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How Auto Dealers Are Preparing for the Future

cars inside dealership

In the constantly changing automotive industry, the ability to adapt quickly has continually proven to be critical to a dealer’s success.

Amid ongoing challenges surrounding affordability and diminished customer loyalty, rapid digitalization and changing consumer buying behaviors are offering dealers new opportunities to create future success.

To make the most of their available opportunities ahead, dealers need to embrace changing industry trends and adapt their sales and marketing processes to meet new consumer demands to deliver the experience buyers want.

In this blog post, we share three ways dealerships of the future are already thinking ahead and preparing for success, including:

  • Developing sustainable success
  • Embracing electrification
  • Exploring new conquest opportunities

1. Develop Sustainable Success

While dealership inventory levels are slowly recovering, rising interest rates and larger economic headwinds could negatively weigh vehicle sales headed into 2024.

To combat these trends, it’s important dealers focus on creating sustainable success by increasing profitability across the dealership. This includes cultivating a profitable, homegrown pre-owned inventory.

What is homegrown inventory?

Your homegrown inventory is vehicles that started as new sales, returned for regular service and maintenance, were eventually traded-in, reconditioned and later sold as pre-owned vehicles.

This process not only supports a healthy, high-quality pre-owned vehicle inventory, it also offers dealers numerous opportunities to drive profitability throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle, starting with that first new vehicle sale.

This kind of strategy is ultimately dependent on delivering an exceptional customer experience – both online and in-person – to engage prospective customers and to keep them coming back after that initial sale. To support your dealership’s homegrown strategy, take a data-driven approach and personalize the customer experience every step of the way, starting from their very first marketing touchpoint through behavior prediction technology.

How Dealership Marketing Tools Support Sustainable Success

Using dealership marketing tools powered by predictive analytics, dealers can set the tone for an exceptional customer experience by reaching customers at the right time and in the right format.

These tools enable dealers to offer personalized messaging across channels that inspire customers to take action before they even enter the buying journey. This benefits a dealer’s bottom line in numerous ways, starting with converting prospects more efficiently at a higher ROI.

2. Embrace Electrification

According to S&P Global Mobility, by 2030, EVs are set to represent over 25% of new passenger car sales, up from just 4.2% in 2020. Additionally, the EV market is projected to reach $70.1 billion in 2023 – rising to an expected $161.6 billion by 2028.

As the automotive industry continues to change, it’s crucial that dealership staff are well-equipped to cater to a new kind of consumer. That means investing in robust EV training for sales, service, the BDC, and beyond is becoming almost mandatory.

How to Prepare for Future EV Sales

Staff who know the ins and outs of EVs are an invaluable resource to shoppers, giving confidence and making the transition to electric vehicles simpler. Growing a team of EV experts at your dealership means forging stronger connections with consumers and positioning themselves as trusted guides in an electrified world.

It’s also important dealers assess how their online and in-person sales experience will need to evolve alongside changing buying behaviors and consumer needs. This includes updates to your showroom, such as displaying your EV portfolio or available charging solutions, ensuring online vehicle descriptions speak to relevant selling points or offering online vehicle configuration options.

Remember: Investing in new technologies that provide value to EV buyers early in their buying journey helps build trust from the start, setting the stage for an excellent customer experience – and customer loyalty.

Download the Whitepaper: 4 Ways for Dealers to Embrace an Electric Future

3. Explore New Conquest Opportunities

Diminishing brand loyalty is presenting new and future opportunities to dealers to conquest customers who possibly wouldn’t have shopped their brand or rooftop in the past.

But regardless of whether they’re from a rival brand, a customer who purchased from the same OEM a few towns over, or even your dealership’s service-not-sold portfolio, conquesting customers in today’s hyper-competitive market requires dealers to take a data-driven approach.

How to Take a Data-Driven Approach to Conquest Marketing

Dealership marketing tools powered by predictive analytics efficiently and effectively analyze their entire local market to automatically identify their highest quality conquest opportunities.

By utilizing behavior-predicting technology, dealers can eliminate the time-consuming task of weeding through leads by automatically analyzing data from their CRM, DMS, and sales platform to identify prospects who will likely be ready to purchase soon.

These tools also empower dealers to make a great first impression by creating targeted messaging that taps into each prospective buyer’s unique wants and needs. By nurturing them through the buying journey dealerships can win these customers over from the competition.

With this type of data-driven approach, dealers who leverage Mastermind’s Market Conquest feature gain up to 15 incremental new conquest sales a month.

Get the Guide: 3 Tips to Grow Your Portfolio with Conquest Marketing

While the automotive retail industry has continued to change, one thing has remained constant: Dealers need to evolve to achieve sustainable success. Adapting to the electrification wave, capitalizing on the power of data-driven marketing, and exploring new conquest opportunities are not just trends but necessities in today’s market.

As consumers’ preferences shift and technology advances, the dealerships that prioritize customer experience and embrace innovative solutions will be the ones that position themselves at the forefront of the industry.

Want to learn how Mastermind can empower your dealership to prepare for future auto sales and generate sustainable success? Request a free demo.