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Transforming The Customer Experience

Your Guide To In-store Marketing For Auto Businesses

Posted Oct 16, 2018 9:55:46 AM

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For your auto business to engage customers, increase upsells and cross-sells, and generate more revenue, you can’t just focus on bringing new customers into your store. You also need a strong in-store marketing plan that connects with customers once they arrive at your location.

What’s In-Store Marketing?

An in-store marketing plan is a strategy that focuses on connecting with customers who have already walked through your doors. While many marketing plans focus on outreach and inbound marketing that leads customers to your physical location, in-store marketing focuses on connecting with customers once they get there.

This type of marketing strategy is powerful because it helps you:

  • Get customers to come back to your business again and again.
  • Increase the amount a customer spends while in your store.
  • Promote other products and services your customers may not know about.
  • Build brand affinity and stand out from competitors.  
  • Spend less on marketing (because existing customers are more likely to spend more money with your brand than new customers).

With all of these benefits, you might be making a mistake if you don’t have an in-store marketing plan for your auto business. So, how do you get started?

How to Create an In-Store Marketing Plan for Auto Businesses

Here are a few tools and strategies that help you promote to customers who are already inside of your auto business store.

Offer free customer WiFi.

Offering free customer WiFi may sound more like a tactic to improve customer experience than a tool for marketing. But, it’s actually a little bit of both. Giving free WiFi to your customers improves their experience and helps them pass the time while they wait in your auto shop. This is a way to differentiate your business, build brand affinity, and get customers to return. But, it’s more than that.

Through WiFi marketing, you can actually use the free offering to market to customers. When customers access your WiFi, you can:

  • Send users to custom, branded landing pages that promote your products and services.
  • Use customer profile information to send users to landing pages tailored to their demographics and needs.
  • Collect email addresses or phone numbers so you can remarket to customers after they leave.
  • Send on-the-spot coupons or deals to customers via text messaging while they are in the store.
  • Set up geofencing so customers receive coupons and promotional messages the next time they are near your location.
  • Promote your social media channels and encourage customers to follow your accounts.

Collect data from in-store customers in multiple ways.

A benefit of offering free WiFi to your customers is that you can use it to collect customer contact details and data. But, don’t let that be your only method for collecting customer information.

Gathering customer contact information is extremely valuable as you can use it to both promote to customers while they in your store (by using customer profiles, you can see what services are due and offer specials based on customer need) and after they leave (you can email customers based on what services they need or the last time they visited).

So set up multiple ways to collect customer data which may include offering specials in exchange for phone or email details, creating customer profiles upon checkout, and running contests that collect contact information, in addition to offering free customer WiFi.  

Use digital waitboards -- and promote through them.

Like free customer WiFi, digital waitboards serve double duty. They provide a better experience for customers by helping them pass the time, and they create marketing opportunities for your brand.

As part of your automotive marketing, create a playlist that includes both entertaining content your target audience will enjoy and subtle promotions. This way, you can market to customers while speeding up their perceived wait-time, as when digital content is present, a wait can feel up to 33% shorter.

Educate customers through digital signage and menu boards.

Many customers come to an auto shop because they have a problem with their vehicle. It may be that they needed their oil changed or that their car wasn’t working. It’s usually a trigger issue that forces them to visit an auto business. They often don’t know that their car or truck needs something until it’s too late and there is a problem. Through digital menu boards, you can educate customers so they know what they need before there is a noticeable problem.

This education helps customers save money and time as they can stop preventable problems and keep their car in a better condition. Even more, it can help your business make additional revenue by increasing ticket size per customer as customers add-on services during their visit.

Install digital signage that educates customers about what their vehicles need and why. Some examples of this may include showing what services need done at certain mileage, information about preparing for upcoming weather changes (needing snow tires in winter), and what happens when you fail to properly maintain a vehicle.

Let customers choose their content.

Digital signage becomes even more powerful when you let customers control what they see. Your screens can act as a salesperson when customers can use the tool to search for information they need and learn about the services they want.

Many customers feel nervous or anxious in an auto shop. Allowing them to access information without needing to talk to a salesperson can help alleviate that stress. So install interactive displays and touchscreens that enable your customers to select content and access only the information they want and need.

Utilize overhead messaging.

While visual and hands-on marketing will likely be the best performing in-store marketing tactics for your auto business, don’t forget about marketing through audio too.

Adding overhead messaging to your store’s environment is just another way you can spread your messages to an engaged audience. Create an overhead music playlist and add in messages that promote your in-store offerings, deals, and upcoming events that would interest customers, get them to spend more, and come back again.

Leverage In-store Marketing For Your Auto Business

Now that you see how powerful in-store marketing can be for an auto business and have some ideas about how you can launch these tactics in your location, take the next step to get started.

Contact Spectrio to see how we can help bring digital menu boards, digital signage, WiFi marketing, and overhead messaging to your store. We can also help you create campaigns and content that helps you reach your goals and successfully engage in-store shoppers, generate more upsells and cross-sells, and grow your revenue.

Contact us today or download our free ebook to learn more about our powerful digital in-store marketing tools.

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