Automotive, Industry Ideas, Insights

What is a Digital Dealership?

By Motoinsight - Aug 15, 2019

Your storefront isn’t your storefront anymore. Your physical showroom isn’t the showroom people are looking for when they start searching for their next car. Before they ever engage with you in person, your customers are spending time with your online presence.

The thing is, other e-commerce giants have raised the bar for retail websites. Customers don’t just want a taste of your inventory, pricing, and configuration options; they want the whole shopping experience, online. It’s time to become a digital dealership. But what is that?

Your physical dealership is still critical

To be clear, it’s NOT time to sell your showroom, liquidate your inventory, and commit to an online-only presence. Car buying is and will always be a tactile experience. You can’t test drive a car online, or check out the quality of the leather, or listen to the premium sound system on a website – that all happens at the dealership.

But nearly every other part of the car buying process can happen online, and it’s what consumers expect from you. Just like you can
build, price, and compare your next laptop online, your customers want the freedom to navigate most of their next car purchase from the comfort of their laptops and smartphones.

Commit to a better website

Every one of your sales processes needs to be online, where customers can engage and interact just like they would at the dealership, but from home. Think of it like the ultimate lead generation machine: your customers sell the cars to themselves from home, and come to your dealership when they're primed to buy.

Not every customer wants to rely exclusively on your website, but an increasing majority of shoppers want the option to navigate most of the purchase online. Add to that the number of customers who jump back and forth between dealership and website multiple times during a single purchase, and it's clear your website needs to make these shopping styles easier.

This only works if you don’t hold back. Many dealerships are looking at things the wrong way: when they identify information that a client needs, these dealers use it to lure customers into the showroom. But if customers are trying to find out more online,
why not make it easy for them?

Think like a customer.

When have you ever come back from a shopping experience and said “It was fine, but they kept answering all my questions. I prefer a salesman who talks in circles and never gives me a straight answer.” If customers want to view pricing online, why put “$CALL” instead of the list price? When people email asking for availability, why tell them they need to come in to the dealership to find out?

READ: A Digital-First Approach to Winning Back the Trust of Car Buyers

A digital dealership uses frictionless software to handle all this automatically while pulling customers deeper into the buying process. Customers get their answers, and dealers get more sales for less effort. The automotive industry is playing a bizarre game, and you can win it easily by offering your customers what they've been asking for all along.

It's easier than you'd think

To be a true digital dealership, you need to reconstruct your physical dealership in online terms, and a digital retailing platform is what lets you do that without a degree in computer science. With a proven digital retailing partner, you can build out your entire sales process as an online shopping experience that captivates clients in a world you’ve built, and you own.

Best of all, you control the outcome. When your customers are ready, the omni-channel platform makes it a natural transition from website to showroom. Why? Because it’s all the same experience. Other dealerships aren't even a consideration. Your dealership is just as real and just as exciting online as in store; that’s what it means to be a digital dealership.


Since 2011, Motoinsight has been working with dealerships and OEMs to realize a new vision for the automotive industry through our leading solutions including MotoCommerce. If you’re ready to find out how your dealership can thrive in the digital future, visit
motoinsight.com. Let’s redefine automotive retail, together.


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