The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 1 year ago

Do Car Shoppers Want Online Car Buying? w/ Lissette Gole

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Over the last couple of years, end-to-end car buying increased by 10%. Considering the average 1 - 2% annual increase that is common, this represents a surge in interest from car shoppers who are willing to forego the dealership.

According to Lissette Gole, Head of Automotive Retail at Google, that means 90% of dealerships are using some sort of hybrid car shopping model and should pay attention to the expectations of the customer moving into 2021 and beyond.

Here's the question: Do you think online car shopping will increase even further in the next 5 years?

For complete show notes and resources visit: https://www.thedealerplaybook.com/lissette-gole 

FlexDealer

You've tried so many different things with your marketing but the dots never align.

Your current agency sends you a fancy report but you have no clue what it means...

That's why more dealers are choosing to partner with FlexDealer. They're the creative marketing people behind some of the auto industry's most envied brands.

"Flex takes an approach unlike others I've ever experienced, and I can honestly say that I trust you guys. It's a strange and wonderful feeling! Being on a team with them and knowing they are in my corner jacks up my confidence and ups the fun factor of the car business. I'm so grateful! - Aaron Lange, Lange and Fetter Motors

Find your best opportunities to grow with FlexDealer's free, immediate website audit. Visit www.flexdealer.com/website-audit 

Hey, before we hop into this episode, let's talk about why your website and digital presence isn't working now. I know what you're thinking, Michael, we talk all about the web sites all the time. You talk about the websites, the websites, a hammer, yada yada yada, we get it. But for real though, it's shocking to me how much guesswork still takes place and how its having a detrimental effect on what opportunities you are able to leverage now over the last decade, especially for the O. G. D. P. Beers. You know, I've poured my soul into assembling a team that cares deeply about the progress of the retail auto industry that believes in my mission to enrich and empower dealers to perpetually grow now. I'm making my amazing marketing team accessible to the dealer playbook community so that you can start to thrive rather than merely survive. Right now, we're providing a just for you free website diagnostic that will show you exactly what you need to do in a priority sequence so that you can finally get the answers you need claim...

...yours by visiting triple W. Dot flex dealer dot com forward slash website audit. That's triple W. Dot flex dealer dot com forward slash website dash audit. Mhm. You mentioned earlier as well, just kind of marrying this back to some of those trends that we can see in the guidebook. I was blown away. I mean it's one of the first few slides in the guide that talks about how Um consumer expectations grew by 10 towards like digital or or was it online? This concept of online retailing that that seems like a pretty dramatic jump. Is that strictly because of pandemic or are there other factors? Yeah. So um...

I'll break that down a little bit. So in 2018 we conducted some research that showed that one vehicle shoppers were completing that purchase all online, So you're buying a vehicle intend and then you fast forward to 2020. And we found that 10 of vehicle shoppers were completing that process and to end online. Now, that's a big jump. As you mentioned, you know, from 1 to 10 in two years is really significant in our industry. Um That also means that 90 are doing a hybrid version of that, so they're anywhere in between, you know, they may want to um, still come to the dealership to assess their trade in having any discussions that varies by the person. Um, but it is a significant jump for us and it is something that we want to make sure that we are we are paying attention to because that's now the expectation of the customer and the...

...tools, the online retailing tools, the website tools are also evolving really, really quickly to meet that need. Um and so I think it is a combination of the two. So obviously like customers, we're not leaving their house, they still needed to buy vehicles during covid dealerships needed to remain open. So they all jointly moved into the comfort of online retail. But I think having the tools on the site and us as an industry making that more available to the customers is only gonna, you know, like we're just accelerating that now. So I think that also plays into the 1-10 jump. If it wasn't available, it wouldn't have happened. Yeah, I think to the future as well, because we know That the circumstances of 2020, the pandemic people staying at home lockdowns et cetera, we've we've identified a couple of things first, There's resilience in the auto industry because people went from seeing a vehicle as luxury to utility. And, and I would say that the bounce back has...

...been nothing short of miraculous. But if we were to average that over two years, um, these statistics, that's a, you know, call that that's like a 4.5% increase per year in interest buying end to end Online since 2018 or, or sorry, a five really, if we just want to, you know, round it up. But if that continues on that trajectory, let's say it slows down, maybe it's only 2.5% this year. But if we're going, if we're seeing a 5% increase in end to end transactions every couple of years, that should hopefully help your dealership look a little bit into the future and say, okay, what moves do I need to start making today in order to keep meeting that demand? You mentioned a hybrid model And, and that's always intriguing to me as well because I'm such a nerd, right? I would buy ipads over clothing if it was socially acceptable and just like duct tape ipads to my body and walk around like...

...robot. That, that was really the first iteration of Robocop. They're like, okay, so hear me out, there's this nerd who just wants to wear ipads for clothing and they're like, no, that's not gonna fly and plus what's an ipad? It's the eighties. Um, but that, that's me, I'm such a nerd. I would be like, we're gonna do everything we can to produce this model and perfect it while there are still some customers that will not buy into and online, like I need to start figuring this out now, but let me ask you from your vantage point, what are some things that that you see that dealers need to be considering today? We know online retailing, but we know to go from a hybrid model or no model at all to a hybrid model can be a pretty big jump and then a hybrid to a full end to end can be a pretty big jump, like where, what, what should I be thinking about? Where do I need to, what do I need to focus on this year and maybe next year? So I'll take this out a little bit of a higher level first because what we really are aiming towards is to deliver...

