It’s no exaggeration to say that, in the last few years, the way we buy and sell cars has changed forever. Contending with supply chain issues and shortages – along with a global pandemic – automotive dealerships are undergoing a revolution when it comes to size, location, and function.
Even the automotive industry hasn’t dodged the online shopping revolution, with new consumer habits changing the way people buy cars. By providing omni-channel experiences and digitally enhanced retail formats, dealerships are putting digital solutions in the driving seat to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the industry.
The Changing Role of Dealerships
The way people buy cars has evolved. Whereas in the past it would have been unthinkable to buy a vehicle without visiting various dealerships, comparing different models and taking them out for a test drive, buyers are increasingly open to researching and buying a car they’ve not seen in the flesh.
Whilst Informative websites and forums give buyers a wealth of information from the comfort of their sofa, digital vehicle purchases are increasing vehicle pricing transparency. This makes it easier for consumers to make product comparisons, ultimately limiting the ability of dealers to influence customers’ buying behaviour
As a reaction to this shifting consumer behaviour, as well as persisting supply chain issues and shortages, showrooms are shrinking. Once sprawling out-of-town dealerships with every vehicle model on the forecourt, automotive brands are increasingly eyeing up city-centre retail spaces for their showrooms.
In fact, smaller inventories have got a lot of automotive brands re-thinking how much brick and mortar space they really need to effectively sell cars.
Some dealerships have experimented with selling cars online and using dealerships purely as delivery and service centres. In 2021, Volvo announced that all of its pure electric models would be available to buy exclusively online. Less radically, many dealerships are embracing a rise in omni-channel shopping experiences to seamlessly integrate online and off-line branding and sales.
Whilst physical dealerships are far from obsolete, automotive brands are realising that – to stay competitive – they need to harness the power of digital, not just in their sales processes but also in their showrooms.
Driving Sales with Digital Signage
As dealerships become smaller, many are turning to digitally enhanced retail formats. Not only does this give customers a smoother buying experience, but it helps automotive brands tell their stories and build brand identity through high-impact visuals.
When it comes to informing customers, digital signage can provide detailed information and 360° visuals for a dealerships’ complete range of models. With information about features, capabilities and specs of each car model, buyers can make informed decisions – even when their desired car isn’t on the forecourt.
Going a step further, digital signage can be used to create a more engaging and interactive shopping experience for customers. For example, some car showrooms use touchscreens and interactive features to allow customers to explore specific car models. Importantly, this can help dealerships upsell by offering buyers a side-by-side comparison of various specs and added features.
Equally, these interactive kiosks can be used as a self-service hub for customers who prefer to search for the answers to common questions. This will also help your sales representatives focus on the customers who are closer to making purchasing decisions.
Digital signage also plays a huge part in the all-important aesthetic of a dealership. For many people, buying a new car is a life milestone – perhaps even one they’ve been dreaming of for years. Digital signage plays a huge part in making a car showroom feel sleek and modern, adding to the overall experience for the buyer.
Equally, digital screens can show premium videos that allow customers to see the latest models in action. After all, cars are ultimately made to be driven. When it comes to selling cars, there’s nothing more powerful than seeing a model gliding through spectacular scenery. And for a real visual impact? Dealerships can use video walls in showrooms to create an immediate wow factor.
Finally, by placing stunning visuals and animation in a dealerships’ waiting area, it’s possible to keep customers entertained whilst they wait for a salesperson to become available – all whilst giving them branding or promotional messages that make them all the more likely to lock in a purchase.
It’s clear that, in a rapidly evolving automotive industry, digital signage is a wise investment for dealerships. Unlike static signs, digital signage offers endless opportunities for updated content that rapidly adapts to new models, promotions and trends. It allows showrooms with even limited forecourt space to maximise their physical presence whilst making the car-buying process a smooth and streamlined ride.
From Honda to Aston Martin, Merson Group proudly works with some of the most recognisable automotive brands in the world. As we design and install signage at car dealerships across the UK, we lead with innovation and sustainability whilst ensuring we preserve the unique brand identity of each manufacturer.
As industry-leaders in digital signage, we can help your dealership keep pace with competitors through high-impact digital solutions. Whether you want to add a visual wow-factor or interactive information kiosks, we are experts in implementing bespoke digital solutions all the way from strategy and design through to installation and maintenance.
Want to envision how your dealership could look with the help of Merson? Book a virtual reality demo at email@example.com today!
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