A Hybrid Sales Model is a Top Car Buying Trend — You Ready?

how to create a hybrid sales model

New research has exciting news for consumers: 2024 may be a buyer’s market. According to a report by Cox Automotive, interest rates and prices are expected to decrease, making vehicles more affordable for car shoppers. Experts agree this shift will happen as car inventories increase, leading to greater financial incentives. Of course, this shake-up may not excite auto dealers, who enjoyed a four-year-long seller’s market — but a return to normalcy isn’t bad news.

Affordability will help attract more potential customers, given the increased options and better deals that will be available. The important question, though, is whether dealerships are ready to help car buyers in 2024.

Shopping for vehicles doesn’t look like it did ten or even five years ago. Today, consumers want a hybrid sales model combining online tools and great in-person experiences. With this being a top car buying trend influencing the auto market, your dealership needs to make sure it’s prepared if it wants to appeal to consumers and increase profits.

A Car Buying Trend to Implement  

Not every fad is worth acting on — many car buying trends come and go with the wind. But if there’s one that’s likely to stay, it’s the role digital tools are playing in the car buying process. Multiple stats showcase just how prevalent online tools are to consumers who are shopping for vehicles. For example, below are several stats you should know. 

These stats are just the tip of the iceberg. However, they already make it clear that providing tools online is just as important as offering great in-person experiences. Dealerships can no longer afford to rely solely on in-person conversations to move the need forward. A hybrid sales model is key to attracting and satisfying today’s car buyers. 

Transitioning to a Hybrid Sales Model

Implementing a hybrid sales model may not be the easiest, depending on your team and the digital tools you’re using. But here’s the good news: it pays off to push past the obstacles to create a hybrid sales approach. 

A 2023 study suggests that dealerships using digital retailing tools see results. Specifically, 90% of auto dealers who’ve implemented digital retailing tech have experienced positive benefits in at least one area of their business. The study found that 70% of dealers believed customer relationships, customer experience and satisfaction, employee workflows, time spent completing deals, ease of completing deals, and staff efficiency were all areas within their companies that improved significantly. 

If you’re one of the auto dealers who’s already implemented digital retailing tools, you’ve probably noticed improvements at your company as well. In that case, this success should encourage you to continue providing a hybrid sales journey. On the other hand, however, it should also encourage you to find ways to refine your hybrid sales model to get even better results. Need an idea about where to start? Consider incorporating digital tools into your post-sale process. 

provide car buyers digital tools by creating a hybrid sales model.

The Need for Digital Tools Post-Transaction

Currently, many auto dealers provide digital tools for consumers’ pre-sale and vehicle research steps, which makes sense. As research has shown, car buyers use online resources before ever stepping foot onto a dealership’s lot. However, to truly have a successful hybrid sales model, digital tools need to be available post-transaction. 

Think about it. How are you going to provide car buyers’ license plates, tags, titles, and vehicle registrations? Will you fill out paperwork with customers and sit on the phone with the DMV to get everything squared away? Since this is the normal way of getting car buyers’ license plates, titles, tags, and vehicle registrations, your answer is probably “yes.” But today, consumers want digital tools available from the beginning to the end of their purchasing process. 

Getting tons of DMV paperwork out at the final steps won’t cut it. That means your salespeople need to have innovative tech available when interacting with consumers on DMV related matters. However, how can you make your post-sale process more digital? That’s where private DMV service companies — like us —come in.

Continuing the Hybrid Model With Expert Guidance

At Barry Risk Management, we offer an online platform for auto dealerships that want to provide car buyers’ license plates, tags, titles, and vehicle registrations digitally. All you have to do is provide information through our online platform, and then our team of experts will work with the DMV to get your car buyers what they need quickly. 

Also, it doesn’t matter what state your dealership is in. Our team has more than 30 years of experience in the DMV industry and knows what to do in each state to get consumers what they need. 

So, if you want to ensure you have a hybrid sales model before and after a transaction, implement digital tools like our online platform for DMV services. Doing so will allow you to quicken, streamline, and innovate the post-transaction process to give car buyers a hybrid sales model from beginning to end.

For an online platform to quickly fulfill DMV needs, contact our team at Barry Risk Management at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247).

The Future of the Automotive Industry in 2024

future of automotive industry

In 2023, the automotive industry saw increased car prices, reduced inventory, high interest rates, an ongoing chip shortage, and a bigger desire for used vehicles. But it’s the start of a new year. With it are new possibilities on the horizon.

There are many predictions about the future of the automotive industry in 2024. Some are based on opinions, while others are based on surveys. You may have already read a few ideas, but we’ve compiled some of the best predictions in case you haven’t seen the automotive forecast. For insight into what the future of the automotive industry will look like this year, check out the four predictions below. 

1. Vehicle Supply Will Increase, Helping Consumers

According to Cox Automotive, new-vehicle supply will rise, causing dealerships to offer discounts and more incentives. This prediction is good news for car buyers. The market may finally return to normal. In fact, Cox Automotive thinks there will be three times the number of vehicles available as there was during the chip shortage. 

But for auto dealers, this prediction means transaction prices for new cars will likely decline. If dealerships offer more incentives and discounts, transaction prices won’t be as high as they were in 2023. However, they won’t be significantly low since the incentives are unlikely to exceed 10% of transaction prices, which was prevalent in 2019. 

Also, auto dealers can expect sales to increase because car buyers will be attracted to the return to normalcy as well as the discounts and incentives. Admittedly, the sales increase will be small, but it’s better than nothing. The new-vehicle market will increase by less than 2%, reaching $15.7 million in sales. 

Used vehicles will also get more attention from consumers, but the growth will be minimal. Cox Automotive thinks this particular market will grow by less than 1%, with dealerships selling 36.2 million used vehicles in 2024. Around 19.2 million of those vehicles are predicted to sell through retail channels. 

