Traditionally, the car purchasing experience happened entirely offline and in dealerships. But then the internet came along and changed all that. Now, 86% of prospective buyers begin their search online. They like to become educated about their options before they get off the couch and head over to the dealership. And, while consumers aren’t really able to head over the dealership (for now), researching online becomes pretty much their only option.
This means that getting in front of those consumers early in their search and sticking with your web visitors throughout their journey is the key to ensuring they eventually decide to purchase a car from your dealership. If you’re looking for ways to capture web visitors for your dealership, follow these tips.
Make It Easy to Get Answers with Live Chat
Trying to find the right vehicle can be overwhelming. There are so many options – different makes and models, different features on each, safety ratings to consider – the list goes on and on. That’s why people go into the dealership in the first place: It’s a big decision and having someone by your side that has all the answers and can walk you through the process can reduce a lot of the anxiety.
But when your customers are still online, you have to settle for the next best thing to a one-to-one live conversation. That’s where live chat comes in. By providing a real customer service person for consumers to speak with, you elevate your brand and stand out as a dealership that’s committed to real service.
While your competitors may leave consumers to their own devices, letting them click back and forth among various product pages as they comparison shop, you’ve provided them with a real, live person to answer all of their specific questions. When you can provide them a great person-to-person experience online, they’ll feel even more confident about the level of service they’ll get if and when they decide to do business with your dealership.
Get in Touch Offline with Visitor InSite
Once you’ve made a great impression online, it pays to reach out in other ways. LOCALiQ offers a tool called Visitor InSite, which allows you to learn more about your web visitors and take your connection offline. Visitor InSite identifies visitors to your site and provides you with vital contact information, including email, street address, and telephone number.
From there, you can make contact with these web visitors through other channels. Reaching out via email allows you to take advantage of a digital means of communication that remains incredibly popular. When you establish regular contact via email, you stay top-of-mind as consumers continue to move through their research phase, and you have a better shot at being there when they’re ready to visit a dealership.
A follow-up phone call is a great way to make sure any questions that didn’t get answered via live chat are resolved and to nudge the prospect closer to a test drive. Sending a postcard or mailer is another fantastic option. By taking the connection offline and into the real world, you give consumers a tangible reminder that you’re there for them.
Use Retargeting to Remain Top-of-Mind
While offline tactics can help you spread the reach of your marketing messaging, retargeting remains another effective way to stay in consumers’ fields of vision as they continue to weigh their dealership options. Retargeting allows you to follow your web visitors across the rest of their journey online. When they visit their favorite blog or check out a local news site, your retargeted ads appear alongside their desired content.
By shadowing the consumer as they move across the internet, you ensure they won’t forget your name. The marketing rule of seven states that consumers need to see or interact with a brand seven times before they decide to take action and reach out. Retargeting allows you to get to those seven touchpoints quickly and effectively.
For dealerships, your final transactions may still occur in the real world. By using a suite of digital marketing tools and tactics, you can ensure you’re providing top-of-the-line customer service from the start of the journey, winning over consumers and keeping them engaged until they decide they’re ready to make a purchase with you.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you market your dealership online – especially as we all navigate this challenging time, reach out today.