01.07.20 05:18 AM By Gina

In follow up to "Feedback from the Field: Digital Retailing - Is the World Ready?", Anissa Collins takes a look at how consumer behavior has changed as we begin to emerge on the other side of the pandemic pause, with more reactions directly from her dealers' perspective. 

Before automotive dealers realized they were going to be setting record-breaking months amid a pandemic, two recurring themes were mentioned when we asked dealers for feedback on their current needs: Opportunities and Digital Retailing. A few months ago we knew, as an industry, we would need to pivot the way we did business. The assumption was that consumers would respond with heightened demand for an end-to-end online vehicle purchase process. We thought digital retailing would appeal to a higher level of expectation and be necessary to win back consumer confidence.

Now that we are on the other side of the initial pandemic pause, while many of the practices we adapted for the health and safety of customers and staff will certainly be maintained, we’ve had time to reflect and get a better idea of what’s changed in consumer behavior - and what’s not changed.


What’s not changed is the fact that consumers are still visiting dealerships at the same rate, if not more than in the past. What has changed are consumer expectations on how we meet their demand for a proactive and frictionless experience before the visit. 

Many of us in automotive sales had been conditioned towards a process that waits until a consumer interacts with the dealership in some way before acting on them as a lead. Dealers now know they can no longer expect staff to sit inside the store waiting on the old ‘Up Bus’, so to speak. It doesn’t exist. 

Or does it?


At 3 Birds, we have learned ways to take the wheel and steer engage shoppers along different points in their journey with messaging that gets us closer to the “YES” across sales and service. We not only identify them and interact with them through a dealership’s unique brand to move them through a trackable sales funnel, we then serve them up to our Blue Sky Dashboard providing immediately actionable marketing and operational insights. These are consumers highly engaged specifically to that dealership that would have otherwise gone unnoticed by another digital or tangible avenue. your virtual 'Up Bus'.

I wonder what that’s worth to those of us in automotive sales? The feedback we’ve received from our dealers and partners in the industry is that it’s essential to their business. 


We aren’t the only company that provides a dealership with data on their sales and service customers with information in regards to appointments, equity, or contract and lease ends. Others are also able to support visibility to opens and clicks and website page views. Some even make algorithm-based presumptions to deliver a quick marketing piece. We built a platform that also includes the information dealers told us they wanted but didn’t have; direct access to new opportunities with intent data in real-time. We accelerate the prospect, sales, service, and retention process with fluid consumer-centric communication streams that turn fresh motivated people into dealership wins.

Recognizing and adapting to the twists and turns along today’s customer journey and vehicle lifecycle, our comprehensive marketing loop uses content to anticipate interests and nurture it into full-blown, low-funnel purchase intenders. 

This is what dealers told us they needed to get them on the road back to recovery. We’re able to give them a ‘more with less’ solution that creates consumer confidence and lifetime value now that is resilient against future business interruptions so that they can go capture a bigger piece of the smaller market. We’re able to drive momentum beyond the pandemic.

Our dynamic, integrated, automated marketing and data communications platform has pushed the industry-standard forward with a new approach to business intelligence. We remove a dealership's reliance on outdated technology by cutting through data silos to ensure they stand out above the noise with the messages prospects and customers are eager to hear - now more than ever.

And while the feedback we get is that all of this is truly invaluable, 3 Birds understands that it all needs to be cost-effective. In an industry where solid solutions cost $5-$10k+ each month, we believe dealers deserve better; now more than ever.

Make no mistake, our platform and team are agile and we’re not finished developing even after a decade of successfully executing our vision of keeping our clients ahead of the curve instead of struggling to catch up as we continue to ask dealers what they need to meet the next challenge and answer accordingly. 

Let's see if our Road Back is a good fit for your dealership, too. I look forward to hearing from you!



Anissa Collins

Vice President of Sales