Before considering which web tools dealers should use, it is important to know why they should use any in the first place. Just like the website itself, web tools help customers find the information they need, answer the questions they have, and ultimately help engage them in a meaningful way with the dealership itself. We all know the importance of a website, which is why every dealer nationwide has one – to help online customers with their automotive purchase or service needs. It is just as important to have web tools on the site that answer the key concerns of every car shopper: “What is my car worth?”, “What is my buying power?”, and “What is my monthly payment?”
“What is my car worth?” is a top question of car shoppers out there, which is why so many companies offer dealers trade-in valuation services. It is important for dealers to have a trade-in tool on the site so customers can get that information right there, versus having to leave the site to find that information out, where they will likely be exposed to competitive dealers’ inventory (think KBB or Edmunds). Make it simple for a customer to get an estimated value of their trade in and you’ll keep them on your site longer.
“What is my buying power?” is another big concern of today’s car shopper. A vehicle is likely one of the top 3 purchases a person will make in his or her lifetime, and it is important to know what inventory best suits their need based on their individual credit. Every dealer has a long finance application on their site, but the truth is that most customers don’t fill that out (unless instructed by the sales person during the purchase of the vehicle), because it asks for a slew of sensitive data, including Social Security Number and Date of Birth, which most customers who are in the shopping phase aren’t ready to disclose. Providing your online shopper with a solution to get pre-approved, without requiring SSN or DOB and without any negative impact on their credit score, allows for a customer to get a firm offer of credit at your dealership! Beware of pre-approval tools that provide customers with their credit score, because in that instance the customer can just take it and shop elsewhere. Make sure to get a tool that gives an offer of credit to your store only (while of course providing you, the dealer, with the customer’s credit score).
“What is my monthly payment?” is the final top concern we will consider here. Digital Retailing has been the hottest tool in the industry as of late and that is because customers are spending more time online than ever (with or without stay-at-home orders). They want to know what payment they can expect to make on a monthly basis for their vehicle. Digital retailing is really a 3-in-1 tool since it incorporates the trade in and soft credit pull components, while also providing personalized payments to the customer based on their own unique information. It not only saves them time in store, but streamlines the process for the salesperson as well.
In conclusion, dealers ought to have a trade in tool, a soft credit pull solution, and a digital retailing offering on their website so as to keep customers on the site and providing them answers to their top 3 concerns. Dealers will have happier, more educated customers, and many leads in their CRM in return.