Why the digitization of car dealerships is important now

Start now as a car dealer after the covid-19 crisis with the right marketing measures in online sales fully through.

The digital qualifying is over – the car industry is in the middle of the digital race for the best places

Even before the outbreak of the corona crisis, the automotive industry was not having an easy time:

The diesel scandal, falling CO2 limits, more and more new driving bans in inner cities and an unsatisfactory range of electrified mobility – all these circumstances ultimately led to a strong sense of uncertainty among consumers as well. The COVID-19 pandemic turned a crisis into a full-blown crisis, exposing digital deficits in the auto trade that existed before the crisis.
The new power of the customer, created by digital transparency and a host of new competitors such as disruptive online sales platforms, are further shrinking the already thin margins of retailers. A similarly challenging situation is also expected for garage sales up to 2025 – which could thus develop into the next problem child of the auto trade. this realization is based primarily on the increasing number of low-maintenance electric vehicles, fewer accidents thanks to innovative driving and safety assistance systems, and an increasing share of shared mobility. (cf. Bain& company)

Today, it is no longer enough to be number 1 locally!

80% of car purchases are already made through digital channels. out of an average of 24 contact points through which a consumer buys his car today, 19 are already digital. Here, the entire phase of dealer selection takes place exclusively online – before a seller even has a chance to get involved!
One in eight car buyers already orders online, and a good 80% of online buyers buy from a different dealer than originally planned! (cf. Manager magazine, DAT)

the corona crisis is greatly accelerating the trend toward digitalization and, above all, the creation of digital sales opportunities for consumers. However, most car dealers are only just waking up from their digital deep sleep and are now desperately trying to make up lost ground in the online race.

According to the ZDK, only 7% of German car dealers have a digital strategy, i.e., a digital vision that is subordinate to the corporate strategy, dedicated digital fields of action, and digital measures that pay off in terms of achieving the goals.
Consequently, many companies lack the right mindset to understand digitization as a "relocation to a digital business model" and also lack the internal capacities to be able to achieve the digital goals that have been set. In 21% of retailers, an employee is only responsible for digital marketing on a "sideline" basis. That is, in addition to managing the sales team and ensuring that targets are met, a z.B. A sales manager has to perform digital analyses, identify optimization potentials, manage agencies, optimize the online presence, improve the google ranking, expand the fan base via social networks and plan, execute and measure targeted online marketing campaigns, to name a few tasks at this point. (cf. ZDK)

Customer expectations have changed dramatically – now it’s time to meet them

Influenced by the trend toward online shopping and the great experiences consumers have had with amazon& co. Collecting every day, the demands on the online channels are correspondingly high. Consumers are now comparing their experiences across industries. For example, anyone who has had a positive experience with an online identification process for opening a bank account (cf. DKB), also expects this in the contracting process when buying a car. For consumers to get all the information they want in the AI-based chat when buying a washing machine (cf. Miele), it’s incomprehensible why you have to wait on hold for a tire change appointment. Dealers can easily meet these expectations proactively, as there is already a wide range of proven technical solutions on the market.

An optimal linking of online and offline channels is not only important for the test drive request, the sales talk or the arrangement of a service appointment – the digital experience for the customer should also be in the focus of attention. With the creation of a high-quality customer experience (engl. customer experience), however, it is like searching for the holy grail. Customer experience does not mean setting off a fireworks display with elaborate presentations. It already starts in a small way and is a development process. The journey is the destination. strategy, data, design and people: all these factors play a role in creating the wow factor between customers and car dealers.

Hopefuls exist in the automotive retail landscape.

In the era of corona, it is wonderful to observe that the few exceptions among car dealers who have already created a good digital foundation are now turning on the digitalization turbo. For example, the emil frey group presented its new internet platform for online car buying, with a proud online selection of 10.000 available vehicles. The dealer group has recognized digital developments and changing customer expectations and has set the right course internally to make the auto trade fit for the future.

This fits in with the trend – because two out of three car buyers can already imagine buying their vehicle online, from the information search to the conclusion of the sale. (cf. Think with google)

Digital alternatives for end consumers buying a car, such as live video sales advice or digital contract processing, are also very much in vogue. salespeople with an affinity for digital technologies are evolving at the speed of light into modern online advisors who configure dream cars together with their customers via tablet or provide used car buyers with on-demand videos online.
In addition, digital service consulting is also experiencing a significant surge in development. Customers of modern car dealerships no longer have to come to the dealership for service, but can conveniently view, approve and also pay directly for any additional work that needs to be done via video in the office.

95% of all search queries in germany start with google

to create new online sales opportunities, car dealerships need to create awareness for their business – they need to optimize their online presence and achieve high-quality top 10 google rankings. An example of alternative drive systems: according to a recent google study, every second search is for "hybrid associated with a brand, e.B. "BMW hybrid". The opposite is true for electric vehicles. For example, 80% of search queries are still generic (z.B. "electric car") and illustrate the need for information on this topic. In order to open up online sales opportunities here, content and SEO measures must be tailored to the consumer’s search queries. Once the visitor has arrived on the website, the task is to arouse interest in buying with converting landing pages and attractive campaigns.

We at rpc keep a close eye on the digital trailblazers in the market, because one big advantage of digitization is – not everything has to be reinvented. digitization is already here and provides many good practical examples – in the end, all you really have to do is implement it.

As a car dealer, can I still take advantage of the digitalization wave??

the diverse online sales channels offer car dealerships the chance for easy access to new customer acquisition. Car dealerships don’t necessarily have to become innovators – adapting existing successful models offers every opportunity. First and foremost, you should be transparent about your own digital strengths and weaknesses. Real-time measurement of success enables efficient allocation of the marketing budget and helps to continuously optimize online activities, aligned with customer needs.

a variety of tools and digital service providers are usually needed for targeted online marketing. Accordingly, the dealership should have the internal know-how to bring together all the information and derive promising recommendations for action. this can either be implemented on your own or you can book our rpc autohaus online marketing training and use the expertise of our excellent digital trainers.

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