Car sales increase as dealerships expand online tools for customers

Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 5:51 PM CDT
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You might think people are holding off on big ticket items right now, but car sales in Central Wisconsin tell a different story.

Kocourek Automotive says they did better this May than in May of last year, and their June sales might outpace last year's.

Kocorek says its customers in Central Wisconsin are more confident in spending money on cars, compared to customers in other areas, which they see as people’s desire to get back to normal.

“As our team is comfortable, we also see that with our guests when they come in,” said Chief Operating Officer Greg Jensen. “I definitely see our community, particularly, being confident and feeling very optimistic about where the future is going here.”

The dealerships closed down for a few weeks in April. That's when they worked on improving customers' ability to shop online in detail. Jensen says salespeople are chatting with customers over text or instantly online and helping them make a decision.

The plan is to “add more and more content, more and more flexibility, more and more transparency to our website. It’s giving the guests the wheels so they can calculate their payments and make their decisions,” he said.

Jensen says many people are showing up to buy their car after finding the right fit at home.

“Especially in March and April, drastic increase in our website activities for all of our dealerships here in town,” said Jensen, describing the trends. “There's a lot of guests doing more and more research online, even down to pricing and payments and trade valuations… knowing a lot more when they come in, so we can validate what they saw online when they're here, they make a decision, and we get the car ready for them."

They’re finding 82% of people who come in after researching online will walk out with a car, compared with just about 50% of people who walk in off the street.

While foot traffic may be down, they have strict cleaning guidelines and aren’t riding along on test drives.

“We’ll continue to keep those changes in place for a long time,” Jensen said.

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