How an Omnichannel Approach Wins Control of the Deal

Today’s car buyers want a seamless, consistent shopping experience, one that follows them online and then in-store. Learn how an omnichannel approach to retail can deliver the experience consumers want but gives dealers control of the deal.

May 29, 2024

3 Min Read

Most dealerships today offer at least one way for their consumers to start their car buying journey online. But those digital tools don’t always translate to a good experience in-store. In fact, the Cox Automotive 2023 Digitization of Car Buying Study revealed that 97 percent of dealers are asking consumers to repeat steps they completed online once they arrive in store.  

How can dealerships today streamline car buying and provide the seamless, connected experience consumers want? It takes an omnichannel approach: One backed by real technology, real consumer insights, and real training.

An Omnichannel Approach

When asked how they’d prefer to complete steps of the car buying process, the biggest percentage of consumers in the Cox Automotive study said they preferred to use digital tools with the support of dealership staff. They like the transparency, clarity, and control that comes with digital tools, but these shoppers still want the assurance that comes from working with dealership staff. This omnichannel approach—one that follows a car buyer online and into the dealership—is the industry’s way forward.

Imagine a scenario where all the components that make up the car buyer’s journey come together into a single consumer experience, with consistent details through the entire process. Imagine the salesperson and shopper building deals together from the same view, together in person or through virtual collaboration.

The key to an omnichannel experience is consumer data—data helps dealers win deals. Powerful data gives your staff the details to help them make effective follow-up calls, build deals shoppers can’t walk away from, and provide the right service offer at the right time. 

Providing the level of transparency that comes with working from the same view can feel overwhelming for many dealerships. Dealerships may worry they are losing control of the deal and their gross. But the reality is that this kind of approach is a win-win. When dealerships use information provided by their customers and say, “Look we listened. We’re a team,” they build confidence and trust. That trust makes shoppers more likely to purchase F&I products, come back for service, recommend the dealership to their friends, and return to purchase their next car.   

Building Trust Through Personalization

With the right first-party data and real consumer insights, dealers don’t have to guess what’s important to a car buyer. With the right data flowing into your processes, it’s possible for a dealer to have a real understanding of what a buyer wants—and even what they are willing to pay—before they ever submit a lead or enter the showroom.

Today’s most successful dealers build trust with consumers through personalization that goes beyond personalized marketing. They look at the full buyer journey using real, actionable insights to keep every interaction focused on what matters to each individual customer. Winning dealers take advantage of every digital breadcrumb that customers leave behind to deliver an exceptional personalized consumer experience.

The Way Forward

It’s time to transform. Shoppers won’t wait for you to catch up to their preferences—they’ll just find another dealership that provides the experience they expect.

For many dealerships, an omnichannel approach is a big change. But with the right partner, it doesn’t have to be a hard one.

Only Cox Automotive enables true omnichannel experiences, seamless solutions powered by connected data for a consistent journey flow—without friction and frustration. Pick up with every customer where they left off to create unmatched transparency, build trust, and increase profit with data-driven solutions that keep everyone in sync.

For more insights from the 2023 Cox Automotive Digitization of Car Buying Study, download a free copy of the eBook today.

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