The best customer experiences are seamless.
This is why so many dealers are focused not just on digital retailing, but on connected retailing. Connected retailing means your online offerings and processes are mirrored in-store. More than just choosing a digital retailing tool for your site so you fill a requirement, connected retailing involves lining up each step in the process so they are interchangeable online or in-store.
Because connected retailing should be a mirror in-store and online, it is important to consider the human aspect. Where in that online process will your human connection happen? Customers inherently seek out human guidance, connection, reassurance, and empathy. Think about social media! There is a reason it is such a big part of our world today.
A vehicle purchase is an emotional process, after all.
Digital retailing is not just online window-dressing!
It’s not even simply having an online presence. It’s about mirroring your in-person customer experience and processes with your digital retail offerings. In an increasingly digital-minded world and emerging technologies, consumers are expecting even MORE convenience from digital retailing. In fact, according to a study conducted by Cox Automotive in early 2021, the convenience and ease of online automotive retail have led to high satisfaction with their purchase:
“With buyers spending less time at dealerships and benefitting from more efficient, digital retailing processes, those who were “highly satisfied” with the overall shopping experience reached 72%, up from 60% in 2019. The average vehicle buyer now visits only 2 dealerships in the vehicle buying process, down from 2.7 in 2016.”
A human connection within your digital retailing tool to guide, engage, and move the shopper through the process can increase the number of customers completing more of their deals online. This also means your in-store team can devote more time to those who haven’t adopted the digital car-buying process yet.
Connected Retailing Benefits Your Customers and Your Dealership Team
Many dealers are enjoying robust F&I revenue. A key component in continuing that success is having a connected retailing process that leverages the tools your team is already comfortable using. A quicker buy-in and easier adoption in the store can help dealers not miss a beat in growing their online abilities while not completely reinventing what the team is doing in your dealership.
This is why ActivEngage made the decision to integrate with the tools most used by dealers. Successful dealers know that keeping the human connection out of finance and online retailing will mean fewer profits and less satisfied customers. Choosing a messaging partner that integrates with a tool you already have allows you to offer a seamless customer experience, quickly.
4 Digital Retailing Tools That Integrate with ActivEngage “Guide By Side” Support
We dubbed our human integration “Guide By Side” because that’s exactly what we offer your car shoppers! If you use one of the following digital retailing tools, you have the opportunity to offer the human guidance that other platforms are lacking.
Cox Automotive’s Accelerate My Deal
Recently, ActivEngage was named Cox Automotive’s exclusive messaging partner across their entire product and platform suite. The result is a seamless, fully live chat experience across all of Cox’s platforms; including their digital retailing tool, Accelerate My Deal.
Accelerate My Deal is a full-service digital retailing experience that allows shoppers to structure deals and payments, browse their F&I options, reserve a vehicle, and schedule test drives. With the addition of our fully people-powered conversations aiding shoppers in the process, they feel at ease, heard, and assisted through what can historically be a complicated process.
No matter where shoppers are in Cox Automotive’s retail family, there is no break or gap in their customer experience thanks to Threaded Conversations. For example: if a customer begins their vehicle search on Autotrader, and goes down the funnel all the way to Accelerate My Deal, our integration allows the conversation to be maintained throughout these platforms.
CDK | Roadster
CDK Global and Roadster were the first to offer ActivEngage’s messaging within their respective digital retailing platforms. So, it made sense when CDK acquired Roadster because they had similar visions for their dealers and their car shoppers. CDK Roadster allows your customers to shop your inventory 24/7, the choice to receive a price based on purchase method (finance, cash, or lease), and calculate payments using hundreds of data points for the highest possible accuracy.
CDK Roadster is a very robust digital retailing platform that also allows you to value a trade, determine your loan payoff amount, and even add accessories. With ActivEngage’s CDK Roadster integration, your customers can rest assured their questions and concerns will get fielded and relayed to your team quickly and easily.
GM’s Shop. Click. Drive.
Even OEMs are getting in on the digital retailing and connected retailing game! Actually, GM has been in the game for a while — Shop Click Drive was introduced in 2013, so kudos for being ahead of the curve, GM!
This Digital Retailing tool is free for any and all Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac dealers, backed directly by GM and provides shoppers a quick and thorough way to find their perfect late-year model GM vehicle, tailor a deal and minimize office time — all without ever leaving the dealership website.
To sweeten the deal, GM dealers have a choice to self-manage their own inbound messaging with GM’s own GM Dealer Chat or utilize ActivEngage’s Customer Engagement Experts to field questions and reassure shoppers throughout the process. So, whether you have a solid BDC team, or want to make sure your sales team can focus on the in-store experience, you’re covered!
J.D. Power | Darwin Automotive’s Shop with EASE
J.D. Power is a leader in data analytics and consumer intelligence - which lends itself very well to a rich digital retailing offering. Shop with EASE (Enhanced Automotive Sales Experience) offers payment calculations for all 50 states, F&I products that use the company’s famous analytics to perform prescriptive selling, “buy now” electronic contracting, and instant trade payoffs using a deep data depository — among other great customer experience features.
J.D. Power’s time-tested data expertise, mixed with Darwin’s retailing platform, and ActivEngage’s real conversations, offer customers incredible depth in their unique car shopping journey.
ActivEngage: The Perfect Connected Retailing Companion
Digital retailing certainly amps up the connectedness of your dealership's online customer experience, but real human interaction and guidance take it all home to make a truly connected retailing experience! Our automotive partners see the value in human connection during the vehicle purchase process — a very emotional process — and know that live guidance from a real person is what truly ties the bow on a great customer experience.
Enhance your digital retailing connection with ActivEngage! In addition to the deepest integrations with various automotive digital retailing tools, we also offer a varied suite of customer engagement solutions: