Getting equipped with the right tools to make going remote easier for your dealership is paramount during this time. We have identified two distinct groups of consumers actively browsing on the AutoTrader.ca Marketplace; (i) those looking to purchase a vehicle now, and, (ii) those stuck in a research stage, likely to buy once the spread of COVID-19 has ceased. Dealers should be providing service and creating meaningful connections with both parties.
As such, we’ve outlined tools to help you connect with car shoppers and researchers, at each stage of the consumer journey, while providing a high level of online service and maximizing efficiencies for managing your business during this unchartered time. Whether consumers are interested in doing research or finalizing a deal for the vehicle they are truly interested in, these tools and practices are sure to come in handy!
Real Time Chat
Dealers know about the importance of timeliness and efficiency when communicating with consumers. Leverage the tools at your disposal to engage with consumers in an online chat, while they research or shop for their next car. Live chat creates a personalized experience, and a one-to-one connection between dealership sales representatives and prospective buyers. Consumers will appreciate that an actual person is on the other end, willing to help them – in real time. AutoTrader.ca’s Real Time Chat lets you interact with consumers at the exact moment they want to chat with you. If consumers have more in depth questions about the vehicle they are interested in, you can even record a video at the click of a button and send it directly to them.
Beyond visits, VDP views and leads, there are additional means to measure and qualify the true intent of a consumer engaging with your inventory listings. At the click of a button, the Reserve It! tool allows consumers to place a deposit on a vehicle, directly from a VDP on AutoTrader.ca. Backed by an intuitive and straightforward configuration process, dealers can enable this feature to drive confidence with consumers, as they will be assured the vehicle they want is secured for when they are ready and able to see it in person. Reserve It! also helps your sale personnel know how to adequately follow up with consumers who use this feature as they’ll know the qualified prospect is serious about buying.
Demonstrate your commitment to serving consumer needs during COVID-19, by highlighting your service and parts offering, the availability of at-home test drives, and more. This AutoTrader.ca feature lets you showcase your unique offerings on a dedicated area of your VDP, in addition to the image carousel, in the form of an image. Integrating this level of detail on your VDPs, within your dealership website, in marketing campaigns, and on social channels are all great ways to get the word out.
Get vehicles out to the most serious car shoppers, who need them now, by offering the ultimate white glove service – a home drop off service! Dealers should entertain the feasibility of making the necessary adjustments within their business operations to ensure they are able to safely drop off the keys and the vehicle, either for a 24-hour test drive or following a sale. Although we’ve collectively been asked to make serious adjustments to our day-to-day lives, there are still plenty of shoppers who need a car right now and will certainly appreciate your dealership going the extra mile to get the vehicle to them safely.
You can find some of these tools now available in our Remote Selling Suite, which includes intuitive features that allow you to bring the dealership experience to your prospects and customers at home. We will be updating this toolkit with more features over the coming weeks to provide more guidance for dealers actively looking to engage and sell remotely. It’s good to keep in mind that while these tools are helpful right now, you will find yourself continuing to utilize them following the official end of the pandemic, as more and more consumers expect dealerships to provide more flexible and intuitive digital services in the future.