GForces believes greater collaboration between manufacturers and dealers on their digital strategies will lead to a rationalisation of systems and suppliers.
Speaking at the forthcoming AM Digital Dealer Conference, which takes place at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire, on September 12, Tim Smith, GForces commercial director, believes there will be fewer supplier ‘players’ in the market.
Smith said: “The manufacturers and dealers who collaborate will be the winners as the digital landscape continues to evolve.
“The manufacturers have the buying power and they are already sharing technology and enabling a greater degree of integration and we are experiencing much higher levels of data sharing. I think this will inevitably lead to a rationalisation of the suppliers so dealers will have to select their partners with care.”
As one of six sponsored seminars which are taking place midway through the conference, GForces’ workshop will explore the impact of digital from the first touch point at the time of research online to when customers return for routine servicing.
The session will also explore the need for a powerful website presence and a supporting SEO strategy which keeps pace with Google changes including its latest major update to its algorithm which has had a huge impact on search results.
The update has been designed to weed out paid for content made to look ‘real’ as well as ranking all pages and not just the home page. SEO also needs to reflect the growing mobile usage which now sees 25-30% of searches for GForces’ client websites taking place on mobiles.
“We will take a look at everything dealers need to be doing to harness the power of the web and to not risk being left out in the cold,” added Smith.
"Many dealerships and groups have a fantastic web presence with all the tools including online service bookings and Live Chat but for many there is still a cultural change in the business which needs to take place – it’s no good having a brilliant website with a first class SEO strategy driving traffic to your website if there’s no one to handle the enquiry properly or even worse, there’s no response at all.
“We see the area ripe for development on the digital front being aftersales. The big High Street independents are already delivering attractive online offerings when it comes to such revenue boosters as tyres and service plans and franchised dealers really need to make this a focal part of their digital strategy if they are to continue to compete.”
Smith will also touch upon the importance of customer engagement and the need to generate user content in the form of reviews to further develop a culture of openness and trust.