Digital Retailing: Not Just a Phase

Digital Retailing is Not Just a Phase

In this blog you will: 

  • Read about how prevalent digital retailing is in the modern market. 
  • See how car shoppers expect the ease and convenience of digital retailing when shopping for a vehicle. 
  • Learn how you can leverage digital retailing tools for your dealership, and how ActivEngage can help you accomplish that. 

It’s pretty hard to imagine life without the internet. At this point in the age of information and technology, it’s very closely tied to our daily lives. We connect with friends and family, apply for jobs, look for goods and services, and buy things. 

We buy a LOT of things. 

In 1994, a humble bookstore called Amazon started in a garage. Fast forward to the 2020s and the e-commerce giant’s unparalleled reach and convenience have set the standard for digital retailing overall. Purchases are made at the click of a button and arrive unnaturally fast. We are spoiled. 

Yes, even in our beloved automotive industry. 

While consumers aren’t ready to purchase a vehicle sight unseen, the arrival and evolution of digital retailing has bled into car sales and spawned some serious industry disruptors. Namely, Carvana and Vroom.

Carvana and Vroom's streamlined online vehicle shopping experience has elevated expectations for the customer experience when it comes to buying a car. (Click here to learn more about Carvana’s customer experience and see how you can stay ahead of their curve!)

The writing is on the wall for traditional car dealerships to adapt to and adopt digital retailing. 

Car buyers aren’t necessarily expecting to purchase a vehicle at the click of a button, nor get it the same day. But they are expecting to complete some - if not most - of the purchase process online or remotely in some fashion.

Not convinced? Take a look at this piece from a story by ABC News

“Nearly 30% of U.S. new car sales last year were completed online, according to Alan Haig, an automotive retail consultant and president of Haig Partners. Before the pandemic, less than 2% of vehicles were purchased digitally. ‘This shift to digital retail is positive for dealers who embrace it,’ Haig told ABC News. ‘For those that don't, they will lose customers and be harmed by the trend.’”

While the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on that percentage, car shoppers are beginning to see that there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to complete most of their vehicle purchase online. That’s where a good digital retailing plan comes in. 

3 Ways You Can Leverage Digital Retailing to Engage Car Shoppers

The best part about modern digital retailing? It’s not difficult to implement into your customer experience. In essence, you’re really just bringing some of that dealership showroom experience to your online space - something the modern customer appreciates greatly. 

  1. Soup up your online showroom.

    Your inventory on digital display should be up-to-date, provide accurate history, and give the customer a clear view of the vehicle of interest. Consider presenting tailored deals to your online shoppers where it makes sense (with ActivEngage’s ActivTarget behavioral offers, you can do just that!)

  2. Streamline your finance and trade-in processes.

    You likely already have tools like a finance application or trade-in estimate form, but consider taking it even further. Be more flexible with going over finance details remotely where you can, and consider allowing extended test drives. You can expand your conveniences beyond digital retailing as well. 

  3. Be digitally accessible always.

    Your potential costumers lead a variety of different lifestyles and don’t always have time to operate on your hours. Being accessible through your website and other digital touch points is a sure way to meet the needs of all of your different customers - wherever they are in their personal customer journey. 

With ActivEngage’s digital retailing tools, like managed live chat and messaging, you can rest assured that your customers are getting taken care of on your digital retailing frontier no matter what time they choose to access you. 

Be The Best Digital Dealership You Can Be with ActivEngage

The modern age has brought a new consumer with it, and ActivEngage is here to help you serve them with industry-leading tools to keep you sharp on the digital retailing curve.

We’re so much more than just live chat! We also provide: 

Ready to put the power of digital retailing to the test? Equip your dealership with the industry-leading tools from ActivEngage and WOW your team, and most importantly, your customers! 



Want to learn more about the awesome power of ActivEngage's digital retailing tools? Let's Talk!