Let’s talk customer experience for a moment. Your customers have access to many dealerships and brands when making their next buying decision. What are you actively doing to create a meaningful relationship with your customers that will encourage them to do business with you? With many Dealers we speak to, they are quick to answer, “we provide a comfortable VIP service department waiting room with free coffee and snacks while they wait for service” or “our floor plan is set in a manner that invokes excitement to encourage our customers to imagine themselves driving away in a particular new car.” These are all great examples of a concierge experience, now let’s ask a different question, how are you creating the same customer experience with your online inventory?

Kelly Blue Book states that the average consumer spends over 7 hours shopping online before they ever visit a dealership. They know exactly what they want and what they are willing to spend because they have access to prolific amounts of information online, including car reviews and research tools for all vehicle makes and models. There are millions of pre-owned inventories on the market, take advantage of the time your consumers are spending shopping your inventory online and create a concierge experience by offering a digital portfolio that includes an original retail sticker, OEM brochure, recon invoices, and CARFAX report for your used inventory, and photos. 

Related: Carvana & CarMax’s ramped-up reconditioning operations make efficient & lean recon operations an imperative for dealers

Velocity Automotive’s research shows that dealerships that provide a digital portfolio, which includes the Velocity Retail Stickers, increase their customer online engagement by 30 percent. Our heat mapping analysis concludes that consumers spend more time reviewing the window sticker than any other area of the vehicle detail page (VDP). Buyers appreciate this transparency; it creates a new level of trust and appreciation. In addition, dealers who are actively using the original window stickers for their pre-owned inventory are appraising and booking out vehicles with stronger, more reliable numbers, which is increasing profitability and reducing point of sale negotiations. 

Many of you are probably thinking selling cars is not a problem right now, getting inventory is the real issue. Remember, this is a short-term challenge that will quickly resolve itself once the chip shortages are overcome. What is not temporary, is your customer’s ability to choose who they buy their next vehicle from. Set your sales team up for success by arming them with the information they need to be inventory experts. When they have access to the original window stickers, they have the knowledge to answer most questions on any brand makes and models, while creating a more engaging and trustworthy buying experience. It becomes a win-win for both you and the customer. Your sales team is happier because their job got easier by having the ability to quickly share information that could expedite the vehicle sale, and your customers are satisfied with how they are interacting with your team and future purchase. 

Being able to think differently, create engagement, trust and credibility will separate you in the marketplace from your competitors, while helping you increase profits and drive customer loyalty.

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