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How Auto Dealerships Can Capitalize from Growing Online Shopping Trends

Auto Dealership Sales Tips

With around 18,000 franchise car dealerships and over a 130,000 used car dealerships in the U.S, auto dealerships have stiff competition in every corner of the country. The good news is sales and profits are up, especially, for dealerships with enhanced online visibility and functionality. In this regard, let’s talk about how auto dealerships can capitalize from growing online shopping trends.

Online Shopping Trends

According to an info graphic from Autotrader, the internet is the main source for 75% of new car buyers and 77% of used car buyers. Online shoppers are mostly using the Internet to: compare vehicles, find cars, and research pricing. There are three main places where online auto shoppers are visiting when shopping: auto dealerships, OEMs, and third-party websites – all about evenly distributed.

The info graphic also tells us that the time consumers are spending online and the number of sites they’re visiting are increasing as well. What all of this information tells us, basically, is auto dealerships should be focusing on optimizing their online websites and sales funnels. If auto dealerships can offer the online shopper more functionality in the sales and financing processes, they’ll engage and capture more sales and leads.

Optimizing Website Functionality for Sales and Financing Processes

Most auto dealerships already understand the importance of having optimized websites and digital marketing strategies, yet what about an easy way for shoppers to see if they’re approved for the cars they’re interested in? What if a big button was visible above the car on the landing page, which stated: “Get Pre-Approved in Seconds!”?

This is the type of optimization auto dealerships should be interested in developing on their websites. When shoppers have the ability to see if they can pre-qualify for a vehicle, without hurting their credit score, they’ll be more likely to take the next step and visit the dealership for a test drive. Even better, if shoppers can see the terms of the loan offered, they’ll be even more likely to visit the dealership.

With Credit Plus from eLEND Solutions, auto dealerships can offer their online shoppers this type of website functionality to enhance the sales process from the beginning. Auto dealerships can set the parameters within the software with preferred lenders and terms, so the automated, real-time, and instant qualification and term decisions are based upon realistic values.

Capitalizing on Growing Online Shopping Trends

We can safely forecast that online shopping trends will continue to grow in the coming years, especially, when it comes to the hours and hours consumers spend shopping for their next new or used vehicles. Digital marketing efforts are important, yet to capitalize on this growing trend, dealerships need to streamline the financing process from start to finish. What this means is integrating technology into enterprise systems for streamlined sales and financing processes.

Auto dealerships want to engage online shoppers and capture more leads, but they also want to streamline the ID verification, test drive, salesroom, and F&I processes too. Basically, the entire sales and financing process needs to continuously deliver a consistently pleasant experience. This is hard to do when hours of wait time, loads of paperwork, and rudimentary guesswork is the norm with traditional sales and financing processes.

Innovative Solutions

The good news is there are innovative technological solutions designed, specifically, for auto dealerships to streamline their sales and financing processes. eLEND Solutions has three simple products that will holistically transform these processes for optimal sales acceleration and customer satisfaction, both online and at the dealership.

Credit Plus and ID Drive work together through one central platform to: drastically reduce the time involved in the financing process, increase online functionality to capture more leads, and give sales teams remote functionality. This software solution integrates with enterprise systems seamlessly and helps auto dealerships capitalize on growing online shopping trends. To learn more about these innovative solutions, please contact us today.

Author: Pete Maclnnis

Author Bio: Pete brings over 37 years of experience in automotive finance and technology as Founder and CEO of eLEND Solutions.  Founded in 2003 as DealerCentric, eLEND Solutions is an automotive FinTech company specializing in online and in-store digital credit, identity and finance solutions designed to create a more efficient and profitable vehicle purchase process for the retail automotive industry. 

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