Now that we’ve covered some challenges, opportunities and solutions for car dealerships in Q3 of 2021, let’s bring it all together with the next steps you can take into Q4 and beyond.

Create a Plan to Minimize the Effects of Inventory Issues

Many car buyers are shopping for new and used vehicles simultaneously, so how will you ensure these shoppers have good options on both fronts? 

From getting more aggressive with trade-in offers and cash for used cars to providing discounts on out-of-stock new models for buyers who can wait, there are numerous ways to help counter inventory shortages.

Make it simple for customers to discover their car’s estimated trade-in value via your website. And don’t forget to consider early lease termination messaging to gain more lease returns for your pre-owned or certified lot.  

Embrace Digital and the New Way of Business

As we’ve discussed here, the next phase of the customer experience in 2021 and beyond is a hybrid model of increased digitization and online shopping followed by in-person visits to your store.

Find what’s worked for your customers and your dealership team over the past year and work on refining processes to further enhance the customer experience, both online and onsite.

That could mean expanding your digital retailing offerings, maintaining customer conveniences like limited pick-up and delivery service, or simply ensuring your team is meeting the preferences of both digital-first and face-to-face customers.

Find Ways to Better Understand Your Customer Base

Consumer data privacy has been front and center as of late. 

Recent privacy pivots from the likes of Google, Facebook and other big-data tech giants mean that changes are coming to how digital marketers and car dealerships can reach potential customers online.

Thanks to recent and upcoming shifts like iOS 14’s App Tracking Transparency and the end of third-party cookies, the digital advertising landscape is getting a makeover. 

Businesses need to discover new ways to reach recurring and potential new customers.

It’s now become more vital than ever to understand your customer base, since reaching them through highly targeted, data-driven campaigns may be more challenging than in recent years. 

Knowing your customer, their hobbies, interests and reasons for shopping a particular car make or model can help your dealership retain and gain business — and even open up new markets for your products and services.

As heavy as the digital “current” flows, getting to know your customer base can and should still be a face-to-face experience. Your salespeople and service advisors are on the front lines every day and should have a good sense of current customer preferences, concerns and requests. 

Leverage your team’s knowledge in your marketing efforts. Ad copy and graphics should reflect the lifestyle, interests, demographics and common questions of your customers. 

Build and Maintain Customer Data to Reach Your Audience

With less access to user data and insights through big tech platforms, it’s time to lean on first-party data for your marketing and advertising efforts.

Leveraging your CRM and DMS data to more effectively reach your intended audience is one solution. However, relying on this first-party data means that it’s more crucial than ever to keep customer data up to date so that you can best capitalize on your advertising and marketing efforts.

Keep in contact with current and prospective customers through online ad campaigns and marketing initiatives. If they don’t buy or service with you in Q3, you can be confident they may be ready in Q4 if you’re able to make a personal connection.

Reach Out For Assistance

We hope you’ve gained valuable tips and insights from this Q3 Automotive Playbook. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any topics covered in this e-guide further, do not hesitate to reach out to the team at fusionZONE Automotive. 

We’re committed to assisting our dealership partners nationwide with their efforts to boost leads, conversions and sales online and onsite.

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