Baby Steps in Digital Retailing

Whoa, Buddy! You ain’t ready for digital retailing. Seriously.

In the race to perfect digital retailing, many automotive technology developers and dealers are losing sight of the bigger picture. You don’t have your shit together. Like, at all. Your BDC doesn’t know which ad your GM ran in the local paper this week. You don’t have pictures of half of your used cars and you don’t even TRY to photograph your new cars. (Side note: If you don’t start photographing your new inventory I will personally come to your dealership and hit you in the head with a tack hammer.)

When presented with a solution to specific operational issues at the store, the same dealer who neglects lot ups and skips the manager T.O. is the first to ask, “Does it integrate with my CRM, DMS, etc…??” Uhhh.. what the hell are you talking about, Bob? No, the new helium tank doesn’t integrate with your DMS. You’ve taken too many demos.

When we ask, “Why do you need it to?” it can get a bit awkward because, bless his heart, Bob has no idea why he’s asking. He’s been programmed by auto “gurus” to ask for shit he doesn’t need. Wake up, Bob! Depending on which problem you’re hoping to solve, integration may not be necessary at all. Fo real.

Baby steps. Don’t try to become the Amazon of car sales when you haven’t even found a way to get your F&I wait time down to under an hour. Maybe hire a full-time photographer to snap 30+ well-focused, nicely staged images of all your new and used cars before you try to revolutionize your digital retailing.

Would we like to sell vehicles 100% online? Or do we just think it sounds like a good idea because we’ve been told “it’s coming” for so long. While the future of car sales (and most sales) will certainly keep moving more towards a fully online endeavor, it’s important to remember that we have bigger fish to fry right now, today. Like that tie and matching lapel flower. Take it off, you look ridiculous.

Which is more crucial to your business this week, identifying a digital retailing solution which allows shoppers to never step foot inside your showroom, OR would you like to increase the percentage of internet leads who respond to you from the abysmal industry average of 20% to something more reflective of the effort and money you’ve spent marketing and optimizing your dealership’s website? This is not a hard question, but take all the time you need. Do you have customers refusing to purchase if they can’t buy completely online? Probably not.

You know what would be cooler? Opening your CRM, navigating to your lost and dead leads folder, sending one more pass but this time including some substance. Perhaps a text or email with a link to an attractive and achievable lease quote – and a finance configuration – and a real out-the-door price. What else? How about we make it personalized, interactive, and mobile friendly so they can build the deal they truly want from their phone? Let’s get really crazy and ask them what they want for their trade too! Oh, and how about the dealer gets to see EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH real time? HOLY SHIT.

bUt DoEs It InTeGrAtE?!?!? Yeah, it integrates your internet lead with the car you want to sell them. Shut up, Bob.

Customer is happy because he is informed and feels in control. Dealer is happy because she can see what the customer wants. Everyone is on the same page, looking at the same information which is accurate and easy to experience. Want to generate more car sales this month without making any major adjustments to your marketing budget or sales process? Get your head out of your ass and check out illumiQUOTE.

We got you. Call to learn more (757)383-7282 or visit our website:

Written on June 3, 2019

Written by Christine Plunkett

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