In an auto showroom, design is a key factor that can make or break your entire sales process.
You’ve spent a lot of time and money building a formidable sales team at your auto dealership — after all, these are the people who are making you money. If salespeople have been your primary and constant focus for quite a while, however, you may want to start thinking about other parts of your business — parts that could benefit from a little extra attention and have the potential to affect your bottom line.
One important component of the sales process is not what you say to customers, but what your auto showroom actually looks like. You could have an entire team of friendly, smooth-talking salespeople, but if your showroom is dark, dingy, and just aesthetically unappealing, you’re probably not making nearly as much money as you could be. Romancing customers is part of the process, and a well-designed, attractive showroom creates an idealized version of your inventory that some people can’t resist.
Essential tips for auto showroom design
Don’t panic — it’s okay if your idea of solid interior design is hanging sports memorabilia on the wall. If you just apply these rules to the look and layout of your auto showroom design, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the uptick in sales.
1. Make sure there’s breathing room between cars
Your first instinct may be to cram as many cars into your showroom as humanly possible. The more cars customers see, the more sales you’ll make, right? Wrong. A car is a major purchase, and regardless of budget, customers like to feel like their choice is special. Having fewer vehicles in the showroom makes those chosen cars stand out even more because they aren’t just “part of the crowd.” Studies have shown that when you give customers fewer choices, they are more likely to buy.
2. Incorporate technology
Your customers have different shopping styles and needs — techniques you use to sell to one person, may completely turn another off. That is why adding tablets on stands in front of each vehicle can really help with the sales process. Many people buying cars today enjoy doing research on their own first, and an interactive tablet with information about the vehicle can play into that preference.
3. Comfort is key in the waiting area
The waiting area in your showroom shouldn’t simply be a few uncomfortable chairs pushed up against a wall. Would you do that to a guest in your home? Add cushioned seats, a flat screen TV, magazines, small tables, and even a space with toys for kids if you cater to families frequently. If possible, have free snacks and drinks available as well.
4. Prioritize good lighting
Dramatic lighting in your auto showroom design can work wonders when it’s done correctly. A great technique to use is basically a spotlight effect; shine bright lights (warm lights, not too bright) down on the vehicle, and slightly dim the others around it. The spotlights call attention to the vehicle and make it sparkle and shine.
5. Color should complement, not overpower
You’re selling cars, not the building itself — don’t paint the walls a color that will draw attention away from the vehicle colors. Walls should complement your inventory and make the entire look cohesive. When thinking about what color you want to go with, consider the psychology behind colors in marketing and branding. For example, orange is often associated with a good value, while pink calms people down, and blue is the most accepted by customers.
If budget allows, you may want to consider enlisting the services of a professional designer to make sure your auto showroom design is in top shape. However, if a designer is simply not in the cards, there’s still plenty you can do to create an attractive dealership.
Keep your building (and inventory) flawlessly clean, make sure customers have plenty of room to move around, and when they need to sit, ensure there are comfortable seating areas where they can rest. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, think about what you would expect from a dealership, and your gut instincts will be right on target.