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The Changing Environment for Car Dealers

Nicola Moss

Head of Marketing at Node4

Nowadays, consumers are looking for more convenience and simplicity when it comes to buying a car. They anticipate seamless transitions between online and offline experiences. Their digital maturity is constantly increasing. They use online channels more and more for other transactions in their daily life, such as ordering food or banking services, and they expect a similar experience when choosing a car. From being able to contrast and compare models, to tailor-making their own package, they want the opportunity to pretty much decide exactly what they plan to buy before they ever have to step on a forecourt. Gone are the days that they want to waste their weekends travelling from dealer to dealer.

The fact that some automotive brands are now happy to engage with digital transformation is putting pressures on the ones who are reticent to adopt digital methods of marketing and retailing. Digitally-minded customers are put off by poorly designed and functioning websites, impersonal marketing and an inability to connect with them on their preferred platform of communication. They also want 24-hour interaction and the ability to chat and ask questions (either to employees or sophisticated chatbots) at times convenient to them.

In addition to dealers optimising their ecommerce platforms, a focus on solutions that can help protect and manage their data will help ensure customer retention. Data management will allow the personalisation of marketing, expansion of services and an understanding of buyer preference and budget.

Dealership staff should be trained on the management of digital leads so that sales opportunities are never missed. Implementing a digital lead management system should be made a priority. Mobility, collaboration and file sharing solutions should also be made readily available so it’s easy for leads to be passed to the sales team, including a history of previous transactions to streamline the sales cycle. All of this data obviously also needs to be secure and retrievable in the event of disaster.

Node4’s team of experts offer businesses the technology they need to achieve this, including  supporting desktop, telecoms and making sure that systems are reliable and stable. The systems and apps that Node4 can put in place mean that dealers can now set up new locations easier and quicker than ever before, and offer a uniform desktop for all staff, allowing for agility and ease of expansion. We are experienced in working with a variety of automotive businesses. Check out our most recent case study on Howards Motor Group to see how others in your industry are transforming digitally.