It’s been a year of lockdown trends – from the fun (whisked coffee) to the bizarre (TikTok dances), and the downright mystifying (Tiger King).

But while some habits are, quite frankly, best left in lockdown, the pandemic has also given us an unexpected opportunity to make positive changes to our lives.

It’s not just our personal lives where we’re seeing major changes, though – companies across the globe have had to adapt and find new ways of working. So, now that dealerships have reopened and we’re closer to ‘normality’, what lockdown ‘habits’ are they keeping?

 

1. Giving your customers the option to go digital!

The pandemic has brought about permanent changes in how customers like to shop, and it’s not just bulk-ordering loo roll – customers are also purchasing ‘high ticket’ items, such as cars, using digital means.

Dealers are adapting by taking the things that served them well in lockdown and making them a more permanent fixture! For example, 80% of dealers told us that ‘click and collect’ will remain a feature of their business. What’s more – a recent stat shows that, by leveraging digital sales, dealers can reduce the transaction time taken to sell a vehicle by a whopping 75%.

 

2. Focusing on what’s important to drivers

The COVID-19 crisis has made us focus on what’s really important. As such, the ‘value’ of having a car has shifted. Right now, owning a car means ‘freedom’ – whether it’s travelling for a holiday in the UK, seeing loved ones who live far away, or even getting back on the school run after months of home-schooling.

Consumers are becoming more drawn towards brands that reflect their lifestyle – so there’s a huge opportunity for dealers to promote the lifestyle, safety and overall well-being when selling cars or aftersales services.

 

3. Getting involved with the local community

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean holding weekly Zoom quizzes for your customers! During the COVID-19 crisis, dealers stepped up to support their local communities – from staying open for key workers to fundraising for the NHS or even offering free vehicle health checks. Many dealers are keeping this positivity going – focusing on customers and their lives, rather than the ‘hard sell’.

 

4. Having a digital presence

Love it or loathe it, social media has been vital over the last year – helping us keep in touch with our loved ones. What’s more, consumers love to interact with brands on social media, and many dealers are becoming more active. Going forward, the benefits of social media for dealers are clear to see. It’s important to remember that customers expect a same-day response from brands on social media – 40% of consumers require brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media. Don’t miss out!

 

 5. Mixing up your stock sources

Choice is a good thing – and not just when browsing Netflix in lockdown! Now that showrooms have reopened, mixing up stock sources is the smart choice – especially during a time of increased competition for quality used stock. 38% of dealers have increased their use of digital auctions over the past 12 months, and adopting this blended approach is helping them access the best stock. Are you one of the 38%, or were you using digital auctions before the global crisis?


A clean slate

We humans are often creatures of habit, but the pandemic has led many of us to adapt and be flexible – and what’s more, we’re now actively embracing many of these lifestyle changes!

Dealers are taking the learnings from the past 12 months or so – particularly from the digital world – to widen their sales nets, streamline their dealership operations and improve the overall customer journey.

So, which of the above habits have you adopted over the last year – and, most importantly, are they going to stick around? We’d love to know, so drop us a line on social media!

At Dealer Auction, we might not be the kings/queens of TikTok, but we don’t miss a beat when it comes to helping you find the right stock for your dealership. We’re ready when you are.

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