2. Cybersecurity Will Become a Legal Requirement 

In today’s digital world, cybersecurity is a popular topic in every industry. In 2024, however, the automotive market will put more attention towards beefing up its cybersecurity. Out of 200 c-suite executives recently surveyed, 64% believe the industry’s supply chain is vulnerable to a cyberattack. Forbes predicts the market will try thwarting attacks by consolidating computer networks into “super-computers owned, monitored, and maintained by the car manufacturers.” But what’s sure to make a difference, according to Wards Auto, is the UN Regulation No. 155 on cybersecurity. 

In July 2024, the regulation will require the entire automotive value chain to have a cybersecurity management system if they want to participate in the EU’s car-buying market. That means everyone from sub-suppliers to suppliers to OEMs must implement a system that protects them in the digital landscape. This regulation will change the automotive industry significantly. 

Currently, the market uses another framework to build a secure product, but they’re not required to do so. The framework is simply a standard, not a legal demand. But Regulation No. 155 changes things; it’s a non-negotiable for automakers and applies to software, IP components, and any relevant system. Fortunately, the auto industry can prepare for the new regulation by conducting a threat analysis and risk assessment. 

3. Online Car Buying Will Include Amazon

Not only is Amazonification shifting the auto industry, but Amazon’s recent partnership with Hyundai is shifting the market, too. In 2023, the online retail giant and automaker became official partners to bring Hyundai vehicles to Amazon. Now, Hyundai dealerships can meet potential customers at the biggest online marketplace in the world. 

The partnership is the first of its kind. No other dealership offers its customers this convenient option, so it’s bound to attract some car shoppers. However, the program will start small. It’ll only include 18 Hyundai dealerships, but a more extensive rollout will likely happen in the second half of 2024. Customers who buy from a participating dealership can either have their vehicle delivered or pick it up on the lot. 

Auto dealers everywhere should pay attention to how this partnership and car sales unfold. With 163 million U.S. consumers subscribed to Amazon Prime and many product searches starting on Amazon, the online retailer could be an untapped market for other dealerships. As an article on CBT News puts it, “a third of all new car sales could originate on Amazon.com” in a few years. 

4. Convenience Will Reign Post-Transaction

One of the things consumers want from dealerships is convenience. This is why things like online car buying and partnerships between Amazon and Hyundai exist. S&P Global Mobility even suggests that 64% of U.S. car shoppers bought a vehicle online in 2020 because of convenience. The pandemic is likely a reason for the high percentage, but its effects have remained. 

People want an easy car-buying process every step of the way. From researching to test driving to financing, and finally, to legally owning a vehicle, consumers desire a straightforward route. However, the most difficult phase is the last one. Legally owning a vehicle is riddled with long wait times and paperwork because the post-transaction process has relied on outdated methods. Thankfully, in 2024, this will change. 

In an effort to improve the last step, dealerships will increasingly look to private DMV services companies. These businesses provide DMV services so that sales teams don’t have to go through the DMV, which suffers from long wait times. At Barry Risk Management, we’re one of the best private DMV services companies. We help dealers all across the U.S. get their customers’ tags, titles, license plates, and registration. We also do it quickly because our online platform makes it easy to communicate and gather the appropriate documents to move things along. 

More dealers will start to utilize private DMV services companies to increase their sales team’s productivity and offer the convenience car buyers seek. Those who start working with DMV services companies at the beginning of the year will also have a competitive advantage over dealers down the street and in their state. 

The Automotive Forecast Predicts Sunshine

In general, the future of the automotive industry in 2024 looks promising. The new and used car markets will likely grow, even if it’s slow. Automakers will also enhance their cybersecurity if they want to participate in the EU car market. Additionally, dealers may have the opportunity to sell their vehicles on the biggest online marketplace. And they’ll score brownie points as they offer convenience at every stage of the car-buying process, including the post-transaction phase. With all these positives, automakers and dealers should look at the future with optimism.  

To start 2024 off strong, call our team at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247) to learn how to offer your customers more convenience.

Why Auto Dealers Should Use DMV Technology

benefits of DMV technology

The customer experience matters, regardless of the industry you’re in. Ensuring consumers have an efficient, simple, and personalized encounter with your dealership is key to success and getting repeat buyers and referrals. However, providing a top-tier customer experience isn’t easy. 

You need the right tools in place to give consumers what they want — and one of the best tools to consider getting is DMV technology. Having this at your auto dealership will not only enhance your customers’ lives and experience but also make your sales team’s job easier. If you’re wondering how that’s possible, don’t worry. The answer lies within the expectations consumers have for their customer experience. 

Consumers’ Ideal Customer Experience 

Consumers want their interactions with brands to look a specific way. According to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, there are five things consumers believe lead to the best experience. Those five things include the following:

  • A quick response to complaints and inquiries (47%)
  • A simple, efficient purchasing process (46%)
  • The opportunity to track orders in real-time (34%)
  • Clear and simple product information across all channels (25%)
  • The ability to interact with a brand on multiple platforms (22%)

All of these expectations can be met, with the exception of tracking orders in real-time. That preference doesn’t align with auto dealerships, but the others do without a doubt. For example, you can offer a quick response to complaints and inquiries by implementing a chatbot. You can also provide clear and simple product information for your vehicles by hiring an exceptional copywriter. Additionally, you can interact with consumers on more platforms by not only creating social media accounts but also hiring someone to manage them.

The only customer experience expectation that requires a little more creativity to fulfill is the second one, which is having a simple, efficient purchasing process. Giving this to consumers will require your auto dealership to provide innovative technology and, specifically, DMV technology, which is often overlooked.  

Why DMV Technology is Beneficial 

There are multiple types of DMV technology, but the one that helps simplify and speed up the purchasing process is called an advanced online DMV platform. This tool can help auto dealerships provide car buyers with the necessary documents to quickly finalize a purchase. Specifically, auto dealers can use an advanced online DMV platform to deliver the following: 

  1. Vehicle registration: With this document, your car buyers can legally drive on public roads and connect their vehicle to themselves and their state. 
  2. License plates:  All of your customers need license plates to drive their cars legally and ensure their vehicle is identifiable. 
  3. Vehicle titles: This document allows your customers to prove they own their vehicles so that there’s no confusion about possession. 

