Your Website IS Your Showroom
July 1, 2016
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Consumers are constantly flooded with messages everywhere they go, from billboards to direct mail, to websites, banner ads and email. Most of these messages are disregarded, ignored or, even worse, never seen, because, for the most part, the message itself is not relevant.

So, along came retargeting, which can continue to follow the customer around the Internet and, if done right, can produce great results. But, the problem is that you never know – for a fact – if it’s really relevant or not.

Then came geo-fencing.

In the beginning, geo-fencing was controlled mainly by the cell phone carriers, who could identify where a particular person was at any point in time. Consumers had to opt-in to receive push messages from carriers and the cost of entry for businesses was limited to large national brands. For example, a customer walking into Nordstrom could receive a push message welcoming them with discount offers.

Then geo-fencing evolved on a local level with beacons businesses could install which enabled them to push messages to customers at (or near) their business. The downside to this technology is that the customer first has to download and install an app on their phone.

However, geo-fencing has now evolved beyond those limitations and is a VERY cool and effective technology you should be using, because it is simple and effective!

Businesses no longer have to buy-in with a cell phone carrier at ridiculous amounts, install beacons and then hope that the customers have a particular app installed. Technology now enables you to geo-fence and target customers no matter where they are – on your own website – without an app. And you can even modify any campaign on the fly.

I recently wrote a blog (hyperlink) about the highly effective ways geo-fencing can be used to create, communicate and capture corporate business. But it goes way beyond that.

geofencing MILITARY bases also helps dealers sell carsNowadays you can target entire communities. For example, a resident of “Pleasant Hills Meadow” that visits your website could receive a personalized message; “Welcome, Pleasant Hills Meadow resident. At XYZ Ford, we have a special discount program just for residents of your community!” You could even geofence an entire military base and offer special military discounts. This would certainly pique their curiosity. It makes your website personalized, dynamic and relevant. And, best of all, can be done with a simple website plug in – no app download required.

And what about shoppers right on your lot? Showrooming is now commonplace. Consumers are on your lot, viewing your inventory and using their smart phones to price shop your competition down the street. You can target these customers when they visit your website with a welcome message and perhaps a discount offer if they come in and present it to their salesperson, or a manager, to entice them into the showroom and away from your competition.

Or, even better, what if the customer is on your COMPETITOR’S lot, considering one of their vehicles while doing a bit of showrooming, and they happen to end up on YOUR website? What if you had a tailored message that popped up on their phone inviting that customer to your dealership with a discount offer? How strong do you think that would be?

The best part is that it doesn’t matter where YOU are, it only matters where THEY are.

Another hidden gem in regards to this new technology is the fact that it increases site conversions. Most dealers are still spending a fortune trying to build up ever larger numbers of visitors to their site. This personalization factor however, allows you to optimize and convert the traffic you are already getting – in the long run saving on marketing costs, while also increasing sales conversions.

Geo-fencing has evolved beyond big brands and there is no longer a need to have an app downloaded and installed by the consumer. You can now target whoever you want, no matter where they are, with relevant messages that prompt immediate action.

This is powerful marketing, something that is immediate, relevant and offers the consumer a call-to-action that is applicable to what they are doing…. RIGHT NOW. You want a competitive advantage? Be where your customers are and offer them something compelling right when they desire it. Conversion rates skyrocket and you smile at the end of each lucrative day.
Kim Orr

Kim Orr, is VP of DealerSuccess. As was one of the first Internet Directors in the automotive arena in the US, she has been instrumental in bring Online Reputation, Automotive Digital Retailing and much more to the industry.  You can find her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and TheVirtualDealer.

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