If we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that consumers still enjoy visiting a physical dealership to sign on the dotted line. Even if consumers have a good idea of what they want searching online, they want to be able to touch, drive and take the car home themselves. After all, car ownership is an interactive experience in and of itself.

Sites like Cars.com, Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds don’t have physical locations. In fact, Carvana is only now building physical locations — and there are only a handful of them across the nation. That being said, what do you got that these folks don’t? A physical location! In some cases, you have several rooftops.

Having a physical location can be extremely advantageous to your dealership’s overall marketing efforts. A physical presence indicates that you’re real, and once the research phases are complete, the real conversations can and theoretically should happen face-to-face.

So now you’re probably asking yourself: “Okay, so my physical location is important, but so is my online presence. How can my dealership leverage its physical presence to its advantage when marketing to consumers online?” Here are a few ways your dealership can get started:

Walk-Around Videos of Inventory at Your Dealership

Walk-around videos do more than give your consumers an idea of what a specific vehicle looks like. They can also give consumers a good idea of what your dealership looks like and where they’ll be when they come test-drive or even pick up their vehicle.

Along with judging your dealership by its website, consumers also judge your dealership based on the way your physical location presents its inventory, its specials and so on. If your physical space is something to be proud of, then what better way to showcase it before shoppers come by than by showing it off in the walkaround videos?

Engaging Interactive Experiences that Lead to an Actual Conversation

As consumers travel from one part of the shopping funnel to another, they’re going through an assortment of tools on your website: calculators, assessments, appraisals, etc. Not only do these tools help the dealership to learn more about the consumer, but the consumer gets the information that they’re searching for on your website.

When the consumer exhausts all of their digital options on your website, what do you think will be the next step? Why, visiting the dealership, of course!

The best thing your salespeople can do is leverage the information they collected from the website and incorporate it into the discussions they have with consumers at the dealership. This is extremely important because KEY decisions are often made inside the dealership itself.

Encourage Consumers to Complete experiences that Sign them Up for a Test Drive

Once consumers have completed the majority of interactive experiences on your dealership’s website, the next best step would be for them to come into the dealership…. right? Theoretically, yes.

The next best step is for consumers to visit your dealership. However, there are quite a few consumers who are still quite pensive about making a purchasing decision. Our newest Car Buyer Insights Report shows 77% of the consumers on dealership websites feel like they’re in the beginning or middle stages of the buying process.

You’d be surprised how many folks remain in the research phase for extended periods of time. If, of course, your dealership could show the value of your physical store to folks who are browsing online, it would entice them to drop in. Following the completion of interactive experiences, your website can present those near the bottom of the funnel consumers with a CTA that encourages consumers to sign up for a test drive or make an appointment.

These appointment-making experiences can, naturally, provide additional information incentives like: a locked in price, a trade-in offer, a discount, or a service coupon — whatever your dealership is willing to provide.

Simply providing the option to make an appointment is a great way to encourage consumers to make a small, risk-free commitment before making the big one.

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