Traditionally, dealerships have provided these items by speaking with their local DMV, gathering the needed paperwork, filling out documents, and waiting for their customers to receive everything they need. However, an advanced online DMV platform eliminates the local DMV to make the car buying process easier and faster. 

Instead of speaking with a local DMV representative, the sales team at an auto dealership can use an advanced online DMV platform — which some private DMV services companies offer — to request the documents a customer needs. After providing a little bit of information about the customer, the private DMV services company will collect the items and mail them to the car buyer. 

There’s no need to speak with a local DMV, and customers don’t need to do anything, either. The private DMV services company handles everything once a request is submitted. It’s that simple — and that’s exactly what consumers want in their purchasing process. 

However, keep in mind that working with a good DMV services company will increase customers’ likelihood of receiving their vehicle registration, license plates, and titles within days. That’s primarily because a good business that offers this DMV technology will have a knowledgeable team that keeps up with evolving DMV requirements across the U.S. and knows which paperwork to complete to get certain documents in each state. 

How to Get DMV Technology 

If you’re ready to implement an advanced DMV online platform to create a simple, efficient purchasing process, all you need to do is find the right private DMV services company. Fortunately, you don’t have to look far. 

At Barry Risk Management, we offer the DMV technology you need. Through our advanced online DMV platform, you can submit a request to get your customers’ titles, vehicle registration, and license plates. Then, we’ll mail it to them within days. It doesn’t matter what state your dealership is in. Our team has over 30 years of experience in the DMV industry and knows what each state requires to get the items your car buyers need. 

So, contact us to take care of the last half of your customers’ car buying process. We’ll ensure it’s simple and efficient so that you deliver the consumer experience people expect. 

To learn more, call us at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247), and one of our representatives at Barry Risk Management will help you. 

Competitive Differentiation: How Auto Dealers Can Stand Out

competitive differentiator

A recent survey by Cars.com identified the top challenges that dealerships are facing in 2023, and one of them is competitive differentiation. The survey garnered responses from 120 auto dealers in the CARS Drivers Seat Community, an exclusive network by Cars.com. Based on their responses, a whopping 80 percent of auto dealers said differentiating from competitors is their number three pain point. 

If you’re experiencing the same problem at your auto dealership, the good news is there are ways to achieve competitive differentiation. However, before learning about the best tactics, it’s worth doing a deeper dive into competitive differentiation so that you know the ins and outs of what you’re trying to accomplish. 

What is Competitive Differentiation?

Competitive differentiation can be defined as the unique factors that set your auto dealership apart from other brands. To achieve it, you must strategically position your business so that it differs from other companies—but that positioning needs to keep car buyers in mind. 

Differentiation is based on what consumers value. That means you can choose almost any element to distinguish your auto dealership from others; the element just needs to be valuable to shoppers. Otherwise, it won’t matter. For example, car buyers won’t care if your indoor dealership has the best floors, lighting, paint colors, and couches, but they will care if your vehicles are cheaper or if your sales transaction is quicker than competing brands. 

Why is Competitive Differentiation Important?

The automotive market is like many others: it’s crowded and full of competition. Consumers have various options to choose from when shopping for a car. In most areas, they can walk onto a street and pass five different dealerships on one block, and the one offering something different is the one they’ll visit. That’s why competitive differentiation is so important. It can literally make the difference in whether car buyers browse your lot or the one next door. 

Five Categories of Differentiation

Getting car buyers to visit your dealership requires creativity, and your creative methods will vary over time. As shopping behavior and technology change, you’ll need to adjust what differentiates your business. However, what you adjust will typically fall into one of five categories. 

1. Product 

Distinguishing your auto dealership in this category means ensuring your inventory is unique. For example, the design, performance, benefits, and quality of your vehicles may differ from other auto dealerships. 

2. Service  

With service differentiators, the goal is to use creative and unique ways to develop relationships with car buyers. In car sales, every interaction is critical, so offering good service is necessary if you want to stay in business. However, going above and beyond with your service is what will differentiate you from competitors. 

3. Channel  

If you want to differentiate your auto dealership in this category, you’ll need to focus on reaching car buyers in unique ways. For example, maybe your brand doesn’t simply post new inventory on Facebook but also has an engaging TikTok account to attract millennials, the largest generation of new car buyers

4. Price 

This category is straightforward. How you price your inventory can differentiate you from competing auto dealers. If you have more cost-effective prices or better deals (and market them effectively so that consumers know about them), you’ll have an easier time attracting potential customers. 

5. Brand Identity 

When trying to differentiate your brand identity, your success will be determined by how car buyers perceive, recognize, and relate to your auto dealership. If consumers have a more positive association with your brand than they do with others, you’ll have differentiated your business effectively. You should keep in mind, though, that differentiating your brand identity will require good marketing and advertising. 

How to Achieve Competitive Differentiation 

Since there are multiple types of competitive differentiation, you have multiple tactics at your disposal. But if you want to know one of the best ways to differentiate your auto dealership in today’s market, here it is: simplify your sales transaction, a tactic that falls in the “service” category. 

Car buyers already spend days researching and looking for a car. In fact, it’s estimated that it can take several weeks or longer for consumers to find the perfect vehicle for them. Because the car buying process can take so long, you can get on consumers’ good side by making the actual sales transaction quick and easy. 

In the age of Amazonification, where people want things fast and without any hassle, providing a speedy sales transaction can do wonders in differentiating your auto dealership from competitors. And if you don’t believe that, here’s how an article in the Associated Press explained what it feels like for consumers to sit in a dealership completing a sale: “Depending on whom you ask, the time spent completing a deal at the average dealership is between 3.6 hours (J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index) and an eternity (the average shopper).”

For car buyers, the actual sales transaction feels like forever. But if your dealership has all the hallmarks of success and is also known for having quick sales transactions, you will attract more customers. The only question is, how do you truly shorten the transaction? One way is to make the DMV process sweet and painless

Instead of allowing car buyers to wait weeks to get their license plates, titles, tags, and vehicle registration from the DMV, you can provide these necessities within days. All you need to do is use a private DMV services company. These types of organizations provide DMV services, and our team at Barry Risk Management is an example of one. 

