Like or not, there has been a definite shift in the way things are working in our world right now. The novel Coronavirus has turned everyone’s lives a little upside down, and for now, we are all adjusting to the new normal. So, the big questions for a lot of us out there and our clients are How will this affect my dealership? and Are people still online searching for cars right now?
While we don’t have any precedent for this to look at the history books, we do have a little bit of data to help guide you through this process. Additionally, we have all seen through online automotive retailing that online car buying IS possible.
How will this Affect my Dealership?
One of the most important ways this will impact your dealership and staff, and probably already has, is your cleaning routine. You’ll need to make sure that you’re following best practices according to the CDC and disinfecting counters, workspaces, door knobs, handles, and bathrooms on a regular basis.
Also, in conjunction with CDC recommendations, you should encourage anyone is sick to stay home and not try to come to work.
From a sales standpoint, now is the time to sit down and create a plan if you have not yet done so. Below are some things you should consider for your dealership:
Do you have the capability to for remote and online purchasing?
Are you capable to hold at-home test drives?
Are you able to drop off a car for delivery and disinfect upon delivery?
Do you have the ability to pick up and drop off for service appointments?
These questions are vital for your team to discuss right now to make sure you customers are aware of what you can and cannot offer during this time. Make sure that your customers are aware of these capabilities. Send them an email, post on your social media accounts, and place it on your website where it’s easy to find.
Through our experience at D2D over the past week, customers seem to be very appreciative of these actions and precautions taken by dealerships. Leases will still end, and people are still using their vehicles and check engine lights are coming on. There is nothing we can do to avoid those things, and people need your dealership. How you handle this situation can create customers for life.
Are People Still Online Searching for Cars Right Now?
Again, while there is no historical data for this situation, we have taken a look at the analytics over the past 15 days. What we see is that website traffic is not slowing down. Impressions, clicks, and leads are still coming in at an overall steady pace. If you think about it, people have more time than ever to do the research they might have been putting off. Or, they’re simply bored, and taking to their phones, computers, and tablets to take a look at what is out there.
While the immediate future might be a little scary for any dealership owner or GM, know that the consumers are still there. They are taking this time to do the research, and you don’t want to be the dealership who isn’t there. At this time, our recommendation is to continue targeted advertising efforts, be considerate for those you are working with to create deals and use this is an opportunity to help those potential customers and create a loyal member of your dealership’s family.
If you haven’t yet met with your automotive digital advertising agency, set up a meeting right away. Make sure you let them know all of the things you are offering as mentioned above. This will help them in the creation of social media posts and any creative needed to get your dealership up to speed for your current and potential customers.
All of our dealerships are already set up and ready to go for the “new norm.” If you need some assistance, or have any questions regarding COVID-19 and your dealership, please call us at 877-958-4524 or contact us today. We are happy to help during these times. We can help you determine a strategy, provide creative, or simply assist with providing recommendations and signs to post throughout the store.
Christine has spent the last 13 years strategizing, executing, and optimizing digital campaigns. She is certified in a variety of digital tactics including SEO, SEM, Social Media, Display Advertising, Email Marketing and Mobile Advertising and has been published several times on PRDaily.com. She has hosted digital trainings, been a guest lecturer for Graduate classes, and has spoken at the Digital Dealer conference. Outside of the office, Christine is a roller derby coach and also teaches Digital Marketing at William Paterson University.
For more information on how D2D can help, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org