Dealers sell cars.

Amazon sells pretty much everything except cars (for now).

So what could dealers learn from an online shopping site? Quite a lot, it turns out.

Amazon has built itself around Customer Centricity – a business strategy that has helped them forge strong and loyal relationships with millions of customers. Looking at Amazon’s success can teach some important lessons about how dealerships can increase retention, customer loyalty, and sales by focusing on the experiences of their customers.  Below, we’ve listed three lessons which dealerships can use to improve their customer experience.

 

Lesson #1: Make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for

Amazon’s free-text search bar is a small and simple box at the top of the page, but it is a powerhouse of sales. Type anything into the box and Amazon presents you with exactly what you are looking for. No need to go tripping and fumbling through filters, one click is all that is required for a search results page of options to pop up. The sales journey begins.

This alone is a great feature, but the power is in the details. If I’m a shopper who knows what I want, I can be as specific as I like, and the results are immediately available. Below are the results for “charcoal barbecue grill and smoker.” Even though I added three specific features, Amazon found exactly what I wanted to see.

ATTACHMENT DETAILS Dealership-Customer-Experience-Amazon-SRP.png October 24,

Dealer Takeaway:  Buying a barbecue might not be the same as buying a car, but the message is the same. Make it easy for your customer to find exactly what they’re looking for at all points of interaction with your dealership. Finding what they want – on your lot or your website – should be effortless and easy.

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Lesson #2: Make the purchasing process as easy as possible for your customers

Dealership-Customer-Experience-Amazon-One-Click-Purchase

By the time you finish reading this sentence, I could have bought the barbecue 8 times. One-click purchasing makes the transition from Shopper to Owner swift, effortless, and as pleasant as spending hard-earned money can be. Amazon has learned a lesson of providing excellent customer experience: making the purchase itself as smooth and painless a process as possible means more sales.

Dealer Takeaway: Think about how you can simplify the purchasing process and make it pain-free for your customers. Cars can’t be bought with one click, but you can most certainly streamline the purchasing process. If you do, your grateful customers will spread the good word and will likely return to you for business.

 

Lesson #3: Approach all interactions with transparency and honesty

Transparency and honesty are two of the largest drivers of customer loyalty and retention. Being transparent means providing information; being honest means providing ALL the information. Amazon cultivates transparency and honesty exceptionally well. Just a quick glance at the Amazon product page for my barbecue reveals 20 separate pieces of immediately available information, 10 of which help increase transparency and honesty, and the rest of which are useful and essential to my purchasing decision.

Dealership Customer Experience - Amazon Product Page

Dealer Takeaway: Your VDP pages should take the same approach as the page above. Give shoppers all the information they need up front to make an informed purchasing decision, and do it honestly. Build trust by openly offering every detail and description, rating and review, price and promotion that you have.

 

Conclusion

Amazon has a shopping experience that consistently ranks as exceptionally easy and wonderfully simple because it is structured around the customer experience. Buying a car might never be as simple as buying a barbecue (or Amazon would probably sell them), but it can be as pleasant, and one only has to look to the success of Amazon to see the benefits of making it so.