With over 30 years of experience in the DMV industry, we help auto dealers around the U.S. give their customers their license plates, titles, tags, and vehicle registration in little to no time. We do this by using an advanced online platform that enables us to respond to dealers’ requests quickly, and our speed ensures car buyers get what they need in a timely manner, shortening the overall sales transaction. This quickness has become a critical competitive differentiator that keeps the auto dealerships we work with ahead of the pack, which is why we want to help you. 

Let us create your competitive differentiation by giving you a shorter sales transaction. Call us at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247) to speak with one of our representatives at Barry Risk Management. 

6 Dealership Technologies to Modernize Your Business

use the best dealership technologies

Innovation hits every industry—and the automotive industry is no different. In recent years, various technologies have popped up to help dealers streamline their sales processes, enhance service operations, and transform the way they sell and maintain vehicles. But not every auto dealer has been quick to adopt technologies to modernize their business. 

Some auto dealerships are stuck in the past, still relying on paper-driven processes and outdated pre- and post-sales methods. While sticking to the norm is comfortable, it’s not beneficial for success. The world is modernizing. The way car buyers prefer to purchase and interact with auto dealers is changing because things are becoming increasingly digital. If companies in the industry want to stay competitive—and in business long term—they must make the necessary shifts. And those shifts begin and end with adopting dealership technologies that will help modernize their auto dealerships

Practical Reasons to Modernize 

There are practical reasons for dealerships to phase out their outdated processes and applications to implement new technologies. Those reasons include the following: 

  1. Streamlines business operations: With innovative technology, auto dealers will have more effective and efficient processes and operations to boost productivity and enhance profitability. 
  2. Enhances user experience: Car buyers are increasingly using digital tools to research and purchase vehicles. Auto dealerships that want to meet and satisfy consumers online can rely on modern technology to deliver an intuitive and seamless experience. 
  3. Boosts collaboration: Paper-driven processes decrease collaboration. Technology can boost it to help employees communicate more effectively and get what they need quickly. This collaboration can also increase productivity and profitability. 
  4. Gives a competitive edge: The dealerships that embrace technology will gain a competitive advantage in the market, primarily because not many auto dealers are relying on innovative tools to enhance employees’ and consumers’ lives. 
  5. Decreases expenses: Because dealership technologies can streamline processes, decrease manual labor, and increase productivity, dealerships can experience great cost savings. 
  6. Improves decision-making: Certain technologies deliver real-time data and insights. With more information, auto dealers and their teams can make better decisions to meet car buyers’ needs and boost growth.
  7. Promotes scalability: Modernized tools make it easier for organizations to grow more seamlessly, allowing for healthy, sustainable expansion. 
  8. Increases agility: The market is continuously changing, especially as things become more digital. However, with good dealership technologies, auto dealers and their teams can quickly respond to changes and rapidly adapt to meet new market needs. 
  9. Creates a positive brand perception: If dealerships invest in modernizing their brands, people will notice. Employees will be happier, job seekers will consider these companies more seriously, and car buyers will be easier to attract.  
  10. Enhances data management: Technology can ensure data is accurate, secure, and accessible. Implementing it will give employees and car buyers greater confidence in dealerships. 

Regardless of how auto dealers look at it, investing in technology is a wise business strategy for long-term success. Using innovative tools to modernize operations and processes will keep dealerships relevant and competitive and ensure they have what it takes to keep up in an ever-changing market and digital landscape. 

The Best Dealership Technologies to Adopt

the best dealership technologies to use

While making the decision to modernize should be simple for auto dealers given the benefits, determining which technologies to implement may be challenging. There are many tools on the market. Some are necessary, while some aren’t. Additionally, some are important to get now, while others can be implemented later. Because of this reality, here are the most important dealership technologies auto dealers should get as soon as possible to start modernizing their businesses today. 

 1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is crucial for dealerships to implement. These platforms not only help auto dealers gather and manage customer data, but they also enable them to deliver a personalized and seamless buying journey. With a good CRM system, dealerships can track customer interactions, monitor sales leads, and predict customer preferences. When this data is utilized, car dealerships put themselves in the perfect position to enhance their marketing efforts to increase sales and build long-term customer relationships.

2. Virtual Showrooms and Online Sales Platform

As the digital world changes shopping behavior, dealerships can modernize by creating virtual showrooms and online sales platforms. These technologies enable car buyers to explore vehicles from the comfort of their homes, schedule test drives, and even complete the entire buying process online. Because customers will have the convenience of shopping for cars on their terms, auto dealers can reach a wider audience to boost sales. 

3. Online DMV Services Platform 

This type of tool allows auto dealers to rely on outsourced experts to get the titles, tags, registration, and license plates their car buyers need. Finding this digital tool isn’t easy because it’s a relatively new offering, but it is available with us at Barry Risk Management. We have an online platform that auto dealers can use to request the DMV items their car buyers need. Once a request is submitted, our team of representatives—who have more than 30 years of experience in the DMV industry—will get the documents and mail them to car buyers. That means dealerships that use our online DMV services platform can stop waiting in long lines at the DMV and searching for forms to fill out. 

4. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

It may seem surprising that auto dealers can rely on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)—it’s rare to hear someone use these technologies in the same sentence as “car dealership.” However, AR and VR are powerful tools that can enhance the car-buying experience. 

Dealerships can use AR to provide virtual tours of vehicles so that consumers can view a car’s features and specifications in detail. VR, on the other hand, can give potential customers a chance to take virtual test drives, allowing them to immerse themselves in the driving experience before making a purchase. Because these tools help car buyers make more informed decisions and have a memorable, engaging shopping experience, dealerships with AR and VR will build brand loyalty, brand awareness, and a positive brand perception. 

5. Inventory Management Systems

Managing a dealership’s inventory can be a complex task. Fortunately, inventory management systems can significantly simplify the process. These tools track the availability of vehicles, manage pricing, and optimize vehicle placements on the lot. With the real-time data and analytics that these technologies offer, auto dealers can make data-driven decisions to enhance their inventory’s profitability.

