Wednesday, 15 July 2020 22:18

More Evidence of Dealers Using Technology to Keep Retail Operations Going Amid COVID-19

Written by Auto Remarketing staff


The number of potential buyers simply walking through the showroom doors already was declining even before the coronavirus pandemic arrived.

Now dealers are using as many tools as possible---especially technology-powered solutions---to keep their retail operations going.


“We find that when we jump in and chat with our guests online, the rapport we build helps us increase our chances of selling them a vehicle,” said Rick Campbell of the Vann York Auto Group in a news release about Gubagoo’s Virtual Retailing, which allows dealers to sell vehicles online, and Gubagoo’s ChatSmart, which facilitates conversations with customers on dealers’ websites.


“Without automation, we would never have been able to maintain or exceed our pre COVID-19 performance,” said Matthew Muhlenkort, SEM analyst for the Walser Automotive Group in another news release about Acquire, a complete marketing automation platform designed for dealers offered by AutoLeadStar.


Gubagoo published data on July 14 showing the continued increase of online retail and messaging tools, even as some dealerships return to full operations.


While the use of digital tools during widespread closures increased dramatically, Gubagoo insisted that more notable is that the use of these tools continues to increase, even as some communities across the country re-open.


In the past four weeks, Gubagoo said Virtual Retailing use has increased by 39% nationwide, and messaging has increased an additional 17% from the historic levels seen during the height of the pandemic.


“As progressive dealers have adopted Virtual Retailing, customers are showing the automotive community that it is the experience they have always wanted,” Gubagoo CEO Brad Title said. “When we actively engage and serve the customer online, they are far more likely to purchase from the dealership.”


Dealers who staff their online showrooms, even as they bring staff back into their physical showrooms, are seeing strong results with online sales.


Tommy Coppola, general manager at Advantage Toyota Valley Stream in New York, did just that when he implemented Gubagoo’s Virtual Retailing.


“Customers are really engaged with us on the Virtual Retailing platform,” Coppola said. “It is simple for them to use, and we can seamlessly desk a deal in real time. We love it, our customers love it, and it is accelerating our sales as business opens up.”


Eastern Shore Toyota, located in Daphne, AL, switched to Gubagoo from a digital retailing vendor that did not integrate customer messaging, making the change right as the pandemic was closing down operations. The store now is having tremendous success with online sales, according to Gubagoo.


“We have been absolutely delighted with our switch to Gubagoo as our digital retailing platform,” said Emily Brock, internet manager for Eastern Shore Toyota. “Our sales opportunities increased five times. More than 100 vehicles were sold online in 30 days.”

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