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How Mobile/Online Technology and Social Media Will Change the Way We Buy and Sell Vehicles. John Gottschalk, VP of business development and strategy, FordDirect. @ FordDirect_com @ johngottschalk. BUILDING AN ONLINE PRESENCE FOR TODAY’S AUTOMOTIVE CONSUMER . Targeting Today’s Auto Shoppers.

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How Mobile/Online Technology and Social Media Will Change the Way We Buy and Sell Vehicles

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    1. How Mobile/Online Technology and Social Media Will Change the Way We Buy and Sell Vehicles John Gottschalk, VP of business development and strategy, FordDirect @FordDirect_com @johngottschalk


    3. Targeting Today’s Auto Shoppers • As today’s shoppers become more familiar with and reliant upon mobile devices, auto remarketers need to make sure they are able to meet the demand for interactive, on-the-go experiences and information. Through social, mobile and local channels, remarketers can position themselves in front of customers, build their brand via mobile devices and engage with local consumers.

    4. Social, Mobile, Local • The rapid adoption of mobile and tablet devices is leading to the rise of the “SoMoLoShopper.” • A consumer who regularly uses social networks, apps, smartphones and location-based services as part of their shopping lifestyle. • 74 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to get real-time location-based information. • This adoption rate is also reflected in the auto industry, with the majority of shoppers using their phone at the dealership to access vehicle information about pricing, model features and dealer inventory. Pew Research Center JD Power

    5. FordDirect’s Digital Automotive Shopping Survey • To gain more insights on the automotive shopper, FordDirect surveyed automotive consumers on the ways they approach their shopping experience from online research to choosing which dealer to purchase from. The findings revealed the increasing importance for dealers to develop a strong online presence and reputation as the process of shopping for a new or used vehicle continues to evolve.

    6. Importance of Mobile Dealer Websites Nearly 30 percent of shoppers surveyed access dealer websites using a mobile device (e.g., Smart phone, Tablet, etc.)

    7. Social Media – The Ultimate WOM • Consumers are turning to social channels for insights on purchasing decisions– the new age of word of mouth marketing • For the auto remarketer, what matters most is how consumers are using social when it comes to automotive shopping

    8. Social Media Presence • Automotive consumers also turn to social channels to find out what others are saying about businesses, products and services. • Equally important, they want to know what your business has to say in response • 49.5 percent of customers are less likely to buy anything from a company when its Facebook page has several unanswered questions or complaints from customers. • Convergys

    9. Auto Shoppers and Social Media • Automotive consumers are drawn to social media to find information that is relevant and useful to them. • 42 percent of consumers are interested in connecting with dealerships via social media for access to incentives like coupons. • Consumers also said they visit Dealer Facebook pages to learn about local sales events and community events.

    10. Importance of Customer Reviews XYZ dealership Average number of review sites in sidebar on page 1 Average number of review sites on page 1 Average number of social sites on page 1 1 1 4 2.1 #1 49% Consumer Ranking of review sites as digital info source Average # of review sites car buyers visited of consumers clicked on a review site from Google search results

    11. Impact of Online Reviews In FordDirect’s 2012 car buyer survey, what percent of customers said they were less likely to purchase a vehicle from a dealership that received negative reviews? • 32 percent • 47 percent • 52 percent • 63 percent • 70 percent

    12. Reputation Management • A dealer’s online reputation was identified throughout the survey as a key influencer in the buying process: • 63 percent of shoppers reported they are less likely to purchase from a dealer who receives negative comments online. • However, even negative comments can be an opportunity for dealers to win a consumer over. • 59 percent of auto shoppers said they feel more positive about dealers who respond to negative comments.

    13. Selecting a Dealer “70 percent of Car buyers who visited review sites changed dealership selection based on reviews they read.” - Yahoo Search Marketing Study

    14. Best practices for targeting today’s consumer

    15. Your Online Presence

    16. Own Your Online Identity • Google yourself: do you own your online channels, or are they vacant? • Use free resources and • Be where customers are: Facebook, Twitter, Google Places, etc. • Go beyond a basic website and develop site content that is interesting and engaging, such as video • Start with the service department • Know where your customers are