6. Service Management Software

Car purchases aren’t the only things that matter to a dealership’s success. Service departments are equally important, which means service management software is essential to utilize. This tool can provide efficient and high-quality maintenance and repairs, help streamline appointment scheduling, track work orders, and manage parts inventory. Additionally, some service management software allows for predictive maintenance, enabling auto dealerships to anticipate and address issues before they become major problems, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Take Steps to Implement Dealership Technologies

As the world continues to change and technology innovates, dealerships must stay on the cutting edge to meet customer expectations and remain competitive in the ever-evolving automotive landscape. If they don’t, it’s only a matter of time before they fall behind other brands. 

Take the first step to modernize your dealership by contacting our team at Barry Risk Management at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247). We’ll get you set up to use our online DMV services platform.

How Enhancing Your Online Car Buying Process Increases Your Auto Dealership Sales

auto dealership sales

Whether you believe it or not, your band’s success relies on you having a great online car-buying process. Without it, your auto dealership sales will decrease significantly, primarily because car buyers don’t just shop in person. They shop online as well. 

According to a recent report by Capital One, 82% of consumers prefer a hybrid car buying experience that mixes online and in-person elements. For example, before heading to a dealership, car buyers prefer to take multiple steps online—44% want to research vehicle information, 41% want to ensure a price is fair, and 40% want to choose their preferred make and model. Only after taking those steps do 47% of car buyers want to come in person to see and test drive a vehicle.

So, while you shouldn’t close your brick-and-mortar operations any time soon since they’ll still receive foot traffic, you should make sure your online car-buying process is up to par, especially since consumers want to use it, and it could impact your auto dealership sales. 

The Benefits of Enhancing Your Online Sales Process 

Enhancing your dealership’s online car buying process provides multiple ways to increase your sales and long-term success. For example, if you give consumers the online sales process they want, you’ll experience five specific advantages that all lead to more customers. 

1. More customer data 

When you provide car buyers with a way to shop digitally, you can easily track their behavior and online journey to gather more customer data. With additional insights about your target audience, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the vehicles your target audience likes and the paths that led them to your website. Knowing those two things will allow you to refine your inventory and marketing tactics to generate more sales. 

2. An improved reputation 

One of the best things about having a great online car buying process is that it typically includes a way for people to leave reviews. Car buyers want to read others’ feedback when they’re researching dealerships, and when they have an opportunity to do so, it informs which dealership they’ll visit. If yours has positive reviews, you’ll have no problem attracting more customers. 

3. A wider pool of potential customers

Over five billion people are on the internet, which means you don’t have to rely on car buyers within a five-mile radius to generate sales. You can access a wide pool of potential customers if you’re open to enhancing your online sales process. Of course, that doesn’t mean every internet user looking for a car will be in your target audience. 

Your dealership will still appeal to people who live in the same state your business is in. But instead of relying on those in your business’s community to generate sales, you can reach car buyers in neighboring counties and cities if you have an online sales process that attracts and builds relationships with them. 

4. Increased credibility 

Since car buyers like to research online before visiting a dealership, you need to have content on your website that answers questions and provides education. With helpful website content, you’ll not only offer the insights consumers are looking for but also enhance your credibility in the process. 

One of the top three reasons for producing content is to establish credibility. People have a hard time trusting businesses—misinformation, scams, and greed have left consumers unsure of which companies deserve their hard-earned money. People only want to buy from brands they trust, and the high-quality content in your online sales process will pave the way to establishing that trust so that car buyers think you’re credible enough to purchase from. 

5. An efficient sales process 

Developing the online side of your sales machine will make the car buying process for consumers significantly more seamless. Instead of having to call your dealership or visit in person for every inquiry, potential customers can get some of the information they need online—and they will appreciate that convenience. Additionally, if you have digital tools to streamline transactions, car buyers will be even happier. By making the final steps of their journey easy and simple, consumers will drive off the lot content and willing to recommend your business. 

how to increase your auto dealership sales

The Road Boosting Auto Dealership Sales

If you want to experience the benefits of a great online car-buying process, you need to incorporate the right tools and strategies. Specifically, you must have three components to create a process that increases your auto dealership sales.

1. Content Marketing Strategy

This piece is critical. With almost half of car buyers researching vehicles online, you can’t afford to have a website or social media account void of content. You need blogs, buying guides, FAQs, images, and vehicle information on your site and social media platforms. That way, car buyers have the foundational insights they need and want to take the next step of visiting your dealership. 

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

You want to capture as many online leads as possible and know where they stand in your car-buying process—and a CRM will help you do both. By having a vault of leads, you’ll have more opportunities to follow up with potential customers and nurture relationships to the finish line. By knowing the stage potential car buyers are in, you’ll know how to nurture those relationships and which information to provide to help potential customers take the next step. 

3. An online DMV platform

After a transaction, you must ensure your customers get their titles, tags, and vehicle registration. This step usually takes a while because you have to work with the DMV. However, you can cut down the time by using an online DMV platform, which companies like ours offer. 

At Barry Risk Management, you don’t have to interact with a slow-paced DMV to get what your customers need. Instead, you can rely on our representatives to use a propriety online DMV platform to quickly and efficiently get the documents your car buyers require. We work with dealerships in every state and know the DMV rules across the U.S. We have the experience needed to get car buyers’ legal forms in no time. And when your customers get their titles, tags, and vehicle registration in a timely manner, you can guarantee they’ll end their buying process just as happy as they started it, leading to rave reviews about your dealership that attract more customers. 

Want to use an online DMV platform to enhance your online car buying process? Contact our team at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247)! 

How to Attract First-Time Car Buyers In the Age Of Amazonification

first-time car buyers

Attracting first-time car buyers requires many of the steps you’d take to capture other types of customers. One of those steps is knowing what first-time car buyers want. Usually, this strategy relates to understanding customers’ vehicle preferences, finances, and life events to determine what type of car will make the most sense. However, knowing what first-time car buyers want also comes down to understanding their shopping preferences. 

People buying their first vehicle may have different shopping behavior from your previous customers, and that’s not because your dealership has done something right or wrong. It’s simply because we’re living in the age of Amazonification. 

