Everyone knows that technology is changing the automotive industry.
According to Cox Automotive, 85% of customers are more likely to buy from a dealership that lets them start or complete their vehicle purchase online.
That number definitely can’t be ignored. How can dealers adjust their strategies to capture these new web-savvy car buyers?
One of the consequences of online shopping is that customers expect quick and easy purchases… all the time. Point, click and ship is no longer a pipe dream, it’s just reality.
In a world where you can order a mattress and pay for it in 30 seconds, then find it on your doorstep the next day, why would customers expect anything less out of their search for a new car?
Cox Automotive’s Future of Digital Retail study focused on the same questions that we asked above, and asked one new one: what is the biggest problem that car buyers have with the purchasing process at a dealership? The answer, it turns out, is time.
3 hours is simply too long for the average customer. And to make it even worse, Cox Automotive found that fully half of that time is spent negotiating vehicle price, financing and accessories — which is something that no customer likes to do.
So how can dealers cut that time in the showroom down? By moving parts of the purchasing process online.
If customers could start their purchases online and finish them in the dealership, dealers would have many more satisfied car buyers on their hands. Nearly 9 out of 10 customers surveyed are more likely to buy from a dealership that offers at least one component of digital retailing. So they want to use your site – why not make it a better overall experience?
A whopping 71% of customers want online information about the potential deal. This means they want to have information at their fingertips about things like prices, incentives, warranties, even potential trade-in values for their other car.
Whether this information comes from an interactive website form like Accu-Trade’s Instant Offer or another form that allows the customer to complete initial purchasing steps online, it’s clear that car buyers want to move online.
The internet has given dealers an amazing chance to make the car buyer experience 10x better. You can save customers time, effort and hassle just by moving elements of the purchasing process online.
And for dealers worried that online sales will replace in-person dealership sales, customers that Cox interviewed were clear — they still valued walking into a dealership. 80% said they wouldn’t buy a vehicle without a test drive, and 70% said they wouldn’t buy a car without seeing it.
Technology helps dealers provide customers with an interactive and transparent buying experience. It’s giving you the opportunity to do more.
Still curious about more things you can do as a dealer to satisfy online-centric customers? We’ll be back with part 2 in our series on web-savvy car buyers next week!