It’s important for businesses in all industries to stay on top of consumer trends. But, for the car dealer, it’s crucial to understand the underlying values that drive car buyers towards certain businesses and away from others.
Simply put, a dealership that aligns with its car buyers’ values and behavior will win their business. And to keep ahead, first, you need to keep up. Car buyer trends are a moving target. Read on for ways to track not just where your shoppers are, but where they’re going.
1. Set Up Google Alerts for Car Buyer Trends
The hardest part of market research is getting started. Luckily, this hack cuts down on some of the legwork you’d have to do to find relevant, quality articles. Get industry articles right in your inbox using Google Alerts. All you have to do is type in a topic, and Google will send relevant, new articles from around the web to your email. Here are a few topic ideas to get you started:
- Automotive news
- Automotive marketing
- Car buyer trends
You can even customize how often you’d like to receive alerts and let Google optimize your results, so you only receive the most relevant news. It takes less than a minute to set up Google Alerts, and doing so saves you hours of legwork you’d spend finding these articles.
*** BONUS ***
You can also get the latest and most interesting industry news right in your inbox when you subscribe to the ActivEngage blog! We’re bringing back the Top Ten, so you can stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the car biz without lifting a finger (because we compile it for you!). Subscribe here.
2. Attend at least ONE Automotive Conference
If you’ve been fortunate enough to attend an automotive conference, you understand the value of connecting with peers, learning from leading automotive experts, and discovering some of the latest automotive technology and car buyer trends. If you haven’t been, this is the year to go! Here are just a few fall conferences you don’t want to miss:
Digital Dealer Conference & Expo, August 19-21, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada
DealerSocket User Summit, August 21-23, 2019, Anaheim, California
DrivingSales Executive Summit, October 21-23, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada
3. Ask Your Own Dealership Customers
Customer feedback is becoming more and more important in today’s landscape. With the advent of social media and dedicated review sites, consumers are much more open about sharing their experiences as well as their wants and needs. If you have a reputation management tool, you could be using it to understand your shoppers better.
Here’s an example. One of our Honda dealership customers received the following internal review about one of our Chat Specialists:
"Jordan was great; he did his best as a salesman to try to bring me in, but understood that I was only interested in information at this time. A+" - John
As you can see, John enjoyed his online interaction and appreciated that Jordan (our Chat Rep) didn’t pressure him into coming in — he was there to help. And, as you can see, John was happy to share his feedback on the conversation even though he hadn’t made a purchase yet.
Is your dealership in the market for a 5-star reputation? We can help. AcceleRater, ActivEngage’s reputation enhancement tool for car dealerships, helps dealers gauge consumer perception not just after the sale, but throughout the entire purchase process. Click here to learn more about AcceleRater!
Make the Time to Be Your Best
The industry is evolving faster than ever, but keeping up with the business and car buyer trends doesn’t have to be tedious. With these 3 tips, you can easily make 2019 the year you carve out time for professional growth. Take 20 minutes a week to read articles on the latest in car buyer behavior. Invest in the development of your team by attending conferences. Take a deeper dive into your own customers’ buying behavior by simply asking.
And, while you’re at it, make sure you align with vendors that keep up with consumer trends, as well! After all, they’re an extension of your dealership. At ActivEngage, we monitor online car buyer trends to make sure our digital retailing solutions meet the demands of today’s shoppers. It’s also why we launched our latest products, like ActivSEO and ActivTarget.
In the age of the customer, knowing what your shoppers want from the buying experience is vital to your business. Give consumers what they want (an excellent consumer experience), and they’ll keep coming back.