When the first lockdown was initially announced back in March 2020, panic set in and it felt like the only option for much of the automotive industry was to cease trading until these measures were relaxed. Fast forward to now and we’ve come a long way; we’re much wiser about consumer behaviour during the pandemic and in turn, car dealers have learnt some invaluable lessons that can help to guide them through the remainder of the pandemic.
People find comfort in owning a vehicle
After public transport services came to near-enough a full halt across the nation during the UK lockdown, it should come as no surprise that a new way of life is seeing a rise in demand for owning a vehicle – with a whopping 28% of consumers in the market to buy a vehicle due to the fact that they would now like to avoid public transport according to a survey carried out by Motors.co.uk.
During the pandemic, many car dealers panicked that consumers would not prioritise owning a vehicle and that they would be more cautious about their spending. Whilst this is true to some extent, the figures show that 77% of consumers said the pandemic did not change their plans to buy a car – furthermore, 12% who had not previously been planning to buy a vehicle prior to lockdown were actively looking once restrictions were lifted.
With the above in mind, it’s important that your car dealership understands the story that the statistics are illustrating to you: consumers are still looking for cars, regardless of whether your dealership is open – but how do you reach these people? Digital marketing is a great place to start with this, whether you set out to reach new customers, or remarket to existing customers/those who have previously interacted with your brand online; the possibilities for your dealership could be huge.
Deals are important
Between January – February 2020 and March – April 2020, search interest for “is it a good time to buy a car?” grew more than nine times. In short, consumers are still researching which not only tells us that the intent is still there but also that they need reassurance for their decision to go through with buying a car… and what offers better reassurance than offering the right deals?!
With that in mind and the fact that confidence in financial stability is at an all-time low for a lot of consumers, it’s more important than ever before to make potential customers aware of what deals you have to offer. Whether you’re offering price cuts, lower APR for finance purchases or even payment deferrals, you’ll want to put these at the forefront of your advertising and this is something that AdFeeder excels at automating.
The purchasing journey can happen online
With video conferencing, e-signing and citNOW easily available to car dealers, it’s important to remember that the journey of someone purchasing their car can quite easily happen online these days and this has been true for quite some time.
Since covid-19’s arrival in the UK, it should come as no surprise that customers will be much more cautious about who they are mixing with and where they are going. Whilst selling cars online through a website might not be a viable option for your business, there are other ways in which you can help customers to minimise their time spent in a showroom. This is something that could be done simply by offering to swap customer meetings in the dealership for video conferencing, emailing any forms to them for e-sign/physical signature if necessary, plus if the customer lives local perhaps there’s scope to offer a contact-free vehicle delivery service once the sale has gone through – or failing that, why not operate a click and collect service?
Not only will this make your customers feel at ease and as if their needs are being catered to, but it is likely to also make things easier for your business. Just think – you’ll have less people in the dealership and will therefore be helping to minimise risk of infection.
Digital marketing is your friend
With countless restrictions in place and normality feeling like it could be a lifetime away, now is the perfect time for car dealerships to strengthen their digital marketing strategies. Whether you’re keeping users entertained with engaging content across your social media channels, or reeling in consumers with intelligent digital marketing, you’ll want to ensure that digital marketing is at the forefront of your marketing plans.
AdFeeder is an industry-changing product, which automates highly optimised paid search campaigns by taking information from your stock data file. Whether you’re looking to advertise used car stock, new car stock, commercial vehicle stock or even leased car stock; AdFeeder has a product for your dealership and will get your vehicles seen by consumers searching for relevant keywords on platforms such as Google, Bing and Facebook.
If you are a car dealer looking for digital marketing solutions to keep your brand in front of customers and potential customers or are worried about the impact that lockdown might have on your dealership, why not arrange a chat with us by clicking here to see how we can help you?
After holding several positions within the retail industry for brands such as Leekes, Gap and River Island, Lucy brings both commercial and marketing experience to the AdFeeder team.