Digital developments to convert browsers into car buyers

The importance of a car dealer’s online presence in attracting customers into the showroom is coming under the spotlight.

Live online shopping is one of the subjects that was up for discussion at the AM-Online Digital Marketing Conference in Coventry, which was organised to help motor businesses better understand what their customers are looking for.

New marketing techniques will always play an important role in attracting clients into the showroom, whether you are selling new or used vehicles. A good knowledge of how customers make their buying decisions is vital and can pay big dividends for your business. However, most people will base their eventual decision on the vehicle itself, so make sure you have the right levels of road risks insurance and can offer a comprehensive test drive, in addition to your motor trade insurance.

Nigel Thomas, who co-founded Vee24, which works with businesses across a range of sectors, held a masterclass at the Coventry event to help dealers get the most out of offering a ‘live chat’ option on their website. This allows customers to ask questions in real time and according to one of Vee24’s clients, people are six times less likely to go to a forecourt if the dealer did not offer this option on its website.

Mr Thomas said: “Live chat has become a commonly used tool on retailer websites and the car industry is acutely aware that most car research now starts online and not in the dealership so it’s important for dealers to ‘meet’ their customers on the website.

“Like any technology, live chat has moved on since it was first introduced as a means to communicate with people interacting with a website and dealers who are not incorporating the latest technology or keeping pace with consumer expectations will lose out on valuable sales leads.”