    17. SEO and SEM • Claim your dealership on Google Places & link your Google Places page to your Elite website, setup a Google alert • Encourage happy customers to visit your store on Google Places and write a favorable review • Consider expanding the towns/region in the area tag to include other geographical areas you are trying to target • Provide ‘SEO friendly’ copy • Use consumer friendly content • Include the name of your store, the makes that you sell, the areas that you serve, and a unique selling proposition • Create custom homepage title tag • Keep the title tag to about 60 – 75 characters • Suggested format: Dealership | Homepage New, Used, {and Certified} Ford Dealer serving City 1, 2

    18. Manage Your Reputation • Pay attention to customer reviews: do you know what customers are saying about you? If not, it’s time to start listening – and responding. • Although tempting to ignore them, responding to negative reviews online is very important to a dealership’s brand. • Not only are you potentially swaying a customer who had a bad experience back into your favor, but you’re also leaving a positive impression on future customers. • Encourage and respond to positive reviews. Be proactive in encouraging positive feedback from satisfied customers. • During our pilot 75 percent of customer reviews came back positive – all you have to do is ask!

    19. Example: Testimonial App with Reviews on Dealer website

    20. Reputation Management Best Practices • Simply ask. Ask satisfied customers for testimonials that can be leveraged on your website or in marketing collateral. • Use the reviews.Leverage a website feed to offsite reviews, feature reviews on your dealership website, develop blog content to highlight service success stories, and use testimonials in printed sales materials. • Respond ASAP. By responding quickly, you greatly reduce the chance of additional negative comments. • Act.Fix problems (offline and one-on-one) to regain trust with the dissatisfied customer, and communicate that others won’t have the same experience with your dealership. • Challenge apparent falsehoods. If the commentary on a review site is false, offer evidence in support of your version of the facts.

    21. Social Media • It isn’t just about the number of fans or likes; social media is all about engagement. • Whether offering service coupons or discounts, inviting customers to a sales event or sharing an interesting article, businesses should aim to provide value and a call to action in their social interactions. • Social channels aren’t self-sufficient. It takes time and thought to keep tabs on and participate in social conversations. • But the ROI in terms of loyalty, preference, referrals and a positive reputation can be tremendous.

    22. Social Media Tips Humanize Buy time Cadence Talk back Gather insights Promotions

    23. Chat • Dealers must strike a balance between physical sales interaction and the online sales interaction today’s consumers demand. • Chat provides a convenient way to engage with customers and answer their urgent questions. • It enhances customer satisfaction and can help drive new leads to the dealership. • Our survey found that 27 percent of auto shoppers think it is beneficial to chat with Dealers online. • 30 percent of Internet shoppers who engage in chat on a dealership’s site purchase a vehicle within 60 days.

    24. Chat – Best Practices • Will insert once received from Melissa

    25. Importance of Dealer Website • 62 percent of prospective car buyers viewed a dealer website prior to purchase • 40 percent of prospective car buyers indicate the dealer they purchase from is impacted by their visit to dealer’s website

    26. Engaging Website Content 85 percent of customers will choose a dealership from which to purchase their next vehicle based upon their experience with a dealership’s website. • Our survey found that consumers were most interested in viewing: • Interior and exterior photos of vehicles • Videos showcasing vehicle technology and features on Dealer websites • Current inventory • The survey also found that customers want access to useful content. • Customize your website to your local area and to your customers – sponsor contests, giveaways and local events J.D. Power and Associates

    27. Video • 70 percent of the top 100 search results listings now include video • 87 percent of vehicle shoppers say video helps them better decide which vehicle to purchase • Nearly 80 percent of vehicle shoppers would view a video on either the interior or features of the vehicle

    28. Be Mobile Friendly • As the adoption of mobile and tablet devices continues to climb, dealers need to meet the demand for interactive, on-the-go experiences and information. • Invest in a website that is mobile-optimized • Your customers are increasingly turning to mobile far before they’re considering stepping into your Dealership. Make sure they can access your information – including inventory, vehicle photos and video.

    29. Website Checklist • Offer a mobile site, in addition to your desktop site • Ensure inventory displays are easy to navigate & informative • Consider incorporating video into your inventory & research features • Provide tools such as credit payment and trade-in estimators to help customers expedite their purchase • Incorporate ‘call-to-action’ items on sites • “Schedule service” instead of “Service scheduler” • “Get ePrice Quote Now” button • Incorporate social features & links

    30. Questions John Gottschalk Twitter: @johngottschalk