THE DIGITAL DEALERSHIP - Integrated Websites

Integrated Dealership Websites

In my last article, “The Digital Dealership”, I painted a picture of what the digital dealership looks like.  What defined the digital dealership was information and a continuous flow of that information.  In this week’s article I want to take a closer look at this, primarily because “Going Digital” has a particular assumption many people in our industry struggle with, especially around websites and sales.

This struggle assumes “Going Digital” is about website shopping carts and electric payments, but this is not true.   You do not need to have a shopping cart or checkout function on your machine listing page to be a digital dealership.  What you need to do is have a connected flow of information which anticipates your customer’s needs.

Here are three things to consider when developing your digital dealership

First, stop separating your e-commerce customer portal solution from your main website.  Create a website that transitions from information site to portal seamlessly, treat every visitor as a customer.  Do not make them search around for the portal login button and drop them into a different environment. 

Your physical dealership doesn’t have a sign over one door labeled “Visitors” and a second door labelled “Customers”, so why do it at your digital dealership.

Using analytics platforms, you can monitor your site visitors. It won’t take long to realize a large percentage of your visitors are repeat visitors and existing customers.  These visits are often to learn more about the products they own, or products they are considering.   Your integrated website should present information on products, connect your available inventory, and create a sales connection.   Your website should integrate to your CRM, automatically creating new leads and generating Quotes in your CRM quote system.   The days of contact forms via email are over.

This brings up the second point to consider, recognize your visitors.   Without getting technical, your website can learn to recognize repeat visitors and customers.  These are visitors who may have done business with you and are in your CRM.  Yes, I’m talking about using Cookies and CRM integration.   When customers return to your site, you should know about it, and the site should recognize them.  The site should build on the existing knowledge of that visitor. Make sure your site can say “Welcome back!”.  

Your physical dealership does not treat returning customers like strangers, so why would your digital dealership.

Presenting returning visitors with information about items they last viewed makes their visit more relevant.  For a known customer, show them as already “signed in” to customer areas.   Do they own a Model XYZ? Make sure they know their price on a new one or place a custom offer on the page for them.  No one else will see it because your digital dealership knows who the visitor is from your CRM.

Finally, when your customers enter your digital dealership, make sure their fleet data is available. Your customers and prospects do business with you for one reason.  They own equipment and you sell and service it.  Link services, knowledge, parts and more to the customer’s known fleet.  Fleet data should be a visible function and updated easily.  Make sure it can capture, and save to your CRM, all brands of equipment, even if you’re an OEM dealer.    

In implementing these 3 ideas your digital dealership moves beyond a billboard website or a machine advertising site, it becomes a digital dealership application that meets the needs of your customers. It engages them, provides them with ways to make doing business with you easier, and gives them the information they need.  

While this may seem difficult, Modern CRM platforms like Vizybility are built to integrate with website applications and connect your digital dealership to daily operations.   Vizybility handles all your customer and prospect information and can store detailed fleet data for each.   Our complete API makes it easy and secure to connect your website to your sales and support teams.   

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you build a digital dealership platform, contact me at mets.kramer@strategicevolutions.ca

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