Top Digital Dealership Strategies for 2022

Dec 20, 2021

Digital strategies

It’s that time of year, when businesses are looking ahead to the next 12 months and planning their all-important marketing strategy. And let’s face it, the past two years have been anything but easy for car dealerships, what with the pandemic and the chip shortage plaguing the entire automotive industry.  Furthermore, with the number of dealerships across America only increasing – used car dealers are up 0.9 percent and new car dealers are up 0.5 percent in 2021 compared with 20201 – automotive businesses are going to have to take things up a gear if they want to stay in the driving seat come 2022.

What’s more, the digital revolution has been sped up, changing the way customers shop and ultimately forcing dealerships to review how they engage with their audience.

With that in mind, we’ve  and keeping up with demands from tech-savvy customers.

Personalized videos and SMS

Going into 2022, your focus needs to be on getting personal and building relationships.

The power of video in the automotive industry is incredible – but that’s nothing new. Now it’s time to go that extra mile by making things personal. Gone are the days of being able to offer each shopper the same treatment – it’s now crucial that you work towards creating a bespoke digital customer journey, that’s personal to each customer.

The acceleration of digitalization has opened up a huge opportunity to make the customer experience ultra-personal.

After all, it’s becoming more and more common for customers to skip physically visiting car dealerships and the in-person buying experience altogether, with most shoppers wanting either an entirely virtual or hybrid (best of both, digital and in-person) shopping journey.

And although many are now shopping for cars online, the sales process is still primarily built around building a solid, trustworthy relationship with customers. Personalizing videos is all about creating that virtual experience with customers, allowing them to enjoy a digital shopping journey, without compromising on that much-needed emotional connection.

SnapCell helps dealerships to personalize their communications with customers by giving them the tools to easily create and send bespoke videos to their customers. Here are three ways SnapCell can help your dealership send personalized videos:

1. Sending personalized videos via email and SMS

Whether you’re reaching out to potential customers, welcoming new customers, celebrating milestones, or sharing company updates, there are plenty of opportunities to send personalized videos to your audience. And, you are guaranteed to see more replies, clicks, and conversion rates when including a video in an email.

We know what you’re thinking, creating personalized videos can be pretty time-consuming, right? With SnapCell, users can actually recycle footage but seamlessly stitch on a personalized beginning and end, making it appear bespoke to that customer but saving your dealership time.

2. Personalized welcome messages

Why not start as you mean to go on? Guarantee immediate engagement with shoppers thanks to SnapCell’s AutoEngage feature, which automatically sends videos directly to customers following their first inquiry. With stats revealing that new leads are most engaged with a brand within 48 hours of subscribing2, this is a no-brainer.

This is a clever way of sending personalized videos because while the personalization doesn’t necessarily come from using the customer’s name or specific details here, the personalization is simply acknowledging and recognizing that they have enquired – that’s what will make the receiver feel special and that is what will tempt them to follow through with their inquiry. Being acknowledged for simply getting in touch is sure to stand your dealership out from the competition.

If you’re not already doing it, then sending welcome emails to new leads is a definite must for your digital strategy for 2022. They just work, especially with 86 percent of welcome emails having a higher open rate than other emails3.

Also, why would you not engage with somebody who has pretty much asked for the communication? If they’ve enquired, their interest is already there – saving you time searching for new leads yourself, while enhancing customer loyalty from the word go.

3. Give viewers a walkaround

With more customers wanting to shop from the comfort of their sofa, it’s vital that you do all you can to take full advantage of the digital revolution by giving them a taste of your dealership, but virtually.

Create a personalized video of either your dealership – to showcase the vehicles you have on-site, while physically encouraging them to visit you – or of a specific car that the customer is interested in. Personalized walkaround clips allow your sales team to put on their finest pitch hats and simply do what they do best, and that’s sell your cars.

The personalized video can either be sent via an email or through SnapCell Messenger – with the latter initializing instant two-way conversation between your team and the customer.

Live video to drive digital customer experience

When it comes to shopping online, it doesn’t look like car customers are planning on hitting the brakes any time soon. It’s simply becoming less appealing for potential vehicle buyers to liaise with the sales team in person, with 59 percent of shoppers worldwide wanting to buy their next car online4. In fact, in a study of dealerships that became more profitable and efficient amid the challenges of lockdown, all of those who ‘thrived’ admitted the key to success was to offer more digital options to customers5.

Whether you like it or not, you have to make online shopping attractive and easy for your customers. Trust us, if you make the changes now, your dealership will reap the benefits long term.

Live video streaming will be your key to reaching out and successfully engaging with customers. Live video streaming is already a popular choice among customers, and it’s only expected to grow.

SnapCell Live is one of the latest features offered by SnapCell and is designed specifically to support car dealerships with liaising live with potential or current customers.

Built with every member of your team in mind, whether it’s your sales executive, service technician, or business manager, SnapCell Live allows your employees to hold live two-way conversations with shoppers – or more than one shopper at the same time, thanks to its multi-person live streaming ability.

Whether it’s because of the ‘new norm’ customers are so comfortable living with, or the fact that some shoppers are still worried about being in close proximity of others, SnapCell Live offers the ideal solution. It’s perfect for those who want to remain socially distanced while giving customers the chance to experience the virtual shopping experience they’re after.

It’s also worth noting that live streaming brings with it a huge benefit for the automotive industry. After all, being able to communicate with customers virtually means that as a dealership, you’re no longer limiting your target audience to those who are local. In fact, thanks to features like SnapCell Live, anyone in the country – or the world, if you fancy – is now a potential customer of yours.

Utilizing YouTube

While there are heaps of statistics surrounding YouTube that demonstrate why your dealership should be utilizing the video streaming channel. However, the one that you should really take note of, is that that around 70 percent of car buyers now watch a YouTube clip before buying a vehicle6.

If you’re not sure what kind of videos you should be putting on your YouTube channel, then here’s a few to get you started:

  • Showcase new (and niche) products
  • Highlight features of specific cars
  • Share customer testimonials
  • Video tours of your dealership

And, while you might think you need to invest in a professional production crew to get the ball rolling, all you actually need is SnapCell. SnapCell seamlessly integrates with a dealership’s social channels and can be used across all smartphones and devices, making it easier than ever for your staff to create a professional-looking clip in a fraction of the time, and at a much more cost-effective price.

Customer relationships are key

If you’re looking to drive sales and service opportunities, then it’s time to lean on the data and information you have on current customers. In fact, statistics show that 86 percent of dealers agree that having accurate and complete customer data is a priority7.

Those dealerships who thrive in the industry, use activity tracking to understand specific customer needs as well as proactively keep on top of their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) data. They can then use this data to reach out to customers, ignite relevant conversations with shoppers, personalize communications and appeal to a client’s specific interests.

And better still, if you are a SnapCell user, you’ll find that SnapCell integrates with most of the major CRM systems, which means you can manage your personalized videos and customer information, all from one place.

Take your digital strategy up a gear in 2022

As you prepare for the drive business forward in 2022, then consider taking on some, if not all, of these digital strategies at your car dealership. From engaging with your digital audience and taking them on a virtual shopping experience, to personalizing the customer journey, there are plenty of ways that you can ensure your dealership is on the road to success in the new year.

Enhance your dealership’s digital strategy by using SnapCell. Get in touch with our team of experts, and find out how the SnapCell app can help secure leads, drive sales and ultimately, increase profit at your dealership in 2022 and beyond.

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