Lessons Learned Will Help Dealers in Latest Lockdown.
Dealers are again facing disruption and forced closure as England enters a national lockdown from Thursday. But having dealt with the initial shockwaves back in March, many dealers have worked hard to adapt to a new environment and shifted business models to accommodate new ways of car buying.
Now faced with national lockdown, there are several lessons that dealers can learn from recent months to prepare and ensure that sales can continue throughout very restricted circumstances.”
Digital channels play a vital role in the car buying process, and this has escalated massively during the pandemic where more people turned to the Internet.
This is hugely positive for dealers, who can use their online footprint – whether through a website or social media channels – to reach a wider audience, including people that wouldn’t have otherwise visited that dealership – for example those who many live further away.
Dealers can go one step further than utilising websites and social channels by guiding customers to the next stage of the car buying process, even from a distance.
Many of our dealers, for example, have utilised the remote quote and apply functionality within the Showroom platform, which works in tandem with a dealer’s website. It helps their customers to choose the perfect vehicle and the finance option most suited to them. Through the platform, dealers can email vehicle quotes directly, which are then stored and visible in the customer area.
Having this type of software is another step to reaching customers and bringing the personal in-showroom car buying experience into the online world.
To prepare for the closure of their dealership, dealers need to think about how they will get stock to buyers. There are many features available to support responsible buying and selling, such as introducing home delivery and live video viewings.
Some dealers set up click and collect approaches and designated collection bays, to give buyers greater peace of mind when collecting their new car.
Ultimately, as further restrictions continue to be imposed, car dealers are in a position to learn from recent months and act quickly to keep business going and meet the needs of customers. It’s a difficult time for many, and dealers shouldn’t have to be reaching into their own pockets to fund their forecourt.
It’s vital to think ahead and consider stock funding options to ensure that there won’t be financial difficulty down the line.