Office Hours by Flex, December Recap: Bringing Your Digital Showroom to Life, with Ray Gill

By: Sarah Strehler   |   09 Dec 2021
Office Hours Recap

Welcome to FlexDealer’s December Office Hours recap! Each month, we host a virtual fireside chat where we discuss important topics that impact both our clients and the automotive industry as a whole. Our goal is for each call to inspire our client partners with relevant information that can help make a difference at their dealerships.

This month we were joined by special guest Ray Gill, Executive Sales Manager at SpinCar. Ray helps dealerships from coast to coast with their digital merchandising to ensure their virtual vehicle showrooms are reaching their full potential. He also specializes in helping dealers modify their efforts to suit the unique needs of their specific geographic regions.
 

Top Takeaways from December Office Hours 

We are in a market where the majority of consumers are doing their research and “visiting” dealerships online. In fact, a growing number of modern shoppers won’t even enter a physical dealership during the car-buying process. Is your dealership ready to meet the changing needs of your customers?

During this month’s call, Ray provides expert advice about not only why your digital showroom is important, but also how to improve your digital merchandising in order to best meet the needs of these customers. Let’s take a look at our top tips and takeaways from the call.

1. Get rid of your stock photos. To give people one stock image or even no images online, you’re doing your customers a major disservice. It’s important to respect that buying a car is a huge milestone for most shoppers, and they don’t take their purchasing decisions lightly. Your virtual merchandising efforts give your customers the best opportunity possible to do their research and make a confident buying decision at your dealership.

Ray Gill

“For dealerships to succeed in this new world, they need to put their best foot forward by providing a well-rounded visual online experience. Customers want to do all of their research from their devices - meet them where they are.”

2. Having a strong digital presence and virtual showroom can serve as your USP. Most dealers are concerned about how to stand out from the dealer-next-door. Your digital showroom can absolutely be a “why buy” statement and is significantly more likely to draw shoppers to your dealership over competitors who are not managing an immersive and consistent virtual showroom.

Ray Gill

“We typically see an 18% increase in engagement with a 360-degree photo library versus VDPs with regular photos. When you compare one stock image versus multiple real images, the industry has seen up to a 1600% increase in engagement.”

3. Treat your dealership’s digital merchandising as a full-time position. Having your sales managers or other members of your team trying to also take professional and consistent photos isn’t going to cut the mustard. It’s a big job that requires a dedicated professional, and putting that job on employees who are already stretched thin is not the best practice. Respect the demands of the position and hire the right people for the job.

4. The digital revolution has already happened. We talk a lot about “as the industry shifts to a digital model,” but this isn’t something that is about to happen or even currently happening - it’s already well established. Your dealership has to be able to exist 100% online just as it would in a physical space. There are countless tools and resources available to help dealerships adapt (ahem, SpinCar and FlexDealer are two great examples!). Dealers must start thinking about these resources as an investment - not an expense.

Ray Gill

“Your digital showroom deserves as much attention, upgrades, love, and care as your physical dealership.”

5. Don’t be afraid of video content. Your customers want video content, so don’t be afraid to give it to them! It doesn’t have to be high-production or follow a script - some of the most well-received video content comes from simple, honest, and authentic sources. An easy, yet effective, way to get started is by using video content for your vehicle walk-throughs and educational content.
 

Join Us Next Month for FlexDealer Office Hours

If you missed December’s Office Hours call, keep an eye on your inbox - all FlexDealer clients will receive a video recording of this month’s call - an exclusive perk for current Flex client partners. You can also take a look through the FlexDealer blog to catch up on topics from previous months.

Have a topic or question that you’d like to see addressed during a future call? Don’t hesitate to drop us a line and share your ideas! We want to know about the most relevant topics to our dealer partners so we can organize an Office Hours experience that best meets your needs.

If you’d like to attend a future Office Hours call, simply contact us here at FlexDealer to learn more about our creative marketing services and all that we can offer your business.

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