Push the Gas Pedal on Sales: E-Commerce Tips for the Automotive Industry

While consumers may spend time browsing the web for new cars, they’ll still end up going to the dealership to make their purchase.

However, we can expect this to change within the next decade. Due to the pandemic in 2020, the city of Philadelphia already began making sales online.

One can predict that entire transactions will get made online. Then, you’ll pick up the car or have it delivered to your driveway!

So what are the best practices with eCommerce for the automotive industry?

Here’s what you should know:

Presenting Your Cars

The first step is to showcase your full car catalog on your website. You should start by showing your car’s images in a gallery style. You can use a CMS such as WordPress to do this.

Your visitors should then click on each car’s image to navigate to their product detail page.

On this page, have another gallery where visitors can see the car’s interior and exterior in more detail. You can use a 360 feature for them to zoom in, zoom out, and see every inch of the car.

Make sure to hire a great copywriter to write a description of each car. You can also take the car for a test drive and film a video of this.

You want to make sure you provide as much detail as possible without your visitors having to contact you further. You also want to follow the ACES PIES protocol for presenting your car’s data accurately.

Training Your Car Salespersons

The next step is to train your car salespersons on selling online. They likely pitch a car to all customers when they walk into your showroom.

You should film each salesperson making their pitch on their favorite cars. These short clips can get placed on the car’s product description page.

Make sure you assign a set group of salespersons for each car. When a customer wants to inquire about the car, they can click on a link to send an appointment request.

This appointment request will then direct to one of the assigned salespersons. The salesperson will schedule a video call with the customer using software such as Zoom or Skype.

You want to train your salespersons on how to pitch the car through a video call. They should conduct the video call through a smartphone while at the showroom.

As a result, if the customer asks a question about the car, the salesperson can show the car right away. This replicates the in-person sales process as much as possible.

Choosing an eCommerce Platform for the Automotive Industry

You want to take the time to choose a great eCommerce platform that works well for your car dealership. As of now, there isn’t an eCommerce platform that’s specifically for the automotive industry.

However, there are many great eCommerce platforms to help you create your online store.

Here’s what you need to look for in your eCommerce platform:

Content Management System (CMS):This feature lets you create content for your eCommerce store. This includes blog posts, podcasts, and video clips. This is crucial to promote your car business and your car collection.

Cross-Promotions: The eCommerce platform should offer a ‘recommendations’ feature for cross-promoting different car products.

For example, if you add a sports car to your cart, there can be a recommendation for a spoiler or rims to add to your cart.

Cross-promotions can also recommend alternative options for the customer. If they’re looking at a sedan, there might be a recommendation for an SUV instead. If they’re looking at the 2019 model, your store can recommend they upgrade to the 2021 model.

Feedback Options: The platform should have an in-built system for customers to offer feedback. They can publish testimonials on the sale and their new car. They can also offer feedback for the salesperson with whom they dealt with.

These are the basic features that you should look for in your eCommerce platform. Make sure you do a trial subscription for each eCommerce platform before you sign up for one.

Digital Marketing

Make sure that you use digital marketing services to promote your online car dealership.

Start by creating an email newsletter where you share your car dealership’s content. This email newsletter should also provide deals and offer free appointments for customers to inquire about your cars.

You can also use instant messaging services such as Telegram and WhatsApp to send digital newsletters.

It’s also important to use social media for promoting your car dealership and what you offer. You can use a YouTube channel to share walkthroughs and pitches for each car.

You can use Instagram to share photographs and details on each of your cars. With Facebook, you can interact with your customers and answer questions about your car selection.

It’s best to hire a dedicated team to handle your digital marketing services. They’ll help promote your cars while you focus on building the eCommerce platform and training your car salespersons.

On-Site Search

The final step is to set up an on-site search option on your online car dealership. Make sure that the search bar is responsive. This means that as one types a search term, the search results automatically show up for customers to click on.

It’s also great to have an in-built chatbot or smart assistant on your website. This assistant will help customers navigate the website to find their ideal car.

For example, a customer can ask, “Can you show me 2021 sedans?” Within seconds, the chatbot will redirect the customer to the latest sedan collection.

Start Selling Cars Today

Now you know how to adapt to eCommerce for the automotive industry. Make sure to do your research on the best eCommerce platforms and give them a trial run.

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