You won’t find a dealership today that hasn’t spent millions of dollars in renovations to give their guests an enjoyable experience. Every commodity added was with their guests’ comHow to Influence Your Store's Retail Environmentfort in mind: From Wi-Fi hotpots to activity corners for the kids… It’s even hard to find a guest lounge that isn’t equipped with a latte station. All of this to keep the guest’s stay as enjoyable as possible, but what are you doing today to influence their buying behavior? It starts by controlling your dealership’s internal environment.

Entertain.

On average, your guests will spend about an 1 hour 45 minutes in the showroom before making a decision to purchase with you or go elsewhere. Furthermore, 70% of your future floor traffic originates from the phone at some point. So, during this lull time, entertain them! Setting up a music system in your showroom is a great start and will create a positive ambiance. With the right system, you can even lightly feather in targeted messages that talk about what makes your store worth their business. Of surveyed retail audio listeners, 40% made an additional purchase after hearing a targeted message. Personal iPods and Internet Radio aren’t a solution; iPods are illegal for commercial use and Internet Radio is JUST music and many times plays inappropriate content you can’t control. Invest in the right system for your dealership that is family friendly and gives you the opportunity to communicate your own messages to your guests.

Engage.

A person is 7 times more likely to respond to Rich Media advertising as opposed to static images such as signs, banners, and pop ups hanging all over your dealership. I know: That’s what the OEM made you buy. Try coupling your targeted audio messaging with a mobile marketing solution that goes beyond just your “mobilized website.” Mobile marketing solutions are a great way to get guests engaged. Consider this: Over half the smart-phone population uses their web browsers as a preferred method of search and 73% use a mobile browser over an app to shop/research. Finding the right mobile marketing solution can be tricky, so do our homework. Look for browser-based solutions that offer online inventory, coupons, surveys, and SMS promos. Nearly 40% of buyers will tell you SMS promos they received after visiting a retail store led them to a purchase.

Inform.

The more your guest’s know about your dealership, the better you look! Everything from your dealership history, awards, community involvement, to your special finance programs should be shared. This can be done by targeted messaging over your sound system, but it can be further reinforced with digital signage. Like many solutions, digital signage is not created equal. Avoid solutions that take over your flat screens with still image slideshows or, even worse, override your cable box and only depict closed circuit programing that is out of date and cannot be changed by your guests. The best digital signage solutions will overlay during your regular programming and simply keep your guests abreast of information you want them to read without interruption.

Controlling your internal environment is more important now than ever. Reaching your target audience is becoming more and more difficult as we further plunge into a digital age. You spend so much money in advertising to get them in… so why not keep them entertained, engaged, and informed as they visit your dealership. Build digital loyalty programs, and use these digital mediums to further leverage all your initiatives. You have their attention; tell them something great!

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