What is Amazonification?

Amazonification is a car-buying process that lets consumers shop for and purchase vehicles online as easily as purchasing a product on Amazon. Tesla is primarily responsible for creating this process, as the company was the first to move car buying away from auto dealerships and online. 

While the electric car manufacturer made purchasing a vehicle simpler, many automakers resisted Amazonification, believing car buyers wouldn’t feel comfortable making such an expensive purchase online. They were proven wrong when e-commerce sales in the U.S. jumped by 25% in 2021, the biggest increase in the last ten years. Recent research from Cox Automotive also suggests that car buyers who completed half of their shopping process online were happier, and most will interact with at least one digital tool when shopping for a car. 

Given consumers’ move to online car shopping and the new belief that this behavior will remain, many automakers are trying to sell directly to potential customers. General Motors announced plans to allow consumers to shop for, buy, and finance their vehicles entirely online—but transactions will still include a dealer.

Decision makers at Honda also recently said they’d sell their entire electric Acura line online for U.S. car buyers. Additionally, Ford is adopting a more streamlined online buying experience. The company’s CEO has even expressed interest in a future where automakers avoid sending their vehicles to sit on car lots and instead ship them straight to customers. Ford is already pushing this vision forward by implementing a program that requires dealers interested in electric vehicles to agree to spend $500,000 to $1.2 million on installing and operating fast chargers and site upgrades, relegating dealerships to service centers. 

How Amazonification Impacts Auto Dealerships

With automakers taking steps to sell directly to consumers, dealerships have reasons to worry. Many are struggling to accept Amazonification, as they cling to old business models where car buyers come in, shop, and make a purchase. Car dealers also know that direct sales mean a decrease in profits. Instead of visiting a car lot, buyers will go on an auto manufacturer’s website to purchase a vehicle—and that is particularly true for first-time car buyers. 

People buying cars for the first time know they don’t have to go in person anymore to research for or purchase a vehicle. Around 76% of U.S. consumers shop online, and more than half of consumers prefer it that way. If you run a dealership, you can bet many consumers will have the same habits and preferences when buying a car as they do when purchasing other types of products. They will shop for vehicles online now that it’s an option, which means your dealership must make some changes.

Three Ways to Capture First-Time Car Buyers

If you don’t want to lose first-time buyers to automakers, your dealership needs to do one major thing: offer an online shopping experience. Doing so will allow you to stay competitive as Amazonification continues. However, offering a good online shopping experience isn’t easy. To do it well, you need to start by implementing three specific steps. 

1. Develop marketing content and online ads 

If you want to attract first-time car buyers, you need to speak to them. The best way to do that online is to create marketing material and online ads that resonate with your audience. On the marketing side, you’ll need to develop engaging website copy, blogs, online resources, email marketing campaigns, and social media posts. When it comes to online ads, take time to figure out your audience’s favorite social media platforms. Then, create ads with personalized copy and eye-catching designs that align with your audience’s interests, needs, and dreams. 

2. Simplify the online research and buying process

Once you get a first-time buyer’s attention with your marketing material and online ads, they’re going to visit your website. Your job is to make sure your site allows them to seamlessly shop for, customize, and purchase cars. To make this easier, you may need to hire a web developer who can ensure the e-commerce side of your dealership is easy to navigate, understandable, well-designed, and equipped with everything potential customers need. 

Also, consider implementing a live chat option for first-time car buyers to use when they have questions. By providing this option, you’ll give shoppers greater convenience and customer satisfaction. In fact, a recent report from Zendesk suggests that customer satisfaction ratings outperform email support, help center articles, and Twitter and Facebook support. 

3. Complete DMV steps online

Going to the DMV is always a hassle. If you want to finish a sales transaction strong, don’t complete first-time car buyers’ DMV tasks in person—instead, take care of everything online. You can get titles, tags, and license plates for your customers online quickly and easily by using a private DMV services company like Barry Risk Management. 

We have an online-only platform that helps dealerships get their customers’ tags, titles, and license plates in a timely manner. That way, their car buyers are happy, and their sales team is stress-free because they don’t have to interact with the DMV. 

We work with auto dealerships across the U.S., so it doesn’t matter what state your business is in. With over 30 years of experience in the DMV industry, we know all the rules and regulations to follow to ensure your car buyers get everything they need without anyone having to visit the DMV. 

Keep Up with the Times 

The rise of Amazonification signals a shift in the way first-time car buyers will approach purchasing a vehicle. Auto dealers will either sink or swim, depending on their reaction to this change in shopping behavior. However, assuming you want your dealership to succeed, you can offer an online shopping experience to ensure you keep up with the times and experience long-term success. 

Want a private DMV services company to get your customers’ titles, tags, and license plates? Call our DMV experts at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247).

5 Dealership Challenges & How to Overcome Them

dealership challenges

It’s an exciting time to be an auto dealer. Research suggests that the U.S. automotive dealership market is expected to hit $57.3 billion, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of more than 4% over the next five years. This prediction isn’t surprising. 

The industry has seen significant success, given the recent demand for new and used cars and shoppers’ excitement about new technologies like electric cars, connected cars, and autonomous vehicles. However, while the growth and advancements in the auto industry are compelling, dealerships still experience many hurdles to success.  

The top dealership challenges 

These days, running a dealership comes with unique problems. Even if your business is currently hitting or exceeding sales goals, it may not last long if you can’t overcome the top dealership challenges affecting the industry. To put your company in a position for long-term success, you need to take steps to mitigate five dealership issues. 

1. Increased competition

With online-only retailers challenging brick-and-mortar dealerships, competition is fiercer than ever. For your business to experience success, you have to find unique ways to engage car shoppers who are interested not only in the dealerships down the street but also in the ones dominating online. Consumers have options everywhere, and contending for their attention requires you to have a competitive edge. 

2. Reduced dealer loyalty 

Increased competition means decreased dealer loyalty. Over the last five years, dealer loyalty has decreased by 1.6%, even though brand and manufacturer loyalty only reduced by 0.2%. If you’re wondering whether reduced dealer loyalty genuinely impacts business, remember that loyal customers usually bring the highest ROI on sales and trades. 