...what we call a customer lead, frictionless online purchasing experience. And so that encompasses, you know, full and, and, and as well as hybrid. And so when we think about how do we get ready for that? And I agree with you Getting ready today to support the evolution is really important. You know, in some ways we're going back to basics, we're looking at, you know, the mobile website again and really assessing like doesn't load in three seconds or less because we know if the website is not loading and we have the, if there's a risk of losing the customer before the site is loaded, then we have um, you know, we want them to obviously beat on the website and continue their journey through. So I think looking at your mobile website experience and becoming your own mystery shopper there, you know, I would recommend um really taking just to step back and and walk through your mobile experience and say, is it easy to buy a car? Is it easy to contact a...

...sales person? Is it easy to schedule fixed stops appointment? Like, you know, and just have that fresh perspective here as everything continues to move online? I think that's one thing we can do immediately. And the other thing is measurement, I think measurement is so important. So in this world of completely online or a mix of online and offline experiences, really understanding what website actions matter to your dealership is really, really important and I think we should not take what used to be for granted. I think it's a great time to just reassess and re understand what are people doing on my website? Where are they dropping off? Where are they engaging? And you know, how can we continue to move them through the experience, no matter how they choose to interact with your dealership. So to me, those insights will help really drive a lot of the next level of decision making um, to, for your online retailing readiness. I love that. It feeds into...

...um conversion rate optimization, which is something that we don't talk enough about in my opinion, in this industry, like at the end of the day, being a tech guy and being a marketing guy, like can we just all be honest, but if we need to hold hands and sing kumbaya for a minute, so we know we're not, I'm not hating on anybody. I'm not singling but a website, it's a bunch of pictures and text formatted on a computer screen. Like at the end of the day, it's your inventory formatted and merchandise, but it's pictures and text formatted on a computer screen. What matters more than Because you know where we came back from you, you said 20 years, right. And I'm going on, you know, 2022 years in the industry. Where did we come from? Low set? It was by this website, it will get you more traffic leads and sales. And then the next compare by this website, this website is gonna get you traffic leads and sales. No, I've said this before on the show. My my my cockamamie foolish sounding analogy is...

...this, I say lisette, I went to home depot the other day, I bought the most expensive hammer I could find and the darn thing still won't hang the pictures on the wall for me. Like I I still have to do something. And so you know, to your point, what really stands out to me is I love that you're drawing attention to um understanding what actions people are or are not taking. And then also for me to get clearer on what actions I I want them to be taking or what I believe maps to my definition of success and more importantly what maps to their definition of success, What are they trying to accomplish? So conversion rate optimization is understanding that the answer is not this is maybe where I show the website providers some love now. It's not to just switch your website as an answer to the question. It's about to create, it's about creating a thesis saying ah I see where people are dropping off. My thesis is...

...if I were to make this adjustment it would help more people achieve their desired outcome. So we're just going to make that one change. We're not going to you know like we're talking about pre show I'm not going to rearrange my entire living room. I'm going to move the pillows on the couch first and then I'm going to take a step back and I'm going to identify if that works. And then once I've run that test for long enough and have enough conclusive data, then I will make another thesis and make another tweak. But I'm not going to just change everything. I do all at once because then I can't identify what actually contributed to uh an increase or a decrease. Right? That's right. And there's two components to this. There's the actual website experience and you know, what do you modify within your website experience, piece by piece to make sure that a customer can move through it really seamlessly. And then there's the media component and that's for you know where the automation comes in for us. So within I'll talk about media and add products for a moment...

...within the marketing ecosystem. Google offers automation to do that as well. So you can once you've understood what what metrics are important for you, for your business to have them call your showroom, have them come in for service etcetera. Then you can optimize your media toward it, through through machine learning and automation and you can do that through maximizing your conversions. I want as many conversions as possible or you can do that through the waiting of your conversions, which says I believe BdP views are more important to me than X or Y. And that's different for every website and every dealership. But once you have that, that understanding from your site and what the customer is doing, you then tie that back to your media so that everything is driving toward that goal of getting them to take that action that you desire for your dealership. So it's not cookie cutters. That would I...

...just heard you say it's not cookie cutter? No, it's not. So when we join conferences and watch webinars and stuff, what's the best advice then? Because I think sometimes we share all this information or perhaps people are going to be downloading or have downloaded the dealer guidebook um and they go, ok, this is gospel, this is exactly how I need to implement this. Your encouragement then would be what my encouragement is. That's a really great place to start. So we've done a lot of research, we have done a lot of work. There are many case studies in the guidebook that show what other dealerships have done to make these tactics successful for their business. But marrying that with your particular dealership, your particular website, your business goals, you know what inventory is on your lot, you need to sell is really where the The broad meets the custom, you know, and for your dealership. And so then you can take the foundations that we put in guidebooks and Taylor those for your...

...specific business. Um so you know, we look across the industry and we see these trends happening, but um I know for example when we talk about online retailing at 10 of the industry, We've talked in the past, Asbury automotive group had reached 15 of their vehicle sales in Q1 of 2020 because they were they were already getting ready for that trend. So I point that out just to say that there every business is different within this. We also share a profitability calculator that you can access as a dealer that I think is a really important element and understanding, you know what how marketing can help drive profitability for my business because what we really want is within the customization to look towards what does, what does my marketing costs for vehicles so look like. And the profitability calculator is a spreadsheet that that allows you to look at that as well. Um so that you...

...can again take the, the foundations that are a guidebook, marry them up with your specific profitability, your specific business needs and come together with the custom program. Mhm. I'm Michel Cirillo and you've been listening to the dealer playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. If you're ready to make big changes in your life and career and want to connect with positive nurturing automotive professionals join my exclusive DPB pro community on facebook, that's where we share information, ideas and content that isn't shared anywhere else. I can't wait to meet you there. Thanks for listening.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (504)