Over the past decade, electric vehicle sales have snowballed from a few thousand back in 2010, to more than 300,000 sold annually between 2018 and 2020. And, while America isn’t developing at quite the same pace as the likes of the UK and China, we’re expecting to see a huge increase in the number of electric vehicles sold across the US in 2022. In fact, 51 percent of buyers admit they would consider treating themselves to an electric vehicle when shopping for their next car over the next 10 years, a figure up from 39 percent last January.
Of course, we must also remember the Infrastructure Bill that was passed late last year, which involves President Biden wanting to cover the country in more than half a million new electric vehicle chargers over the next 10 years. As it stands, there are around 41,400 charging stations across the USA, according to the Department of Energy, which is set to multiply by 10, according to the Bill, making owning an electric vehicle a much more attractive and feasible option for shoppers.
With the number of electric vehicle models anticipated to almost double over the course of the year, alongside the changes in buying behavior and Biden’s bid to make charging points more accessible countrywide, dealerships should capitalize on the electric vehicle market growth. After all, despite the speed at which the industry is growing, one thing is for certain and that’s that electric vehicles are undoubtedly the future.
Appeal to the used car buyer
Buying a used car is becoming a more popular option – with sales of used vehicles rocketing over the past year. Electric vehicles are no different. With initial upfront costs one of the main reasons putting car buyers off investing in electric vehicles, dealerships should look at increasing the number of used electric cars available. This way, electric vehicles become more accessible to all households (regardless of their average income), promising the same benefits as a new car but at a lower price.
Become experts in electric vehicles
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to educate your employees on electric vehicles. And we’re not just talking about your front-of-house sales team, it’s time to train those discussing finance plans with customers, as well as your service department. It’s vital for your staff to be able to ‘sell’ electric vehicles and the multiple benefits they come with, especially in comparison to gas cars. It’s not about training just the one member of staff to become the electric vehicle expert at your dealership, it’s about ensuring all of your employees are up to scratch with the latest knowledge, so they can confidently speak to customers, driving sales, and bringing in profit. When it comes to electric vehicles, you’ve got to be thinking about the future – look at training your staff now as an investment for your dealership moving forward.
With SnapCell users able to hold a two-way live video chat with customers thanks to SnapCell Live, it’s essential that your staff have the confidence to speak to give them all the necessary information required. Encourage customers to ask questions and demonstrate that your team are the experts in electric vehicles, helping instill trust from the customer, making it more likely that they will shop with you.
Give digital customers the chance to experience electric vehicles virtually
As the electric vehicle industry continues to grow, your dealership needs to be getting one step ahead of the competition. With that in mind, you need to be reaching out to as many customers as possible, while demonstrating the multiple benefits that come with owning an electric vehicle.
And for SnapCell users, showing off the electric vehicles you have available couldn’t be easier. The SnapCell app allows you to create professional-looking vehicles at the touch of a button. Why not engage with customers across the nation by creating a virtual test drive in an electric vehicle. After all, one of the most noticeable features of an electric vehicle is the lack of noise they make, so what better way to demonstrate this, than by allowing customers to virtually get behind the wheel themselves – but from the comfort of their sofa.
Likewise, now is the time for you to be taking customers on a virtual tour of electric vehicles, using the SnapCell app to show off their potential. With a recent survey revealing that smartphone integration, blind spot monitor, collision avoidance system, and a touchscreen, four of the top features shoppers want to see in an electric vehicle, it’s important that you demonstrate just what electric vehicles have to offer. This is your opportunity to educate potential customers, who might not be as familiar with electric vehicles as they are with gas. Whether it’s loyal electric vehicle customers, those who might need a little persuasion to venture away from gas, or those who know nothing about going electric, making electric cars the most attractive option needs to be a priority at your dealership.
Don’t forget to talk about charging
On the subject of educating customers, it’s worth considering that one of the biggest reservations buyers have when it comes to purchasing electric vehicles is that they’re worried about charging. It’s not necessarily the car that they’re worried about, they’re more concerned that charging it will be a complicated process.
Whether it’s in person, via live video, or a pre-recorded clip, demonstrate to customers just how easy it is to charge an electric vehicle. Getting over this hurdle is sure to get you one step closer to securing that sale.
Is it time to offer charging point installation too?
It might be worth noting that in the UK, it’s now mandatory for every new home built to come with its own charging station for electric vehicles. While America isn’t quite there yet, is this an opportunity for your dealership to get one step ahead by offering charging point installation too? Why not team up with a local contractor, giving you the chance to present with an entire bundle – the car, charging point, and ongoing maintenance.
Have electric vehicles on display
While we’ve discussed the importance of engaging with a virtual audience, it’s equally as essential that you don’t forget those who still like to visit a dealership in person.
Simply put, get your electric vehicles on display, and make them obvious for customers who are visiting your dealership. Of course, consumers want to be able to browse and even shop from their homes, but that doesn’t mean they’re all planning on bypassing the physical shopping experience completely. With this in mind, get your cars out on your lot. You want passers-by to see them and furthermore, you want them to want to come in and visit. Whet their appetite by displaying them with their hoods up, and stick on a big bold banner highlighting just how much drivers will save in gas costs by going electric. You want to grab their attention and you want to encourage them to explore electric vehicles more.
Furthermore, shout out the cars you have on display and encourage customers to visit your dealership to have a physical test drive. A quick call-to-action video created specifically for your social media platforms could be enough to turn the heads of potential customers.
Make sure your electric vehicles are accessible
So, you’ve got the customer into your dealership and they’re looking to test drive an electric vehicle – but you forgot to charge them. This is an absolute rookie error and something that you or your employees simply cannot afford to be making.
Consider having a selection of vehicles specifically for test drives, which means making sure they are fully charged and ready to go when necessary. Also, having charging points on site, indicates that electric vehicles are here to stay and your dealership is committed to selling them – they’re not just a fad.
Boast about the benefits
Whether it’s through physical signage or videos, you need to be clearly boasting about the benefits of owning an electric vehicle. And furthermore, helping to dismiss some of the concerns potential buyers might have. For example, customers might be worried about the distance and how far electric vehicles will travel, highlighting that the average person only drives around 30 miles a day, so re-charging shouldn’t be a worry.
Again, SnapCell users can easily provide a walk-around tour of the cars, highlighting specific features, with staff talking to the camera, discussing the many benefits of buying an electric vehicle. These videos can be sent directly to customers via SMS or email, as well as across your social media channels.
Of course, you simply cannot afford to not draw attention to the positive impact going electric will have on the environment. With younger generations – and the next set of drivers – growing up in a world that so heavily focuses on being as green as possible, it makes sense to engage with them. Don’t be scared to talk about how the car industry is changing and the environmental benefits having an electric vehicle will have, for the customer, their families, and the planet.
Seamlessly showcase vehicles using SnapCell
As with most products customers need to spend a large amount of money on, the best way to win shoppers over is by demonstrating to them what they can have – and furthermore, making that product (in this case, electric vehicles), the most attractive option. In essence, you need them to ‘try before they buy’ and the best way to allow them to do this is by using SnapCell.
Designed specifically with automotive professionals in mind, the SnapCell app is bursting with features that will allow you to showcase everything electric vehicles have to offer. From pre-recorded clips, live two-way video with customers, or promotions specifically for social media, SnapCell makes it easier than ever to engage and interact with all types of audiences – not just locally, but nationally too. The future of the automotive industry is changing and your dealership needs to keep up if they want to succeed. Reach out to electric vehicle customers using SnapCell, get in touch with our team today.