How should you make the most of your digital presence?

INSIGHT | 21 AUG, 2018

With digital touching virtually every aspect of both our working lives and downtime, having an informative and user-friendly online presence is an absolute pre-requisite for all retailers – especially car dealers.

So rather than just simply being there, how can you maximise the benefits of doing things digitally?

Firstly – what’s changed?

Car buyers no longer wade through reviews in magazines and traipse around dealer forecourts for their next purchase. They don’t have to.

Research suggests the average car buyer visits just two showrooms before making a purchase. That’s because, on average, buyers spend around 14 hours online beforehand, researching their next purchase. By the time they visit a dealer they know which model they’re interested in, how they’ll fund it and how much their car is worth as a part-exchange.

Think of it in terms of the tyre kicking now being one of the final parts of the process, rather than the starting point.

The digital forecourt

While it’s still important to have your cars neatly displayed on your physical forecourt, it’s even more important to have all your retail-ready stock displayed on your digital forecourt.

Consumers can now access all the information they need whenever they need it through smartphones and tablets and this has changed the way dealers interact with them. In the fiercely competitive car retailing sector, digital showrooms are open 24/7, so displaying up-to-date information on all your stock is vital.

This digital empowerment has significantly changed the customer journey, from initial research right the way through to final purchase, with dealers reaping the benefits of increasingly sophisticated technology to showcase themselves.

So, is your digital presence up to scratch?

What makes a good digital platform?

All the obvious things and much, much more! Your website has got to be intuitive. Don’t invest in a funky design that gets in the way of visitors being able to conduct basic searches. Online buyers are not known for their patience, and if they can’t instantly find what they’re looking for they’ll find it elsewhere.

Ultimately, it’s rich content that will engage buyers – and some (or all) of these will help.

  • Your online stock must be up-to-date. Once a vehicle is sold you need processes in place to immediately remove it from your site, this can be missed in the euphoria of closing a sale
  • High quality images of all your stock is a given but may no longer be enough. Consider additional interior and exterior videos which tell the buyer so much more and will keep them on your site for longer
  • Make sure you display your finance options and include an interactive calculator for buyers to work out the best monthly costs for their budgets
  • With research increasingly taking place outside of working hours, Live Chat is a useful way to engage with customers and respond to their immediate queries
  • Post customer reviews. When was the last time you bought something online without checking to see what other buyers’ thought?

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Get more out of social media

Being a good digital dealer isn’t just about your website. You also need to be engaging with the market through social media channels.

Don’t just think of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as free marketing channels, they are also powerful platforms for you to interact with in-market car buyers, often on a one-to-one basis.

And don’t get hung up on the number of followers you have. Measure your success in terms of the level of engagement your posts achieve, the audience will grow as a result.

Social media posts need to be timely, relevant and interesting. If in doubt look at what your competitors are doing and ask yourself if you can do better.

Stock is king

Central to your digital presence is having access to the best possible stock for your customers.


That’s where ADESA UPSTREAM can help by providing you with access to desirable vehicles at the beginning of their journey into the wholesale market, avoiding the hassle and expense of chasing them through the auction halls.

See how we’re revolutionising vehicle remarketing for dealers by registering with ADESA UPSTREAM today.

More time selling. Less time sourcing. And that’s got to be good for your bottom line.


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