Technology is amazing. Anyone who has spent more time at home this past year is well aware of the incredible tool, distraction, resource, and entertainment that digital tech can be. New digital technology is so good, in fact, that we have come to expect effortless utility of all new technologies. And that’s a problem.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve seen dozens of new digital solutions materialize in the dealer space. Each one effectively promises the same thing: do more online with our plug-and-play widget. So why is this a problem? As technology makes cars more autonomous by the month, why is it so hard to believe that a piece of tech can turn your dealership into an online showroom overnight?
It’s not as simple as plug-and-play
Let’s look at what makes cars autonomous. It’s not as simple as updating your 2005 Camry with a quick ECU flash for instant self-driving luxury. Autonomous cars, even in their current not-quite-autonomous form, are the product of years of research, trial, error, and improvement. Even now, the best “self-driving” cars still need human oversight and frequent software patches to keep them on the right track.
Selling cars online, autonomous or otherwise, is no different. Much as we’d love to believe it, there’s no simple tool that instantly turns your traditional dealership website into a high-conversion online showroom. Just like autopilot, digital retailing takes a degree of effort to generate results.
It’s easier than it sounds
Don’t worry, I’m not saying that good digital retailing will keep you up at night. There’s no code to tweak, and it’s an easy way to generate high-quality, low-effort leads—once it’s up and running.
That’s the key. Your dealership is different than the one across the street, or another in a different town entirely. You need a solution that is complex enough to support your unique needs, and simple enough to make your life easier every day. And that requires a custom-tailored implementation process.
This isn’t what you get with simple, widget-based online tools. The implementation might be easy, but the results are reflective of the effort you put in. Your customers want to shop online, and that means a sophisticated digital system that recreates the entire dealership experience. They need something they can dive into.
The right platform comes with the right people
Have I made this all sound very complicated? It’s not—rather, it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to be a tech expert to get the best digital retailing implementation, because the best solutions have their own experts.
You’re not expected to be a digital retailing genius. All you have to do is find good, omnichannel digital retailing provider who has a dedicated genius set aside to work with you, to learn your dealership, and to guide your success. As long as you make the effort to work with this person, your determination will be rewarded with higher-quality leads, better closing rates, and easier sales.
Selling online is no different than working out of a dealership; the infrastructure and processes take a bit of time and effort to create, but those efforts guarantee your continued success.
Andrew Tai is the CEO and co-founder of Motoinsight, but his influence extends far beyond the company. A contributing columnist to The Globe and Mail and a prolific speaker, Andrew is a recognized authority on digital retailing within the automotive industry. Connect with him today to learn how your dealership is going to change, or see the future yourself at motoinsight.com.
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