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How Dealers Can Increase Their Chances of Selling Cars Online

How Dealers Can Increase Their Chances of Selling Cars Online

Article published: 20 July 2021

Find out how to improve your likelihood of your customers choosing to checkout online - increasing the uptake of both full cash purchase and end-to-end finance applications with just a few smart tips.

eCommerce in Automotive is having its moment, with increasing numbers of dealers embracing solutions like Bluesky’s AutoTransact checkout solution to help them sell both used and new vehicles online.

Many dealers don’t yet feel confident enough to embrace full cash purchase or end-to-end finance online – but here at Bluesky we are already seeing evidence that customers are ready to start buying vehicles entirely online.

Even better, the feedback we have received so far suggests that online purchases are likely to result in more profitable sales, as they reduce the likelihood of a customer haggling – and these effects have even been seen with simple reservations!

In order to embrace online sales, and maximise the likelihood of a customer feeling ready to commit, there are a few key improvements you can make to your website:

Offer Live Chat

Automotive chat bots

Address questions and queries quickly and efficiently by offering live chat directly on your Vehicle Details Pages (VDPs). Ideally the chat should be manned by people who know your stock and can answer specific questions, but if not you could always consider a chat bot. These clever little programmes can use your vehicle spec and images to answer a surprising number of common questions, then direct  enquiries or chats to your dealership team if more info is needed.

Embrace Transparency

To buy online, customers need to feel confident that the vehicle they receive will be exactly what they expect. As such, honesty is encouraged here - whilst you obviously want to showcase your vehicles in their best possible light, you also need to be believable to give customers a sense of confidence in their decisions.

In order to be truly transparent, there are a number of things you can do:

Provide Vehicle Videos

In-depth walk around videos would probably be the ideal for end-to-end vehicle sales – but our Phyron solution is a great alternative if you don’t have the resource, time or money to take time consuming videos of every car. Instead, you could then enhance this by offering “request a video” functionality, which gives you the chance to create bespoke videos only when actually useful.

Truthful & Extensive Imagery

You need enough images of every car that customers have as much info as they would walking around a car in the showroom, or taking it for a test drive. This means transparently sharing photos of flaws and imperfections, ideally with explanations and context alongside. At the very least, your photos should never hide any damage – this is one of those times when honesty makes you seem far more appealing to a customer.

Text Explanations

Adding a section onto a VDP going into detail on the vehicle  and any flaws may be labour intensive, but it has the potential to take your page from a bland site that simply lists features, into one that strongly boosts perceived trustworthiness and reliability in customers. This is likely to have a good effect on online purchase conversion levels, and is certainly worth considering.

Foreshadow the Purchase Process

Foreshadowing ecommerce

Don’t just expect your customers to arrive on a VDP and immediately decide that they’re happy to pay cash for the car online. Instead, you should be informing them about the advantages and benefits of buying online throughout the website journey. This is called “foreshadowing” and helps your customers to feel prepared when they do come to the point to decide what steps to take next.

This could take the form of informing them of any costs and prices, but should also showcase the convenience, flexibility and any other benefits.

Be Flexible & Offer Options

Finally, where you can, being flexible is a great idea when it comes to online purchase. The AutoTransact platform is great because it has flexibility built in, allowing vehicles to be collected from other dealer locations, or facilitating home delivery options – but it all depends on you, the dealer, embracing these features. It’s definitely worth trying to sort the logistics of features like this now, when full purchase online is relatively new – that way you feel confident as usage ramps up down the line.

Are you feeling ready to embrace truly online sales yet? Speak to us to find out how AutoTransact can work on your dealer website - even if it's not built by Bluesky.

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