The internet has hit the retail automotive industry like a bolt of lightning. These days a dealership can sink or swim based only on the strength of its website. By and large, dealers have made many of the necessary changes to compete in this brave new world. However, when things were starting to level out, the rise of online-only dealers came about, thus further disrupting the industry. If you’re wondering how to compete with online dealerships, you are not alone. Shops like Carvana and other similar operations present brick-and-mortar dealerships with unique opportunities to compete with them. Let’s look at a few things you might want to consider.
Find an online home
Car dealerships used to be the anchor business of any city’s downtown. As the suburbs grew, dealerships grew with them and changed how they served customers. Suffice it to say that adaptation is nothing new to dealerships. However, the growth of online-only sales has been a new challenge, and online-only operations further compound problems. The best way to compete is to meet these interlopers on their own ground, and that means fighting fire with fire.
Metaphors aside, dealerships need to make sure they have a solid online presence by utilizing all of the online tools available to them. A website is essential, but more importantly, the website must be as user-friendly as possible. There are a lot of fly-by-night providers out there and adequately vetting their technology is crucial.
Don’t be the best kept secret online
The internet is vast, and every website is fighting to find visitors. It simply isn’t enough to buy a URL, upload some inventory photos, and hope for the best. Search engine optimization is the name of the game, and your website might as well be a framed photo on your office wall without an effective SEO strategy. However, there is more to SEO than just a website, you need to have something for people to find, and it doesn’t always have to be the cars, trucks, and SUVs in your showroom. Blogs and other specially optimized pieces of content are excellent ways to attract eyeballs to your website that could have landed on your competitors’ sites. Phantom Copy has exactly these solutions.
- Blogs: Talking directly to your customers in your unique voice gives something relatively tangible for people to find a connection. The subjects of these blogs can be about almost anything, product options, new technology features, even your accomplishments in the community.
Read More: Top Blogging Tips for Car Dealers
- Landing Pages: Modern internet technology gives us a lot of insight into what potential customers are looking for. A landing page can provide a new model or provide greater detail about a unique service that separates you from your rivals. People who arrive on a landing page are looking for something specific, and we can use various tools to capture their information and turn those visitors into potential leads.
- Press Releases: How often do you have big news at your dealership that you want the world to learn about? Whether you are holding a special event, working with charity, or even embracing the future with a new EV initiative, the best way to share this big news is with a custom-written press release.
Read More: How Should a Dealership Use a Press Release?
Retrain your team to meet the times
Not only has the technological landscape changed for brick-and-mortar dealerships, but the way we maintain relationships with customers has also changed. Today’s sales teams need to understand modern technology as much as the team managing the website and online inventory listings. Several experts suggest investing in retraining sales teams to meet the differences in today’s automotive customers. Additionally, the dealership culture needs to adapt to modern customers as well. Small changes could make a huge difference to the online shopper visiting a physical location.
Phantom Copy has one of the most experienced teams working in digital marketing today. Reach out to one of our reps today and we’ll get your started on your journey to your dealership’s next century of success.