Digital Retailing Insights: Maintain Control of Your Retail Online

Six out of ten customers will not tell you they’re coming to the dealership.
Just one out of ten people who visit your website will bother to fill out the lead form.

Call it the reality of today’s online world: eCommerce and social media have trained consumers to hold onto their personal information, and to value the importance of connecting to people -- online. In this environment, forcing a customer to “go first” by filling out a lead form can harm your chance at the sale. In fact, according to Mike Burgiss, Cox Automotive’s Digital Retailing expert, not creating an online retailing experience can lead to some of the top frustrations that car buyers have with the process. Indeed, solving these frustrations starts with building an authentic, consumer-friendly process that also keeps you in the driver’s seat. To that end, here are a few common questions, and tips, about how to create a frustration-free experience:  

Almost all buyers are doing research on the website before they walk in the door. So how do you win the deal online, so you can win the deal in-store? Tip: Selling cars is a relationship business – it’s what we call Connection Commerce. Yet today there’s a trust gap between customer and salesperson. Winning the deal online begins when you close that trust gap with an authentic online experience.

Why is the VDP page so important when it comes to creating an authentic environment? Tip: VDPs are at the crux of virtually every sale, yet – at this all-important juncture in the process – we ask the consumer to provide their personal information first. By flipping the script and “going first,” dealerships can create, online, an environment of trust and credibility that carries into the showroom.  

What does it mean to “work the deal” and not the lead? Tip: The reality of today’s automotive retail environment is that customers are visiting fewer dealerships. Yet everyone is shopping on your website – specifically on those VDP pages. Today, that’s where the relationship should begin. That’s the best place to put your online retailing process to work, and start the deal.


Mike Burgiss is the Founder & General Manager of MakeMyDeal, and VP of Digital Retailing at Cox Automotive. As a technology thought leader and entrepreneur, Mike’s passion lies in providing dealers with the online tools necessary to stay in control and win in their retail businesses, specializing in leading innovations that drive new business growth. Click here to learn more about Mike and read his latest guidance on online automotive retail trends.