From the introduction of electricity operated cars to selling the vehicle online, the automotive industry is revolutionizing the way things work. We wonder if, in the future, we would be browsing through cars, checking out their specifications and securing a deal without taking the car for test drive – all with just a few mouse clicks.
All thanks to the recent developments in the field of technology, automobile buyers no longer need to spend hours at a car dealership checking out cars and not being able to make up their minds due to stress and frustration.
With automobile giants such as Tesla threatening to make direct sales to their customers online, Automobile dealers are now looking to make use of e-commerce more than they did before.
Research by the National Automobile Dealer Association, U.S. indicates that dealers in the United States are actively upgrading their automobile websites and are working hard trying to market their products and secure sales to both end-buyers and manufacturers over the internet.
While the world of E-commerce might appear to be a dangerous place for many automobile dealers it has become more crucial than ever for them to set-up their shop online.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider E-commerce
If you are an auto dealer and have still not considered E-commerce, here are five of the many reasons why you need to take complete advantage of all opportunities that E-commerce has to offer to the automobile dealership industry:
- Higher profit margins: Renting out a storefront usually comes with a high price tag. Selling the automobile through the internet means that you only pay for inventory, its storage, and management of your website. Some dealers prefer to manage their e-commerce site themselves while others seek professional help.
- Larger customer base: E-commerce offers automobile dealers a unique opportunity to reach out to clients who may not be in the same vicinity as their dealership store.
- Increased sales: Shopping for cars online allow customers the additional time they need to find the vehicle that best fits their While this may not always ensure a sale, however, it is to be noted that most customers that have performed their research and have been provided with useful information through your website actually turn into loyal customers.
- Stay ahead of your competition: The internet is getting saturated with new online car dealerships emerging with each passing day. Therefore, it is important that you stay ahead of your competition and consider offering your products and services online in a way that attracts your customers’ attention.
- Connect with your customers. It is easier than ever to interact with your clients with the help of an e-commerce platform. Remember, if you take good care of your loyal buyers, they will come back to you, and this would boost your business.
How You Should Choose an E-commerce Platform
Since we have established how crucial it is for all automobile dealership to join e-commerce, it is important that we ensure that you make use of an e-commerce solution that best benefits your business.
Thinking beyond the usual questions such does the platform suit my wallet, here are few issues that are just as important to consider before you settle with any e-commerce website provider:
- Can you customize the content on the site? Being able to customize your site content is very important as it plays an essential role in allowing you to enjoy the many perks of SEO based marketing strategies.
- Is it user-friendly? In other words, is the website easy for your customers to use and make purchases from?
- Can you add a blog? Blogs are slowly becoming an essential marketing tool, as they allow you to not only boost your expertise in your field and talk a little in-depth about you products and services. However, they also provide you with a unique opportunity to include keywords that could help improve your ranking amongst search engine results.
Now that you know exactly what questions to ponder upon to find the right e-commerce solution for your auto dealership, here are four of our top picks for platforms that offer the most to automobile dealers looking to create their mark in the world of e-commerce:
Shop-Click-Drive by General Motors
Although this platform only works for GM dealerships, it offers some great option for automobile dealers that deal exclusively in General Motors. It is to be noted that General Motors have been hard at work to expand their platform.
According to The Wall Street Journal, General Motors intends to add an online tool that allows customers to buy cars. Car enthusiasts will have the option to browse through more than 4,300 vehicles.
In addition to the online tool, General Motors also plans to launch a Web-based application, called Shop-Click-Drive. This convenient app will allow you to lock the price of the vehicle, get accurate estimates of the price of your car and apply for financing options. What’s better is that the app allows you to even arrange a test drive and get your favorite vehicle delivered at your doorstep.
Magento and more specifically Magento for Automotive is a platform designed to cater the e-commerce needs of automobile dealers looking to enter the online world. Magento offers a broad range of features such as inventory management and tools for enhancing customer experience.
With Magento, suppliers and dealers can integrate their inventory and at the same time, provide real time information to vehicle buyers. The integration process is seamless and allows for robust database and inventory management.
Perhaps the best thing about Magento is that it allows the customers to fully understand the vehicle specifications. Yes, the platform provides detailed information about the model, make as well as car attributes.
Shopify is a very easy-to-use platform and significantly eliminates the need to hire someone to manage your site and has made customization simple and easy to handle. Shopify is an entirely hosted solution and takes care of your server, code maintenance, and upgrade issues. While Shopify is not a platform custom designed for the automobile industry. However, it is a very effective e-commerce solution that has won everyone’s heart ever since its release.
Roadster is e-commerce solution that allows automobile dealers to complete transactions online and provide home delivery to their customers. Roadster COO states that the platform is more than a convenient buying experience.
While there are many helpful tools, the most striking feature of this platform is that it provides excellent flexibility. Yes, it is easy for the dealers to make their car deal easy and smooth.
Andy Moss, CEO of Roadster believes that the impact of the platform on dealerships is extraordinary. Dealers can now increase their efficiency and service plans which would benefit them immensely in the long run.
Rachael Everly is a passionate blogger and an avid luxury car lover currently associated with Alfa Romeo Central Florida, dealers of luxury cars in Orlando Central Florida. For more updates follow her on twitter and Facebook.