The future automotive retail: Omni-channel customer engagement
As the rise of the connected customer takes shape, CMOs in the automotive retail industry—an industry typically focused on brick and mortar—can shift their thinking around sales and marketing to improve customer engagement. New approaches to bonding with consumers include offering seamlessly integrated automotive shopping and buying experiences, irrespective of the channel in which consumers interact.
Automotive retailers must race ahead of the curve
With evolving competition, technological advances, and increasingly empowered consumers, automotive retailers can develop innovative retail models and update distribution channels.
Leveraging trends in other industries, automotive retailers should move toward an omni-channel retail model where customers can seamlessly engage using a variety of channels of their choice. The current retail model will need to change so original equipment manufacturers and dealers can align more closely, share customer and sales data, and stay relevant to the needs of the digitally engaged customer.
Retailers now realize that customer purchases are no longer single transactions; rather, single transactions are one stop in the journey as customers travel between different channels to make a purchase decision. Implementing omni-channel marketing and sales strategies enables retailers to move to a more customer-centric retail model focused on creating a relationship with the customer. Digital platforms today not only complement the physical shopping ecosystem, but also help create a seamless customer experience. Even pure digital shops are supplementing their online presence with physical world assets.
Evolving your automotive retail ecosystem
To provide a holistic omni-channel experience, auto retailers should consider the following tactics to guide investments in talent, capabilities, and capital expenditures:
- Engage customers during their research phase
- Manage cross-channel customer touchpoints
- Maintain efficiency during transactions
- Align store formats with digital experiences
- Monitor competitor progress and advancements
- Engage customers throughout their omni-channel journey
As CMO, you can apply these near-term tactics to move your company forward in an industry poised to provide the ultimate customer experience in the long-term. Are you ready for omni-channel customer engagement?
Published on March 28, 2016.