With the new-car market off to a fantastic start in 2013, it’s more important than ever to understand what makes new-car shoppers unique and market to them accordingly. A wealth of online resources and an ability to shop on smartphones and tablets 24 hours a day prepares buyers like never before. As dealer, it’s important to realize this shift and adapt to it by emphasizing customer-focused processes and transparency.
New-car shoppers are typically in-market for over five months before purchase. They take time to research vehicles, read reviews and learn about the dealerships before ever heading to the lot. Though they’re hungry for information, over 9 in 10 new-car shoppers on Cars.com typically won’t send an email lead. For approximately 2/3 of all car shoppers, walking into your dealership will be the first formal contact they make.
Beyond browsing inventory to decide on a specific make and model, typically a choice between five different makes, nearly 80% of new-shoppers on Cars.com research dealership-specific information. Because of this, it’s important to manage your online presence in detail, updating your Cars.com Dealer Profile Page, managing your Dealer Reviews and taking an inventory of how your dealership’s brand is portrayed across the web. Price matters, but so does the way your brand looks compared to other local dealerships.
Why mobile matters
The way your store shows up on a laptop or desktop is only part of the story. Over 83% of all new-car shoppers own a smartphone – close to 40% own both a smartphone and a tablet. In order to truly stand out across all customer channels, it’s critical to evaluate how your dealership shows up on mobile devices. Having a mobile-friendly website, merchandising effectively and establishing processes to reach customers through chat and text are ways to ensure you’re engaging mobile savvy new-car shoppers.
For more on mobile, check out our recent Nielsen mobile study.
Start building relationships
With multiple influence points throughout their desktop and mobile shopping experience, dealerships should strive for consistency and transparency when catering to new-car shoppers, keeping basic merchandising and customer service processes as a core focus.
“You can buy a new Camry anywhere,” said Brian Hefner, General Manager of Tom Wood Toyota during an interview with DealerADvantage. “It’s important to let customers know that they’ll have a positive experience by working with us.”
Build relationships with customers by openly answering questions, providing useful information and highlighting what makes your dealership’s brand different. In return, new-car shoppers will have the confidence to consider your store and ultimately purchase a vehicle.
To learn more about what makes new-car shoppers unique, download our free ebook Have you met the NEW new-car shopper?