The automotive industry is rife with competition. Not only are domestic auto dealerships and manufacturers pitted against each other, but they’re also bogged down by global competitors. No one can predict the future in complete accuracy. However, there are several initiatives currently painting a picture of the future of automotive retail.
Bridging Between Online and Offline Sales
With many of your customers basing purchasing decisions on information found online, you have to optimize your dealerships for customers armed with information. Creating digitally enhanced shopping spaces can be a considerable improvement, and having paid professionals on hand who can answer any customer questions is essential to bridging the gap between online and offline sales. This is especially true for those customers that come in to close a deal.
Integrating into Customer’s Lives with Experiences
As the auto industry struggles to keep up with the times, one way to stay ahead of the game is to become part of your customer’s lives. Lexus does an excellent job of this by ingraining Lexus ownership as a lifestyle. Lexus Intersect is essentially a series of artistic and sophisticated spaces for Lexus owners and potential customers to congregate.
Cars from a Vending Machine?
One of the most intriguing innovations in auto sales is being implemented in larger US markets and in China, where cars are displayed in a giant vending machine by companies like Carvana and Alibaba. Customers can pick a car from the “vending machine” and take it for a three-day test drive.
Using Virtual and Augmented Reality to Educate Customers
A way to help drive sales is to incorporate virtual and augmented reality. Applications can be used to show customers what it’s like to be inside their car, before taking any test drives. Augmented reality can also help your customers look at the hardware of cars of their choice, to see how it all works.
Subscribing to the Car of Choice
Instead of purchasing a car outright, now your customers can subscribe to the car of their choice. Subscriptions are all-inclusive, monthly fees for a minimum of 6 months. The fees cover insurance, tax, maintenance, and set up fees. Gas must be paid separately. After 6 months, your customers can renew their subscription, upgrade, downgrade, or pause/cancel their subscriptions.
Showrooms in Shopping Centers
Dealerships are renting spaces in shopping malls to display their newest models, trying to intrigue shoppers into buying their cars. Displaying your cars will get consumers to your dealership, even if it’s across town.
Your customers are what keeps your business running, why not have customers help in creating and designing the cars they want to drive? By incorporating customer input, shoppers can include their hobbies and personalized color schemes to help auto manufacturers develop more customized vehicles.
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