3 Ways Dealers Can Help Auto Shoppers During COVID-19

Car dealer wearing mask holding car keys

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted numerous companies around the world, causing them to reevaluate their business models to stay afloat in this unstable economy while striving to keep their employees and customers safe. With shelter-in-place and business closure orders in effect across the country, consumer behaviors have shifted towards online shopping, changing the way businesses market and sell their products and services.

As a result of the social distancing and business closure orders put in place across the country due to COVID-19, 55 percent of auto shoppers prefer not to visit physical dealerships to purchase a vehicle, according to recent data from Cox Automotive. However, online shopping was already trending prior to COVID-19, as consumers were shifting towards conducting most of the car-buying process from their computer or mobile device (i.e. cell phone, tablet, etc.).

To stay top of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic, here are a few strategies your dealership may want to consider to address your customers’ concerns and needs:

1. Digital showrooms

Since car buyers are more apprehensive than ever about coming into the dealership — if they are permitted to at all — why not bring your dealership to them? Having a more comprehensive online display of your showroom will allow online auto shoppers to view vehicle choices with ease and without the health and safety concerns that customers may feel about visiting your dealership. Having a digital showroom may make the car-buying process more desirable and streamlined for your customers.

2. COVID-19 prevention policies

According to Cox Automotive, 84 percent of car dealers are taking proactive steps to address customer health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. Communicating your dealership’s preventative measures on your website, emails and other digital platforms assures your customers that the health and safety of your customers and employees is your top priority.

3. On-demand car repair service

According to Cox Automotive, 29 percent of car buyers say they plan to postpone car service/repair work out of concerns about exposure to COVID-19. Offering on-demand car services that include vehicle pick-ups and drop-offs may help your customers feel more comfortable about having service and repair work performed.

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