Be the 1, not the 0.6


Lately, there has been a lot of discussion about ways of improving the digital retailing experience. It’s an interesting time with consumer behavior driving change. Millennials are becoming dominant buyers, and margins continue to get compressed. Those realities won’t change in the foreseeable future, if ever. Technology is enabling things like never before.

Given that today’s car buyers are visiting, on average, 1.6 dealerships before making a purchasing decision, the online digital experience you provide shoppers is more important than ever before.

How to address the changing behavior and landscape is a big question, and the answer differs depending on your vantage point. Consumers, dealers, OEMs and lenders will have slightly different answers. For dealers, the question is what can you do to make your online experience stand out, so it’s no longer the same proposition offered by the dealers down the street.

Dealers are also looking at the horizon and rethinking how vehicles are retailed and where the revenue streams are going to come from. They are looking at ways to become more productive and to cut costs out of the operation.

Consumers will do more shopping online. There’s no argument there. OEMs and dealers will continue to give more tools and resources to the consumer to do more upfront before they get to the store. More dealers will look to provide an end-to-end seamless experience.

Proposition-simplifying tools – like understanding monthly payments, trade-in, loan approval, scheduling test drives, preparing and signing documents – will make your website(s) easier to use, more useful, and more attractive. ‘Proposition simplifying’ works when the online shopping experience becomes a joy to use.

Key points

  1. Increase your website’s ease of use
  2. Make it more beneficial to your shoppers
  3. Create a flow that mirrors the in-store sales process

Proposition simplifying will increase sales and profits. The biggest challenge is staying ahead of the competition. Given the shortening timelines for technology innovation, constant advancement towards the online transaction will be the new standard for sustained success.


Bill Gerhard
Author: Bill Gerhard