Nearly all consumers begin the car-buying process online. They come to the dealership having decided what they want and how much they’re going to pay. And, in many cases, the in-dealership experience is a necessary evil in the minds of customers. Dealerships can do more to cater to the digital-retailing preferences of their customers by putting more information about the in-dealership experience online, shortening wait times and improving customer satisfaction.
Bain & Company: Today’s customers expect a different car-buying experience, one that has been conditioned by their online experiences with other retailers. These customers research and buy cars online and they have come to expect the same experience and service quality when shopping for cars as they have in other aspects of their digital lives. Providing these customers with the car-buying experience they’re looking for may seem easy, at first, but building a true omnichannel customer experience requires significant effort.
Forbes: The car industry is finally realizing that what happened to brick and mortar stores in the publishing and electronics industries is now on their door steps. These days, customers walk into a dealership with their homework done. They will have browsed websites, read reviews, visited social networks and community forums – and at that point, the role of the dealer will no longer be that of an information source, but that of a product experience provider.
Cox Automotive: Nearly all consumers (98%) want the ability to do at least some piece of the car shopping/buying process online, suggesting that dealers should incorporate at least some aspect of digital retailing into their offerings. The average consumer spends over 15 hours researching and shopping for cars, with 3 of those hours being spent inside a dealership. Dealerships can improve the car-buying experience by moving more of the in-dealership experience online, including providing information about F&I to the consumer before they come to the dealership.
Think with Google: Fueled by innovations in technology and media, the auto industry is experiencing another period of disruption. Car customers not only gather information via online searches, they are experiencing the car-shopping journey online through video. This process includes vehicle walkarounds, product demonstrations, and video test drives.
Digital Dealer: Digital retailing in the automotive industry is about ease of access and a seamless customer journey. It should not be about creating an environment where your customer is going to purchase a car without coming to your dealership.
Check back next week for another Drive to Success: Search Engine Optimization. You will learn the benefits of digital marketing and directing customers to your online content.