3. Demand for digital communication

The days of visiting a physical dealership or picking up the phone solely to communicate with sales reps are gone. Car shoppers want the option to communicate digitally. They want a contactless experience that allows them to ask questions and receive updates. So if your dealership still requires customers to talk on the phone or sit at your desk to get information, your business may be in trouble. 

4. Changing shopping behavior

Another dealership challenge is today’s new shopping behavior, an issue primarily stemming from millennials. In 2021, millennials became car dealers’ biggest pool of potential customers, which was surprising to most in the industry. People thought millennials weren’t interested in driving and that they preferred walking, biking, or ride-sharing—but the reality was that millennials simply preferred to shop differently. 

Instead of immediately visiting dealerships to spend hours considering options and negotiating, millennials like to utilize online tools and research to determine which vehicle may be the best. Some millennials are open to even completing the entire car sales process online. 

5. Inefficient after-sale process

For consumers, buying a car is only half the battle. Unless you do it for them, they still have to take many steps to legitimize the transaction, which they must do at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Regardless of who takes the lead, finishing the after-sale process in a timely manner is often impossible. Even though we live in a digital age, phone calls, in-person visits, complex forms, and long wait times still characterize the after-sale process. 

Overcoming common dealership issues

If you want to set your dealership up for success, you need to have the ability to overcome the top five dealership challenges. Of course, many solutions can help you achieve that, but if you prefer to start with one, here’s an idea: work with a private DMV services company like our team at Barry Risk Management. 

As a private DMV services company, we directly streamline and quicken the after-sale process by getting your customers’ tags, titles, license plates, and vehicle registration all online. That means you don’t have to do any legwork—we’ll take care of that for you. All we’ll need is a little information about your customer and their purchase, which you can give us online. Then, we’ll take steps to get the documents your customers need to legitimize their transaction. 

Also, it doesn’t matter where your customers live or your dealership’s location. Our team has over 30 years of experience in the DMV industry and knows what each U.S. state requires for car buyers to retrieve their tags, titles, license plates, and vehicle registration. With our knowledge and online capabilities, your customers will have what they need quickly and with little to no hassle. 

The best part? Our DMV services can help your business overcome the other four dealership challenges. Our efficient process and digital platform will give your team the following: 

  • A competitive edge: Many dealerships still use a traditional approach to interacting with the DMV. If you transition into using a more modern approach, you’ll differentiate your dealership from competitors. 
  • Increased brand loyalty: When customers know you can make their car buying process easier, they’ll be more likely to keep coming to your dealership instead of considering other options. 
  • A digital tool for communication: Since our team does everything online, we don’t need to see you or your customers in person. We also don’t need to speak on the phone if that’s not preferred. Our team communicates digitally and uses an online platform to get DMV tasks done quickly, meeting the new need for digital communication. 
  • A better experience for car shoppers: With car shoppers preferring digital experiences, you’ll stand out by offering a way to get their tags, titles, license plates, and vehicle registration online. Consumers will think you understand their shopping behavior and be more inclined to buy from your dealership instead of one that hasn’t aligned with their preferences. 

By working with our team at Barry Risk Management, you’ll receive the advantage your company needs to start overcoming the dealership challenges impacting business owners. That advantage will set your brand up for long-term success so that your dealership continues to grow. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call us to help lay the foundation for your company’s victory. 

Contact one of our representatives at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247) to develop a streamlined after-sale process that also helps you overcome other dealership challenges!

5 Automotive Technology Trends

automotive technology trends

While the automotive industry is experiencing digital innovation, research still suggests that consumers like visiting dealerships. A recent study indicates that 75% of car shoppers believe visiting a dealership to test-drive a vehicle is essential in their buying process, and 69% prefer to negotiate on price to receive the best deal. 

Why is this important to know? It’s simple—the in-person dealership experience still provides immense value. However, that value is only associated with specific tasks. That means your dealership should continue to focus on and enhance particular parts of the face-to-face interaction. But for many steps in the car buying process, you must start considering the role technology should play. 

Several automotive technology trends are shaping various parts of the sales and marketing process. If you want your dealership to remain competitive, you need to keep an eye on the tools changing the way you do business. For insights on the top innovations impacting your industry, here are five automotive technology trends to remember. 

1. Online sales are increasing 

This trend shouldn’t be too surprising. There are hundreds of articles explaining the growth of online car sales, but that’s because this trend continues to make positive gains. 

According to a recent study by Cox Automotive, 55% of customers have transitioned to an online car-buying process. Over time, that number will increase, especially as CarMax and Vroom grow in popularity. So, if you want your business to attract some online car sales, you should start taking steps to handle the digital sales process successfully. 

2. Personalization is a priority 

Another study by Cox Automotive reveals that 72% of U.S. auto dealers and 67% of car buyers think personalization technology, such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI), will enhance the car-buying process. Targeting consumers with personalized recommendations is in such high demand that, despite people’s weariness of providing their personal data, 68% of consumers surveyed said they wouldn’t mind dealerships using personalization technology if it leads to a better car-buying experience.  

The only problems hindering dealerships from moving forward with automation and AI are employees who are resistant to change, processes that aren’t set up for personalization technology, and a high price point that doesn’t seem worth it. These obstacles may be thwarting you, too. But if your dealership wants to sell more vehicles, you must overcome these challenges. Around 76% of car buyers expect auto dealers to know something about them before they hit the showroom floor, and failing to do so might cost you money. 

3. DMV tasks are happening online 

What’s one place most people dislike dealing with or visiting? The DMV. Completing anything at the DMV takes a while. Typically, you have to stand in long lines, find the right forms to fill out, speak with unenthusiastic workers, and wait weeks until you get what you need. This process is complicated not only for car buyers but also for dealerships. 

Trying to complete the paperwork for a customer’s license plates, vehicle registration, and tags can take what feels like ages. And car buyers are typically not happy about the long wait time. That’s why dealerships are starting to complete their DMV tasks online by working with private DMV services companies like Barry Risk Management. 

