Vehicle buyers are delaying purchases at historic levels in recent years, as global supply chain issues have caused vehicle prices to skyrocket. Nearly half of buyers intended to delay purchases in a recent survey, most saying they’d wait 3-12 months. This delay in purchasing decisions presents a challenge for dealerships: how can you keep customers engaged in the meantime, so that when they’re finally ready to buy, they come to your dealership first?

This car buying delay is like a one-two punch to car dealership revenue. Not only are there fewer people purchasing new cars, but the service lane may soon suffer too. As vehicles age, owners are less likely to service them at the dealership. With fewer new car purchases, the vehicles already on the road are aging, so service revenue will continue to decline.

But let’s not get pessimistic about this. Buyers won’t wait forever, and you will want to be right there when they’re ready. So how do you make sure to get the sale when the time comes? Here are some options to consider.

Use our interactive ROI calculator to see the estimated revenue increase DriveSure can generate for your dealership.

Create a Customer Portal

A customer portal is an easy way for customers to stay up to date on your inventory without the hassle of visiting your dealership. Creating a customer portal gives customers access to real-time inventory data, look at their options for trade-ins and financing, and allows them to find cars that fit their budget. Additionally, customers can schedule test drives via the customer portal


Promote Your More Affordable Models, Like Smaller Vehicles

Faced with higher vehicle prices (that don’t seem to be dropping anytime soon), many potential car buyers are reconsidering their purchase decisions and opting for smaller, more affordable vehicles instead. If you have any smaller vehicles in your inventory (e.g., compact cars, subcompacts, etc.), be sure to promote them more heavily to potential buyers who may be on a budget.

You can use your marketing channels to highlight the features and benefits of these more affordable vehicles, and emphasize how they’re a great option for budget-conscious shoppers.

Promote More Flexible Payment Options

Large purchases become a lot easier when monthly payments are made less painful, especially when everything else is becoming more expensive lately. When you lower the monthly payment requirements (even if only for the first 6 months), it can make buying an expensive car feel cheaper, and make it easier to work the purchase into a tight budget.

You can also consider offering incentives like 0% financing to sweeten the deal and increase the likelihood that potential buyers will purchase from your dealership when they’re ready.

Stay Connected with Buyers Through Email Marketing

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach potential car buyers, so be sure to have a campaign in place that keeps your customers engaged. Email campaigns should target people who are interested in purchasing a vehicle but may not be ready just yet — this will help keep them informed about your latest deals and inventory changes as they happen, which can increase the likelihood that they’ll buy from you when they’re ready.

Try sending emails every 2 weeks or monthly, depending on how active you think your audience is in their car buying journey. You can also segment your list based on car buyer behavior so you’re only sending relevant information to each individual contact (e.g., new leads versus existing customers).

Increase Engagement Through Social Media

Following with the last point, try to engage more with potential customers on social media. Post engaging content on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to respond to comments. This is a long-term strategy because many people in your audience won’t be ready to buy, but you’re still able to build a better relationship with them and stay top-of-mind so you’re the first dealership they think of when the time comes.

As with email marketing, it’s important to post regularly (at least once per week) and mix up the types of content you share (e.g., photos, videos, articles, polls, etc.) to avoid becoming stale or boring for your audience. Also, make sure to use relevant hashtags where appropriate, and post at times when your target audience is most active online — this will help increase the reach of your posts and get them in front of more potential customers.

Provide a Trade-In Estimate

A trade-in estimate is a great way to engage with potential car buyers who may not be ready to purchase a vehicle but are interested in getting an idea of what their current vehicle is worth. By providing a trade-in estimate, you can help shoppers budget for their new vehicle purchase and get them one step closer to making a decision. You can promote your trade-in estimate through all your usual marketing channels — just make sure to include a clear call-to-action (CTA) so potential buyers know how to get started.

Use Value-Adding Services Like DriveSure

Drivers are twice as likely to purchase their next vehicle from dealerships who they’ve received service from in the past 12 months. That means you should take extra steps to make sure drivers are coming back to you for all their service needs throughout the year.

DriveSure empowers new car dealerships to offer unique suite of renewable benefits with every qualifying service visit, setting you apart from the competition, and building long-term relationships with your customers. This includes valuable perks like Digital Roadside Assistance.

These benefits make it easy to entice future car buyers, giving you the chance to win them over with superior vehicle service, from routine maintenance to unplanned repairs. It gives you the chance to earn their trust, so when the time comes to buy their next car, your dealership becomes the first place they think of.

Calculate DriveSure's Impact on Your Dealership

Use our interactive ROI calculator to see the estimated revenue increase DriveSure can generate for your dealership.

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