Many industries have been hard hit by the continuing COVID pandemic, but the automotive industry comprising used cars, new cars, and pre-owned vehicles are among those suffering the biggest impact.
After the initial wave of the virus struck, car sales virtually ground to a halt. Now, dealerships have reopened and are tracking government guidelines and changes in consumer behavior to develop new ways of coping with these trends and changes.
While more than half of people are traveling less often than before the virus began, consumers are relying more fully on private vehicles for transportation rather than opting for airplanes, trains, and public transportation.
That’s good news for the car industry, but there are still obstacles to overcome in the post-viral car buying journey.
Car buying has a long tradition of being a personal experience from initial contact through the shopping and purchasing experience.
In fact, purchasing a vehicle has often been a very long and drawn-out procedure, where a customer must not only engage with a salesperson, but also the finance director and the insurance salesperson who are keen on up-selling car options, protection features, and extended warranties.
People who have an aversion to this much pressure in the past have opted for no-pressure options like Carvana, where customers only have in-person contact with a sales representative if they request it.
Now, more car dealers are turning to contactless options to minimize personal contact for health and safety reasons — and it is working.
Providing Contactless Auto Sales for Better Business
Car dealers wishing to keep staff and customers safer — and compete with high-performing businesses like Carvana — can adopt digital strategies that help make car buying a minimal contact experience.
The Advent of Digital Dealerships
Before the pandemic, about 36% of dealers offered online financing options. Now, slightly more than half (55%) can offer digital financing.
The trend continues as more dealerships augment their brick-and-mortar locations with digital dealerships that showcase vehicles on offer through an online store.
With many dealerships being small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), an online presence makes good sense, allowing a pare-down of costly real estate that can reduce overhead.
Some dealers offer test-drives through home delivery, which can be scheduled through an online portal. This removes the need for customers to visit a potentially crowded dealership while allowing them an up-close view of their desired vehicle.
In fact, digital visibility is essential to staying solvent. Many dealers are opting to leverage social media such as Facebook and Live Chat options on their dealer websites to keep sales rolling in.
Making Online Sales Work
Car dealers have a lot of adjusting to do to take their business from mostly in-person to an online format, but doing so can help your dealership beat the odds when it comes to surviving this ongoing pandemic.
Joining forces with a competent team of IT professionals in a managed services environment can be just what is needed to perfect an online marketplace for your new or used car sales.
Not only can a managed services provider (MSP) provide the tools and cloud-based technologies necessary to boost sales, but they can provide continuous maintenance and troubleshooting to keep your online system running smoothly.
Blue Technologies Has the Right Tools to Boost Your Digital Presence
We know how difficult it can be to make significant changes to the way you do business, especially if you are a small- or medium-sized operation.
Many small auto dealerships have a very small — or even nonexistent — IT staff, making it difficult to keep up with the current trend toward and online and/or contactless sales environment.
At Blue Technologies, we have a team of IT experts standing by that can help bring your dealership into the “new normal” of post-COVID marketing with the least amount of stress and hassle.
Our knowledgeable professionals can assess your current infrastructure, help you decide how best to get started with contactless and digital technologies, and design and implement a system that will meet your needs exactly.
Once your system is up and running, our staff will be on hand to perform routine maintenance and tweaks and offer troubleshooting and repairs as they are needed.
Take the next steps toward a healthier bottom line. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant today and learn how cloud-based technologies can bring revenue-generating contactless and digital features to your dealership.