These types of businesses approach the DMV digitally. For example, when a dealership makes a sale, private DMV services companies will gather and complete the necessary forms to retrieve the customer’s license plates, vehicle registration, and tags—and they’ll do it all online. 

This digital process speeds things up significantly so that customers get what they need in a timely manner, and it empowers dealerships to work on more critical tasks while the private DMV services company handles the paperwork auto dealers don’t want to touch. So, if your auto company wants to make the DMV experience great for customers and your sales team, using a private DMV services company should be your next priority. 

4. Cybersecurity is gaining momentum 

Since many processes are shifting online, cybersecurity upgrades have become more and more essential. Online commerce means there’s an increased risk of fraud, hacking, and cyber threats, and that risk affects dealerships and customers. Decreasing the potential of nefarious activity has led many dealerships to partner with cybersecurity experts, who help ensure auto dealers have safe, protected digital transactions. 

One tool that’s been beneficial, in particular, is secure payment processing solutions—these offer fantastic security features that protect businesses and consumers. Other tools gaining traction are touchless payments and PCI DSS compliance, both of which deliver additional security for transactions. Having all these tools in place is a great way to give your team and customers peace of mind during a sale, so take time to beef up your cybersecurity if you haven’t already. 

5. Electric vehicles are in high demand

One tech trend that’s impossible to ignore is the demand for electric vehicles. These cars continue to increase in popularity and gain market share. In Q1 of 2022, electric vehicle sales in the U.S. hit a record high of more than 200,000 vehicles. According to Experian, registration for electric vehicles also surged 60% in the first three months of 2022, and consumers’ interest in purchasing an electric vehicle has increased by 70% since January.  

Some factors driving this interest in electric vehicles are improved performance, clean energy, and high gas prices. Experts predict the demand will continue to remain high, so much so that 70 million electric vehicles will be on the road by 2023. If your auto dealership wants to cash in on this market, you should start putting more electric cars on your lot.

The Next Level

Every business has to evolve to keep up with consumer and industry trends, and your dealership is no different. To continue succeeding in a competitive environment, your team must implement the latest technologies shaping your industry. Only then will you reach a new level of business where sales are consistent, car buyers are happy, and your company is equipped to deliver the best experience possible.

How Dealerships Can Move This Part of Their Car Sales Online

car sales online

What used to only happen in person is now occurring online at a fast pace. Over the past few years, car dealerships have experienced an increase in online transactions, with 30% of U.S. new car sales taking place digitally in 2020.

This shift towards online purchases correlates with consumers’ recent shopping habits. Studies suggest that 59% of car buyers spend time researching vehicles online, likely a reason automotive executives expect online car sales to reign in the near future.

According to a poll conducted by Automotive News, 46% of automotive executives predict a significant increase in direct-to-consumer sales by automakers, pushing typical franchised dealerships to the side. The poll also suggests that 78% of executives think most new car sales will occur online by 2030. 

If you’re like other dealers, you’re either prepared or preparing for this major shift towards online car shopping, especially if you want to maintain a successful business. Maybe you’re creating digital ads instead of traditional ones, sprucing up your website instead of buying a new lot, and hiring a social media manager instead of another salesperson. All these steps are great and necessary if you want to compete with other car dealers online, but there’s another step in your sales process that should be digital: your DMV strategy. 

Handle Your DMV Needs Digitally 

learn how to do your car sales online.

Once you complete a car sales transaction, what happens next? You have to do the paperwork for the DMV to ensure your buyers get their tags, license plates, registration, and more. Finding the applications for these materials and filling everything out is always a hassle, and failing to do so quickly can slow down your ability to finalize transactions. 

That’s why you need to consider moving your DMV process online. Instead of compiling all of the necessary paperwork, filling it out by hand, and submitting it in person, you should make this step entirely digital. Doing so will provide multiple benefits, including the following. 

1. Improves the customer experience 

There are many reasons consumers are shopping for vehicles online. One of the biggest is that it offers a better experience. Shopping for cars online means people don’t have to plan a trip to the dealership, experience long wait times, deal with pushy salespeople, or get flustered by large crowds. Searching for cars digitally also provides a quick and easy way to look at different options, find the best prices, and customize vehicles. 

But this excellent customer experience can come toppling down if buyers have to wait a while for their tags, license plates, and registration because you’re doing things the traditional way. Handling DMV needs online ensures buyers get what they need quickly to continue having a great customer experience. 

2. Provides convenience

Another benefit of doing DMV paperwork online is that it’s convenient for you. Taking the digital route means you no longer have to suffer through long lines at the DMV, experience constant back-and-forth with representatives, or try to stay organized as you manage tons of documents. An online DMV process is smooth and hassle-free if you approach it correctly. 

3. Boosts productivity   

Do you want to increase your productivity to have more time to close deals? If so, handling DMV paperwork online can help. You can significantly cut the time it takes to gather material for the DMV by doing everything digitally. What used to take weeks could now take days. And having more time on your calendar will allow you to focus on other important tasks like finding creative ways to increase sales online. 

How to handle DMV paperwork online

If addressing your DMV needs digitally is the next step you must take as car sales shift online, it’s not hard to make this happen. In fact, all you need to do is work with a private DMV services company like Barry Risk Management. 

We handle dealers’ DMV paperwork, so they don’t have to worry about this task. And we do everything digitally. From gathering the paperwork to filling it out, everything we do happens online to ensure dealerships give their customers what they need in a timely manner and maintain a high level of productivity. 

Tons of dealerships across the nation have outsourced their DMV tasks to our team. We have over 30 years of experience in the industry and understand the DMV rules in every state. Because of that, we have the knowledge to ensure any and every dealer provides the proper material to their customers. 

So if you want to join the league of dealers who trust us with their DMV needs, reach out to our team. One of our representatives will walk you through our online process and answer any questions you may have. Afterward, we’ll start taking care of your DMV paperwork digitally so that every step of your car sales process is online, leading to a better experience for you and your customers. 

Contact us at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247) to start shifting your DMV strategy online!