Picture this: you just spent $35,000 on a new car, and you’re convinced that despite hours of haggling, the dealership still walked away with enough profit for a trip to the Caribbean.
I chatted with Paul J. Daly, host of the Dealers Compressed video series and podcast, who has interviewed industry experts like Adam Robinson, Dale Pollak, and Gary Vaynerchuk. We dive into how customers view dealers, why people really shop on Amazon, and how dealers can earn the business of 99.5% of customers by learning from the most successful brands in the world.
The automotive industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Even longtime automotive executives like Bob Lutz think dealerships are ultimately doomed. And auto retail isn’t alone. Retail as a whole is in the midst of a crisis, with brands like Toys ‘R’ Us, American Apparel, and Claire’s declaring bankruptcy, and others like Sam’s Club, Macy’s, CVS, and J.C. Penney shuttering thousands of stores across the nation.
Imagine you are sitting in a room with one-way glass, like an interrogation room on a crime drama. Would you trust the stranger you can’t see on the other side? Of course not. Customers feel the same way about car dealers. They can’t see what goes on behind the curtain.
Online checkout is a valuable tool you can use to deliver a better experience and earn more customers. Nearly 9 in 10 shoppers are more likely to buy from dealerships that offer online checkout. But even with ecommerce, some shoppers still leave your website without buying, abandoning their car orders. What’s the key to knowing how to improve? Understanding why shoppers leave in the first place.
This week, Tesla launched a Roadster into space during the test flight of SpaceX's latest rocket. Like something out of a futuristic science fiction, the Roadster made it all the way past Mars. Meanwhile, the rest of us have our feet firmly on the ground. Despite what Elon Musk may believe, selling cars isn't rocket science.
Consumers hate the established car-buying experience. We’ve said it before. It’s a well-known fact throughout the automotive industry. Car dealers understand this. And yet, many dealers believe that customers want to come into the showroom and negotiate a deal. The truth? They don’t.
Do you remember the last time you were in an eyeglasses store? Chances are it wasn’t particularly memorable or positive. People are over this type of bland retail experience. That’s why eyeglasses brand Warby Parker has achieved over $250 million sales in an already crowded industry. By offering a connected online and offline retail experience that consumers actually want, they’ve reached $3,000 sales per square foot, a number topped only by Apple stores.
If you’ve ever gone to an Apple store, or even just walked by, you’ve probably seen how packed they can become. People spend hours testing out the newest technology, whether they’re ready to buy or not. But even with all those customers physically present, Apple’s retail stores generate a mere 13.3% of their total revenue.
Despite this apparent shortcoming in brick-and-mortar sales, Apple consistently ranks among the top companies and is one of the highest-valued brands in the world. What can dealers learn from Apple?
The new year is here, and with it come new strategies and tools for success. We asked dealers: What do you hope online checkout will accomplish for your business in 2018? Here's what they said: