In the automotive retail world, there are a lot of moving pieces. Some parts are automated, some work in harmony, and some even operate in a silo. It’s important as dealers that you understand these various aspects and harness them correctly. While at times it may seem that everything is moving in a million different directions, it’s up to you to wrangle them to operate in unison. Selling new and used vehicles is like conducting a symphony. And when you hit the right notes, it is a beautiful thing.

Specifically for merchandising your inventory, you need to keep your eyes on the prize at all times. Start by coming up with tangible goals to help you organize your wants and needs while structuring your dealership to be successful. Everything about how you evangelize and market your inventory is critical to your competitive advantage.

But here’s the thing…other stores are also using new and advanced solutions to bridge the gap. And that’s where you need to get serious and creative about how you use different tools to synergize with your operations. So, start by thinking holistically about your process for merchandising. When it comes to the customer experience, many different touchpoints exist that the consumer will be engaging with your brand through.

Iron out friction points as often as possible. Put yourself in their shoes and examine everything from how you write your ads (and what you include in them) to how you display images and capture the true beauty of your inventory. Customers are growing smarter by the day. And with that, they also have access to more information than ever before. Meet them where they are by providing bridges instead of valleys.

Once you have your ads cleaned up, you’ll need to make sure your information is syndicated properly. Every shopper is different and carries their own unique perspective into car buying. Provide elevated opportunities for consumers to discover your inventory wherever they are. Some will want to shop from their couch. Others will want to be on your lot. Either way, make sure the vehicles you have are readily available and discoverable throughout a variety of different avenues.

Next, you’ll want to really elevate the way your team interacts with customers. Because there will be a hybrid approach to shopping, emphasize your staff’s ability to engage with and provide information based on robust data. Your showroom needs to go digital. Step into the future and enable your salespeople to be instant product experts. It no longer matters if you are selling off-brand inventory. With a digital showroom, you give your team all the information they need to be knowledgeable about a car. Customers are going to have questions. And having answers is a surefire way to create an upgraded experience for your consumers.

Finally, once you have everything in tip-top shape, you must leverage all of the data available to make educated decisions about your inventory. Managing a dealership doesn’t have to be a disparate process. It can be fully immersive and empower you to be the best store on the block. You need to have operational insights. Weaponize data to be your friend and you will learn which cars are right for your lot. Even more, you’ll be able to discover new ways to source these vehicles from consumers. Expand your reach into the community by using the information that’s already at your fingertips. Paying attention to consumer behaviors and buying habits will help you stay on top of inventory needs. 

As we head into the end of the year, you need to stay focused and keep pressing forward. The last two years don’t have to be an indication of where the next two years will head. Take the lessons you’ve learned and apply them to how you operate. Keep the customer in mind and eliminate every friction point by merchandising quality vehicles with robust details. Stay ahead of fluctuations by stocking the right cars based on competitive data. The guessing game is no longer necessary as you have all the answers for merchandising and inventory management accessible 24/7.

Automotive retail is an adventure that has been growing and evolving for over 100 years. Now, more than ever, forging partnerships is important to your success. Pay close attention to what the market is doing, but don’t be afraid to ask questions and rely on the community. MAX Digital is here to help your dealership reach its full potential. With solutions ranging from sales enablement to merchandising to inventory management, no other partner can bring your dealership into the future. Schedule your free consultation today and learn why MAX Digital is the go-to partner for the automotive retail industry.