To suggest there’s a paradigm shift in the way consumers purchase products would be a massive understatement. Information gathering and data processing is evolving by the minute. Innovation is creating opportunities and new careers such as; social media directors, digital marketing specialists and e-commerce positions dot every major job posting.
Online retailers have decoded the buying process as unwittingly, consumers have been providing data through systematic tracking of historical search patterns. Geo-fencing gives retailers the strategic leverage to use the power of product placement with precision. Using a virtual perimeter for product placement is the latest tool in the marketing tool chest.
Market compression through mergers and acquisitions have littered the conventional automotive dealer network. Those unwilling or unable to evolve their customer experience have become or are becoming extinct. Conventional dealerships and the predator-prey sales relationships are no longer the norm. Pricing pressures were exasperated by shrinking margins and commodity driven sales practices. The competitive landscape in today’s retail world is the embodiment of “survival of the fittest”.
Consequently, third-party buying services are directly attributed to the reluctance to adapt to today’s consumer purchasing preferences. Social media platforms have been embraced as the new community. These multifaceted branches link a single client to, hundreds if not thousands, of connections in the virtual tree.
Today’s consumer requires transparency and fluid communications they can control. It’s incumbant upon dealers to develop a strategy to improve the buying experience by combining technology and social media so they work in tandem. Today’s consumers expect social responsibility and community involvement. Connect your dealership and community to payback the resources that depend on support. Ask associates to donate time and encourage neighborhood involvement.
Manufacturers have improved product quality leveling the field of choice and brand equality. Dealerships are clustered in markets where the separation is measured in yards rather than miles. The dealer/group individual brand is the key to connecting and keeping a potential buyer. The ultimate goal is not customer satisfaction but rather, customer loyalty. Loyalty is the new measuring device as the great equalizer to continued growth and market dominance.
With information readily accessible it becomes more important to have flawless execution at the dealership level. Associates that are informed and processes that are in-tuned with customer buying intelligence are essential for success.