How to start selling cars online through end-to-end eCommerce

Sep 9, 2020Tips & Tricks

Man using eCommerce car dealer platform

Altering your business model to start selling cars through eCommerce is a big step forward for any dealership. More and more dealers in the US are evolving to keep up with today’s online demands. From cars and motorcycles to vans and parts, customers can buy just about anything online now, and the market is worth a predicted $14.6 billion in the US alone. With many customers still disliking the dealership experience, this figure is expected to rise to $61.6 billion by 2022.

Whilst it’s an important step to make, it isn’t a decision that should be considered lightly. As a dealership, you need to be fully ready to immerse yourself into the eCommerce world. Here, we explore how to start selling cars online and take the leap into eCommerce.

Find the right website platform

Finding the right eCommerce platform is the first major step. There are now a number of providers on the market, such as GForces and BigCommerce. Some are full end-to-end solutions, whilst others rely on customers completing certain actions offline, like financing and part exchange. There’s no right and wrong answer to a solution, but take the time to decide what your long-term plan is. An eCommerce platform can be expensive, so you’ll want to choose something fairly futureproof.

Consider finance aggregators and lenders

From AutoGravity to DealerTrack, there are now plenty of finance aggregators and lenders that can be incorporated into your platform. With the help of your website provider, you’ll be able to build a seamless journey for customers wishing to finance their next vehicle whilst buying online. If your dealership already has a preferred lender then find out if they can support your new eCommerce journey. Not all of them have the software capabilities, at this point, but many do.

Incorporate part exchange valuations

If part exchange is a large part of your business, you’ll want to incorporate this into your eCommerce model. Part exchange is a comfortable and easy solution for many consumers, saving them many hours of hassle and stress of having to sell their car privately, not to mention the costs involved. Some platforms incorporate this seamlessly, allowing the customer to enter their Registered Identification Number and providing an instant value.

Consider GAP insurance and other products

Entering the eCommerce world doesn’t mean you have to lose out on selling add-on products, like GAP insurance and service plans. Some platforms make this really easy for customers. Discuss this, and any other profitable products, with any potential provider and don’t leave add-on sales to chance.

Build a marketing strategy that compliments your goals

Use clever marketing platforms, like Blueshift and Kenshoo, that allow you to pinpoint and target customers at different stages in the purchase cycle. Doing so will allow you to pull users back into the site, if they leave for any reason, driving vital additional sales.

Integrate your entire business around selling cars online

Finally, it’s important that your entire business and sales force are on-board and committed to selling online. Some sales team members may have some concerns around the website taking opportunities away from them, and the last thing you want is for your workforce to be fighting to take business away from the website. The two should be working together. To counteract any potential concerns, consider how you can create new commission structures to get your team involved in other ways. There will also always be walk-ins in abundance. After all, not every customer is ready to purchase their next car online.

To find out how SnapCell can support your digital retail experience, arrange a demo today. SnapCell allows forward-thinking dealers to drive and convert more sales with the use of personalized and livestream videos. With decades of experience within dealerships, we understand how important it is to find the right sales and marketing tools to accelerate your growth.

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