers, digital is the new default. The massive digitization of every service over the past two years has shown consumers how much easier life is when all their options are clearly and transparently laid out online. They’re not interested in giving that up. A focus on your online presence is the dealership trend you need to understand in 2022.
Like it or not, the digital revolution presents new opportunities
In a recent interview, Shark Tank panelist and infamous businessman Kevin O’Leary admitted that his priorities have shifted permanently as a result of the pandemic.
“I used to tell people, there’s three careers if you’re going to go to college and invest in yourself: engineering, engineering, and engineering,” says O’Leary. “But now, you know who I’m hiring? Story writers, videographers, photographers, editors… because all of my companies are telling stories on their websites.”
The digitization of consumer purchasing isn’t just about the online sale itself; it’s about the potential to connect more thoroughly with a much broader audience. Digital content marketing is now the gateway to sales success in 2022. For more on that, see our digital marketing tips here!
Why is this trend good for dealers?
You now have more tools than ever for engaging and converting your audience. The internet puts all your prospects in one place, and gives you countless ways to prompt them down the path to purchase. It’s what your customers are waiting for, according to O’Leary.
“Never in our lives… have we had such a captive customer,” says O’Leary “…they are willing and able to purchase products and services, but they want it done conveniently and delivered directly to them… This is the digitization of America in a very fast way.”
Even so, strong digital marketing and storytelling can only get the user to engage with your dealership – it can’t sell the car. That’s where an equally powerful (and transparent) online platform shines. You can read up on how to get the right platform here.
Your website needs to shine
When your Facebook ads, video content, or email campaign has brought a customer to your website, the experience can’t suddenly end in a Y2K approximation of online shopping; that’s not the convenience and transparency your customers came looking for.
Instead, you need the power of a flexible, configurable digital retailing tool that continues to offer customers a convenient way to buy. All possible options should be clear and present, including payment calculators, accessories, and trade valuations.
This is the trend that will define your dealership in 2022
It’s the consumer demand for a complete online experience that seamlessly carries them from storytelling to prospecting to the online purchase. If you want a customer to do something, you need to make that action equally easy whether they do it from your showroom or from their couch.
The path to purchase has changed, and so has the purchase itself. To reach as many customers as possible – and convert them – you need to view your sales process and your marketing activities as a single, continuous system that tells a story, promotes your value, and offers a simple way to buy remotely.