April 14, 1902 was the founding date of J.C. Penney Company. In 1971 the company had revenues of $5 Billion (equivalent to $31.6 Billion in 2020) with 2,053 stores. On May 15, 2020 J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced there would be hundreds of stores closing. Of course the coronavirus pandemic is partially to blame for the speed of this filing but it has been coming for over a decade.
Convenience, Selection, Honesty & Transparency are key factors in where a shopper chooses to buy in today’s marketplaces. Cars are NOT as easy to purchase online as clothes, books or laundry detergent but everyday consumers are getting more comfortable with the idea of it. Dealers have a unique advantage in having great brick & mortar storefronts to support a digital retailing machine. You will need buy-in from all employees and ensure processes are seamless for online & in-store shoppers/buyers BUT you CAN build a powerhouse digital retailing machine.
Giving your online shoppers a convenient & transparent online shopping experience is just 1 step in getting ahead of the curve. The coronavirus pandemic has forced all businesses to look at how they operate differently if they want to continue to be successful.
J.C. Penney realized & integrated brick & mortar with online retailing to late and have been in catch up mode for years. Start making changes today that ensure your customers have a seamless experience, online & in-store.
- At Home Test Drives
- Bring the vehicle to your customers home. If you’ve already merchandised your vehicle 100% transparently utilizing services such as our Spin360 then this will simply seal the deal!
- At Home or At Work oil changes / simple vehicle maintenance
- Companies such as Spiffy are gaining market share because they are providing a convenience for customers.
- Get your Messaging across! You should be letting online shoppers know what you have to offer. A simple way to do this is to include it on your branding of each vehicle photograph, we call it a Dynamic overlay
Convenience: Make it clear to your online shoppers the process is geared & centered around being convenient for THEM [Make sure you’ve done everything you can to provide seamless customer experiences].
Selection: You should be listing ALL of your vehicles, ALL of your services & ALL of your parts/products. The online shopper is just a click away from finding it elsewhere at another franchised dealer that decided to list/highlight that particular service or vehicle that you had but neglected to properly merchandise or list online.
Honesty & Transparency: Online shoppers can easily tell when a car dealer is not putting the time or effort into the merchandising of a vehicle. The days of listing vehicles with minimum photos, generic descriptions & B.S. pricing just to generate phone calls are over! We’ve seen multiple companies such as Vroom and CarVana do nothing more than merchandise vehicles honestly & transparently and gain market share. Your Used or New car manager may not have the time to do this for hundreds of vehicles & that’s where companies like CarData, Inc. come into play ensuring your vehicles get the merchandising attention they deserve with services like Spin360