You’ve come to the realization that you need to ‘step it up’ when it comes to the online… So what’s the plan? Hire sales people? Well let’s take a look at the effectiveness of that strategy with a short visual exercise…
Envision standing in the middle of a room, and the floor starts caving in. Would your first instinct be to get a new ceiling?
What do you know about the online dealer demographic? I’m not talking about your lane customers… I’m talking about Internet customers you have yet to acquire, or perhaps those who have attended your online sale at one point, but did not have the confidence to return. Where are they now? Are you tracking your online activity? Or your online relationships? Have you outlined your online marketing strategy? What type of experience does your online customers receive at your auction? What do they expect? The thing is this… you could get 500 new dealers to your online sale tomorrow, but if the overall experience is not satisfactory, then you just turned off 500 customers.
I asked 10 autoremarketers if they had an Amazon Prime Membership. Of the 10, nine responded with ‘yes’. What does this tell you? Hopefully it tells you a couple of things: First, the world is changing, and the traditional way of thinking is becoming far outdated; Second, it is possible to create such a high level of online confidence that customers are willing to pay for shipping on items they have yetto purchase! Why? Dedicated online customer service, transparency in the transactional process, follow-up strategies, and personalization. In other words, Amazon, has built a foundation for conducting online business through listening to the needs of their customers, and creating an environment that incites participation. Now it’s time for online auto auctions to do the same!
Just as a new ceiling will not resolve the fact that the floor beneath your feet is crumbling, adding new sales people will not build a stronger online business. The floor, just like your online business, must be reinforced. The structure should be conducive to growth. Confidence comes from knowing that every step you take is supported.
Here is an assignment: Obtain an online report to show how many customers have attended your Internet events over the course of the last year. Next, run a report to show how many customers attended your last online event. If your weekly number is less than 10% of the annual number, and your growth pattern looks like nothing short of the screen of an active EKG Monitor, then you may want to consider AVC Membership.
If you haven’t heard, AuctionVcommerce is a cost-effective way to implement an online infrastructure that provides the supplemental technology support, customer service, marketing, activity monitoring, relationship management, and peer support necessary to achieve the online credibility for a virtual expansion. Technology, as well as the rules for online commerce, change frequently, requiring a dedicated focus from an industry-wide perspective. AVC is building the network, engaging the customers, and setting the standards to advance the auto auction industry into the virtual space using the same principles that made the brick and mortar auto auction a monumental success.
Although, while the principles may be the same, the approach is entirely different. The online initiative requires a global perspective. A small business mentality will keep you where you are. Online customers are not concerned with speaking to auction management unless a serious issue occurs. A solid online infrastructure will provide all of the resources necessary to conduct business from within the virtual environment. It only makes sense that online growth is heavily reliant on your ability to operate online. The fact of the matter is, technology is becoming a second language. The more fluent you become, the more online success you will achieve.