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Digital Dealer
Education, Events, Industry, Trends

Digital Dealer Las Vegas 2021 Trends and Takeaways

This month, automotive retailers and industry experts from around the country gathered at Digital Dealer Las Vegas to get a sneak peek at the latest dealership technology and upcoming trends. And the DriveCentric team was front and center! A big shout out to our clients, partners and industry friends who came to see us. Thank you!

For those unable to attend, you can still catch key highlights to help finish 2021 strong and start planning for next year’s growth.

Digital Transformation is No Longer an Option

It’s no secret that digital retail is now a core component of the dealership toolkit after the business disruptions of recent years. Need proof? Carvana sold 100,000 vehicles remotely in the second quarter of 2021 alone.

The biggest takeaway from this year’s show is that the doors to your showroom have evolved beyond your brick-and-mortar location to digital and virtual environments. Adding bolt-on technology was a temporary fix for many dealerships during the pandemic, but the way we buy cars has changed. So, shouldn’t we change how we sell them? Today’s consumers demand an agile, more personal buying experience.

So, digital transformation is essential. The dealerships that will thrive are embracing modern technology to power their future of automotive retail. It takes more than a dated CRM and partially integrated experiences to roll out the red carpet for your customers!

The age-old advice of inspecting what you expect has never been more true. Shop your dealership from your customer’s perspective:

  • Is it easy to find inventory on your website?
  • Do the digital price quotes match quotes from the sales desk?
  • Do chat and text messages feel personal or robotic?
  • How easily can a shopper meet your team virtually to work deals?

The good news is that today’s modern dealership software solutions make the entire journey easy and fun for both customers and dealership employees. So as you look at your technology in 2022, versatility and capabilities should be at the top of your list! Look for software that allows customers to switch between digital showroom shopping and in-person visits seamlessly.

Personalization is Key
Video was a central talking point at Digital Dealer, and for good reason. Personalized videos increase response rates by 216%, according to experts at Vidyard. Plus, a recent study by DriveCentric shows sending a personalized video increased show rates by 88% for Capitol Auto Group. Yet, we heard from many dealership friends that getting their sales reps to shoot video is a constant challenge.

One of the best ways to win today’s car shoppers is by adding video to your communication channels. The process is fun for everyone! New technology from DriveCentric Camera fuels even higher video engagement for sales reps with animated filters, backgrounds and even dealer-branded logos.

You can improve video usage in your store by building it directly into your sales process. For example, many dealers require a personalized video for each internet lead, and reporting tools make it easier than ever to ensure your reps are following these processes.

Just after Digital Dealer Las Vegas, industry expert Jim Ziegler gathered some of the leading voices in dealership operations for a look into how video is helping close more deals. Here’s what they had to say:

If you need help implementing video into your strategy, reach out to our team for a consultation or free training.

Add a Genius to Your Team

Another struggle for dealers is time. When your sales and BDC teams are working to stay connected with every conversation across multiple channels, taking more time to shoot and edit videos can seem like an enormous task.

That’s where a true Artificial Intelligence tool can help, but be cautious. An AI tool should be much more than just chatbots, business rules, or automated templates.

There are thousands of ways customers can ask questions when interacting with AI tools and with customers demanding personalized experiences – simple programming just isn’t enough. If you consider AI, ensure you choose a system that:

  • Applies machine learning, deep learning and other techniques to communicate, execute and solve actual problems.
  • Acts as a backstop when your business is closed, making it easy for you to pick up conversations where it leaves off
  • Converts new leads in your pipeline, keep them engaged, collect data and even trigger tasks

In all the educational sessions at the show, we heard one other major theme. Savvy dealers are using the current inventory situation as a time to double down, rethink dated processes and boldly embrace the digital showroom experiences consumers expect when buying anything retail.

If you missed Digital Dealer, let us bring the show to you. Let’s connect and talk through what’s new with DriveCentric and how we’ll help you transform your dealership for the future.

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