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Post-Digital Dealer: Direct Chats, Social Media, Digital Retailing Tools and a Cookieless World

By: Kristen C., Marketing Coordinator

As we move into 2022, we want to provide you with the latest trends to ensure a successful business year! This year you can expect to see a lot more direct chats for instant communication in place of drawn out form fills, a bigger take on social media usage, digital retailing tools and eventually, a cookieless world.

Form fill vs. chats. Which is the best option? This can be tricky. Form fills are helpful with collecting valuable information about a prospective customer, but they are often a barrier and generally have a low conversion rate. Therefore, they can end up costing you leads. In 2022, the automotive industry is working towards transitioning into a chat world for instant communication and minimal forms. But, what does this mean for you? It’s time to start investing in a Business Development Center (BDC). This can be in-house or there is a multitude of vendors waiting to assist you in this area. When utilizing direct chats, speed is important and it’s necessary to have someone on standby ready to assist prospective customers. With that being said, not all leads are qualified. Online chats make it much easier to sort and spotlight those quality, qualified leads through real conversation.

Social media is accelerating business growth in all industries by helping foster loyalty and build trust. If you are not currently utilizing this business tactic, it’s time to start! Your social media presence can go a long way in making potential customers trust you enough to buy from you. There is no limit to how many platforms you can have to support your dealership; Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok. But, messaging needs to be custom because all of your audiences are different. One subset to social media is customer testimonial. Use it to your advantage! Change the message to “why us” in order to show your audiences the benefits of purchasing their vehicle from your dealership… Why would the experience be better at your dealership vs. another? One of the best ways to reach the largest audience is through paid/boosted posts. This means putting money behind your post to reach your target audience to increase engagement and help build your brand. These posts will show up as sponsored content on non-follower’s timelines and help gain your dealership exposure.

The next big thing in the automotive industry is automotive digital retailing tools. This is a process that will transform how car dealers sell vehicles. Dealers use it to merge online tools with their traditional in-person customer service to serve all customers better. These tools allow customers to purchase vehicles entirely online while providing transparency and building trust with customers leading to strong customer relationships and loyalty. There are a variety of digital retailing tools that our dealer partner’s are currently using; AutoAPR, Quick2Credit, Gubagoo, just to name a few. We highly suggest investing in one of these tools to help boost your leads and overall customer service.

While new trends are starting year by year, others are beginning to die off. Starting with a cookieless world! These are expected to go away by 2024. Advertisers rely on cookies to understand consumer behavior, actions and attribution and it helps deliver personalized experiences and advanced marketing campaigns. So how will the automotive industry carry on? Vendors will start utilizing first party data and declared data, which comes from input provided to you directly by customers through one-on-one engagements. The first big step to take in a cookieless world is a bigger take on email marketing. Email marketing allows you to collect customer data through opt-ins. Once you have a foundation of subscriber data, it can be segmented based on location, company size, positions and so forth. This will allow each group to receive unique offers and messages for the best response.

If you are looking to learn more about chats vs. form fills, social media, digital retailing tools, a cookieless world or have any further marketing questions for your dealership, please reach out to our team!

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Jonathan Thompson, Lead Guru | CEO email:

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