During the earliest stages of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most people were under stay-at-home orders or advisories, so they stayed home and avoided unnecessary trips. As the various waves of COVID infections have passed and the economy has opened back up, people have started to resume normal activities like going to work, seeing friends, and going on vacation. Mobility is still picking up, but it’s clear that Americans need to find a new normal that doesn’t involve exposure to strangers on packed public transit buses, subways, and rideshares.
In other words, automotive dealers should be prepared to see continuing demand. The problem is, according to realtimecampaign.com, the pandemic has changed the way that people shop. Dealership owners and general managers need to change with the times or risk missing out on valuable business. They can start by reading on to find out how the pandemic has changed automotive advertising.
Most Buyers Now Prefer to Do Their Research Online
It used to be the case that almost all drivers preferred to purchase cars in person from dealerships after taking them for test drives. In fact, before the pandemic, only 30% of drivers were even open to the idea of purchasing a vehicle online. Now, that number has risen to an impressive 80% of shoppers.
Automotive dealerships need to accommodate the switch to online buying in whatever ways they can, which can pose certain challenges for local dealerships. At Strategic Marketing, culture is ‘the number one thing’, but dealership culture can be translated into digital forms. If the dealership does not have the infrastructure in place to start selling online, switching the focus to online marketing and offering plenty of information about every vehicle for sale is a good alternative.
People Are Expanding Their Search Criteria
Before the pandemic, most drivers already had a good idea of what they wanted before heading to the dealership. The recent automotive chip shortage resulting from the pandemic has changed that by making it much more difficult to find certain cars. As a result, buyers have been expanding their searches to consider makes and models that would otherwise never have interested them One can check out this article source.
While the chip shortage has created some serious headaches for buyers, especially those who know exactly what they want, it has also created an opportunity for dealerships that are struggling to keep certain high-demand vehicles in stock. Dealerships can reach out to customers with alternatives, such as purchasing similar makes and models or exploring options for buying used cars from the same line but different model years. Drivers who can’t wait to replace or upgrade their rides will usually be open to considering a wider range of alternatives.
Change With the Times
A company such as VinSolutions is an excellent resource for dealerships that need help making the transition to digital advertising. Dealerships that want to remain competitive should be investigating options for how to change their business models and marketing strategies in response now.
The global chip shortage will eventually end. Both new and used cars will become plentiful enough that drivers will be able to go back to their previous brand preferences. However, the switch to online research and, in extreme cases, online car purchases, is here to stay.