The automotive retail industry is evolving at a rapid pace. And more importantly, its customers are changing too. In recent years, customers’ expectations have evolved to demand more from the car buying experience. They want a more collaborative, streamlined and personalized buying experience, not unlike the ones they get from retail trendsetters like Amazon and Apple.
With each passing year, the automotive ecosystem grows more complex. That’s why the New Year is a great time to take stock of your dealership’s processes and technologies to make sure that the industry doesn’t leave you in the past. Here are 3 resolutions your dealership can make in 2020 to keep up in a new decade of auto sales.
Be Ready for the Arrival of Artificial Intelligence
Are you ready for the arrival of artificial intelligence? A few years ago, when artificial intelligence was more closely associated with fictional stories of robots bent on world domination than business technology, that question might have given dealers pause for concern. But today, artificial intelligence has become an integral part of everyday life. More and more businesses are using artificial intelligence to enhance the customer experience and increase profits. And customers are wondering how they every lived life without it. (Where would we be without streaming services that know our preferences or phones that open with a split-second glance?)
In the last few years, artificial intelligence has taken over the retail world (in a good way). It’s already made its way to automotive retail. Forward-thinking dealers have adopted artificial intelligence technologies to help them better understand their customer data to personalize the buying experience. According to the Cox Automotive Future of Digital Retail Study, 90 percent of consumers prefer this kind of personalized car shopping and buying experience. That means before long, artificial intelligence will be commonplace in automotive retail, just like it is in other retail industries, and just it already is in your customers’ everyday lives. Be ready in 2020 with an artificial intelligence solution that can help you keep up with your customer’s changing expectations.
Leverage Big Data to Better Understand Your Customers
These days, understanding your customers takes more than a friendly handshake and a few seconds of small talk. But it also takes more than merely collecting data about your customers and storing it in your CRM. Understanding your customers is all about interpreting structured data—finding patterns that can be used to deliver individualized marketing messages to individual customers. Think of your data collection as a means to customer insights, and not as the end itself. A customer’s email address doesn’t necessarily translate to a sale. In fact, blasting that email address with every message imaginable may have the opposite effect.
By using multiple points of data about your customers, you can segment customers into different audiences. Then, you can craft and distribute highly targeted marketing messages. VinSolutions Connect CRM specializes in translating data into insights and insights into sales. As your dealership enters 2020, make sure you’re equipped with a CRM that can collect, aggregate and analyze data to personalize the shopping experience for each of your customers.
Utilize Your Technology to its Fullest
Technology is helping dealers better the car buying experience and attract new customers. At the risk of stating the obvious, though, technology is only useful if it’s actually used. Many dealerships make the mistake of implementing new technology without really understanding how it works and how it can help them. Or, they use a few features of the technology without realizing how better utilization could help them stand out from the competition.
In 2020, make sure you’re taking full advantage of everything your CRM has to offer. But don’t do it alone. Ask questions of your CRM provider. Attend technology user summits and webinars on utilization. Read blog posts. Take advantage of industry experts who know how to get the most out of your technology so that you can grow your business. Every successful business has a competitive advantage. Let your technology utilization be one of yours in 2020.
As the calendar turns another year and another decade, don’t let changes in technology, customers and the industry itself leave you stuck in the past. Implement these three New Year’s resolutions and move your business forward in 2020 and beyond.
Learn more about how technology is transforming retail in our white paper.