12-Point Planning Checklist for 2022 Inventory Shortages

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Don't Stop Communicating Regardless of a dealer's current inventory level, it's critical to not stop communicating with your customers. For dealers experiencing ongoing inventory shortages, find a reason to stay in contact with your audience, including sharing replacement and acquisition offers. Pre-orders offer another natural opportunity to engage buyers returning to the market. Rather than trying to hard- sell a customer on a vehicle that doesn't fit their needs (and potentially impacting dealership loyalty and CSI scores), pre-orders allow customers to get the vehicle they actually want – when they need it. 12-Point Planning Checklist for 2022 Inventory Shortages According to recent forecasts from IHS Markit, inventory constraints due to the chip shortage are likely to extend through Q1 2022. However, some microchip producers have cautioned the shortage could last until 2023. Despite these shortages, the industry is still in active recovery. North American sales through June 2021 grew by 31% year-over-year. IHS Markit Between ongoing market changes and soaring customer demands, it's now more important than ever dealers proactively plan ahead to overcome 2022 inventory challenges and secure their own future success. When communicating with customers: • Engage buyers before they start shopping around, mapping them to vehicles already in your inventory or in-bound vehicles scheduled to arrive before the customer will need it. • Build trust with buyers with personalized and informational messaging related to common concerns, including offering solutions to trade-ins, ordering or F&I assistance. • Ensure your sales and BDC teams are up-to-date on the vehicles in your inventory, any inbound deliveries and if any pre-sale options are available to speak confidently and set reasonable expectations. Global light vehicle production impacts are now expected to last well into 2022. IHS Markit Defending Your Customer Base Inventory shortages, aggressive offers from competitors and expanded online retailing options are prompting even the most loyal buyers to consider shopping around and switching brands. With customer loyalty no longer a guarantee, dealers need to focus on proactively promoting retention by keeping their customers engaged. To defend your customer base: • Engage loyal customers before they return to the market and before they're targeted by the competition by staying in contact with them after the initial sale. • Leverage dealership marketing tools to regularly communicate with loyalty customers, including tailored messages and incentives to retain their business. • Task a team to be responsible for communicating regularly with loyalty buyers, paving the path for customers to return to your store and purchase their next vehicle with you – whenever that may be.

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