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Coronavirus: Why Effective Online Car Shopping Tools Matter

Technology

Amid fears around the coronavirus outbreak affecting the health of millions around the world; the auto industry is particularly at risk with China as its fastest-growing producer and marketplace.

Moreover, specifically, in capital of Hubei of People's Republic of China, Wuhan, where the coronavirus originated, has emerged as a major international producer and exporter of car parts and components.

Throughout China, industrial modernization has created a robust domestic auto industry. More significantly, a supply chain manufacturing boom with a hub in Wuhan servicing vehicles built and sold all over the world, including the US and Europe.

The Coronavirus is Making an Enormous Impact in China

The coronavirus already has an enormous impact on the economy and productivity in China. As a major link in the global automotive parts and component supply chain, the U.S. and other major international markets are bracing for a slowdown in new car deliveries with the associated slump in automotive sales and service revenue. 

From a practical standpoint, the fear of human-to-human contact spread of the virus makes the automobile showroom a target-rich environment for spreading the contagion. There is already evidence of a sharp drop-off in traffic at many retail establishments from stores to theaters to restaurants, that is certain to strike dealership showrooms.

Aside from liberal use of high priced sanitizing liquids, not touching your face, "social distancing" and sneezing into your elbow, there's not else you can do to combat the spread on the sales floor. However, the boredom, frustration and lack of productivity of enduring light customer showroom traffic is not the only option.

Effective Digital Marketing Powers Through The Crisis

In the current digital marketing era, the retail process never stops because of a medical crisis or interrupted operating hours or any other unforeseen circumstance. A car dealership with the right digital tools and capabilities can keep the pipeline of customers flowing at times like this.

"This health crisis will be like adding jet fuel to an already exploding segment of retail. Amazon and a handful of others will be the beneficiaries of a windfall," says Doug Stephens Author of "Reengineering Retail: The Future of Selling in a Post-Digital World."

With more than 75% of consumers, in particularly younger buyers, doing up to 9 hours of webroom research on their mobile devices prior to choosing a dealership, 321 Ignition has developed a sophisticated Auto Dealership website platform which provides today's tech-savvy younger car buyers the User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) speed and functionality they expect.

321 Ignition is Mobile-First

"Mobile-First" is the basis of the 321 Ignition innovation advance. As opposed to creating a website for desktop and "optimizing for mobile" the more effective approach is to design a dealership website for mobile and adapt for desktop and laptop viewing.

In addition to better functionality with fewer awkward navigational quirks, 321 Ignition dealership websites ahead of competitors in terms of SEO, load times, and overall effectiveness of distributing marketing messaging.

Increasingly younger car shoppers choose where they are buying by how easy, informative and transparent the website is. Lyamen Savy is the CEO and founder of 321 Ignition and a former Senior Global Marketing Manager for Microsoft. According to Savy, the longer dealerships cling to outdated web techniques, the further they will fall behind in servicing the largest automotive market in history.

Generation Z alone makes up 32% of the U.S. population.  Millennials and Generation Z combined comprise a significant amount of buyers in the auto market. They already showing signs of exceeding the Boomers.

"These younger consumers have made instant access to value-added information a priority in their buying patterns," Savy said. "Our web platform for auto dealerships addresses the key information that they are interested in and provide the transparency in pricing and features that make them comfortable doing business with our dealership clients."

As the coronavirus spreads and we follow the public health expert advice to hunker down and avoid high-risk direct contact with large groups of strangers, having the right website and online marketing tools is more important than ever.