Canadian Auto World: Going digital with your customer’s trade-in

Over the course of the pandemic, the constant ebb and flow of customers not just being allowed, but also feeling comfortable coming to dealerships has been a major challenge for the industry. When it comes to trade-ins, that challenge is compounded with consumers generally finding the car buying experience stressful and with their anxiety around the uncertainty of what their car is worth.

Historically, many people’s trade-in experience was one in which the dealer walked into the office, came back with a number and that was that. But times have changed, and with every industry and company going digital over the last year and trending toward transparency, so should your dealership.

Whether they’re able to step foot into your showroom or not, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy with their car-buying knowledge before purchase. Even prior to lockdowns, physical visits to dealerships before purchase decreased from five to one, with 88 per cent of retail buyers leveraging digital resources for information before setting foot into a business. Similar to wholesale auto marketplaces, vehicle trade-ins are experiencing a major digital shift, and it’s time to start leveraging tools to help you navigate through it.

The trade-in, just like any other sale, is largely based on the customer experience, and a good customer experience is paramount. In fact, 77 per cent of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.

To personalize the trade-in experience while ensuring the price is market value, dealers can use platforms like TradeRev’s Trade-in at Home as an appraisal tool. The service, which I’m sure you guessed, allows customers to work with dealers to appraise and trade-in their vehicles from the comfort of their own home via digital auction.

The simple process starts with dealers inviting customers to a remote trade-in via a unique link. The customer then shares the vehicle information and photos online with the dealer, who then reviews it, adds any missing details and launches it to the open auction. By the end of the 45-minute auction, thousands of potential bidders will show you and your customer exactly how much the vehicle is worth, and the customer can decide to take the final bid or not trade in their vehicle.

This enables your dealership to give your customers a transparent and exact value for their vehicle, ultimately reducing their anxiety around the trade-in and purchase. And whether you keep the vehicle on your lot to sell to another customer or mark it for immediate digital sale is irrelevant, because the vehicle was acquired for the exact market value.

By equipping your dealership with digital appraisal and trade-in tools like these, you’re giving yourself a leg up on the competition by delivering a simple, fast and great customer experience. And with 87 per cent of consumers saying they’ll make another purchase from the company if they had a great experience, you simply can’t afford not to adopt the cutting-edge tools your customers are coming to expect.

Read the article on page 11 of the May issue of Canadian Auto World.

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