Digital Retailing: What It Is And Why You Should Care


Digital retailing isn’t going to replace you as a dealership salesperson. Or any other person in the dealership landscape trying to sell. 

In fact, digital retailing is the best tool you’ve had lately—it can make you more efficient, add more money to your pocket, and create a better work-life balance. 

If you were told you would have to sell everything from units to vehicles online, this conversation would take a dramatic turn. There may be some unpleasant feelings of resistance there because the thought of moving physical connections to tangible items, replacing them with digital transactions, can feel like a cold and impersonal shift. 

That’s a normal reaction when people are forced into something, especially when you necessarily don’t see the urgent need for your business. Today, the story is completely different.  Customers are walking in your dealership’s doors as inventory fills up again, and you have the internet at your fingertips. You can breathe easily because you’re in the driver’s seat again. 

It’s the best of both worlds. Here are four reasons why digital retailing makes your dealership better: 

1. Get up to speed, fast

Lengthy onboarding and learning curves are frustrating for dealership management —digital retailing can turn the tide.

If you’re new to the dealership digital landscape in 2023, you’re at an advantage. Digital tools for inventory management can significantly shorten the time spent on tracking and organizing stocks. These systems provide real-time insights into inventory levels, help in forecasting demand, and ensure that the dealership can respond quickly to market changes. This means less time guessing and more time doing what matters. 

Especially for dealerships in industries like powersports, motorcycle, trailer, recreational vehicles, or others, having a robust e-commerce platform is crucial. From showcasing products, managing inventory, to processing transactions online, this integration accelerates the sales cycle by letting your customers browse, compare, and make purchase decisions at their convenience. By going through the digital retailing process when you sell anything online, you’re getting exposure to the steps of the sale in a highly condensed format. You’ll have maximum opportunities for repeated exposure that you can’t replicate in person.


2. Shorten the sale

Let’s cut to the chase about what digital retailing really means for dealerships. 

Among the top customer complaints about dealerships is the amount of time spent in the store. In the past, dealerships have had to dance a fine line to keep their customers engaged, happy, comfortable, hydrated, trusting, satisfied, and ready to swipe their cards over a four to six-hour period of time. 

Digital retailing can bring the in-person interaction down to 60-90 minutes while promoting a positive relationship between the customer and dealership salesperson. When customers start browsing online, they’re bound to have plenty of questions. 

By the time your online shopper comes into the store, it’s most likely that you’ve already spoken to them several times and helped them reach this point. Employing DMS solutions such as Blackpurl, which seamlessly integrate with business texting partners, can enhance communication efficiency with your customers—an excellent way for fostering a smooth transition between online interactions and the in-store visit. Now, it’s a matter of an hour or so to finish the process and generate more revenue. 


3. Sell Effortlessly 

The right digital retailing process will enable your store to sell accessories online with every parts or vehicle sale, with your own pricing and labor times. 

Vehicle Personalization is a multi-billion dollar industry largely unaffected by the pandemic. The drive to personalize is part of our brain chemistry and holds unlimited profit potential for dealerships. It becomes an extension of their personality, their style, and their individuality.

But there’s a hitch. Sometimes, the folks at dealerships are a bit hesitant to push these accessories. Maybe they’re  not confident enough, or they just don’t see the goldmine in front of them. If you are selling vehicles and you’re not offering these add-ons, you’re leaving cash on the table. And for dealership owners, it’s a missed shot at beefing up that revenue. 

Here’s where digital retailing swings in to save the day. It’s like having a wingman in the sales process. As customers are browsing and buying online, they keep seeing these cool accessory options – not just once, but maybe a couple of times. So by the time they are ready to talk to you, they’ve already got these extras in mind. The landscape of digital retailing is your chance to ride the wave of digital retailing. 

So, grab it and make the most of it! 


4. Time is Money 

In a traditional process, you’re pretty limited on how many people you can work with in a day. Buying takes time, and time is money. Also, you’re taking risk after risk as you inevitably leave your customer waiting multiple times throughout the process. If you can get several steps in the process done before someone ever comes in and cut their in-store time down to a fraction of the time, you’re freed up to sell more. 

In years past, dealerships that regularly sell various items from their store per month have had to work crazy hours to hit the sales goals. If you wanted to reach top sales goals, work-life balance was a pipe dream. Those long hours are tough, not just on your wallet, but on you too. 

Now, flip the script with digital retailing. A lot of tasks you’d normally do face-to-face – answering questions, going over options – gets done online before the customer even sets foot in your store. You can talk to more customers and move deals quickly, resulting in more units sold, more money, and manageable hours. 

And that’s Grandma’s secret recipe for longevity in the dealership business; not burning yourself out to chase a dollar. Work smarter, not harder.

Our thoughts on digital retailing in the dealership landscape?

Blackpurl team is always open for conversations like this where dealership knowledge is being exchanged in an effort to stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving industry. Digital retailing has become a hot topic in recent years, and its impact on the dealership landscape cannot be understated. At Blackpurl, we’re excited to continue these conversations and explore innovative solutions that benefit dealerships and their customers alike.



Blackpurl Can Help

You need to sell units and parts online, and customers want to accessorize online. Today, Blackpurl is partnered with top digital retailers to enable dealerships to sell effortlessly online, with dealer-specific pricing and labor times. Digital retailing profit potential online is explosive, and it is painful for us to watch many dealerships missing out on this critical step. 

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