With an ever-changing automotive landscape, dealerships have had to pivot and get creative with the current state of the market and the industry. Adapting to consumer trends, which are changing rapidly, is the biggest challenge facing dealerships today.
The consumers looking to purchase new or used vehicles have started to do so from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Where there may have been a generational gap in the adoption and acceptance of online purchases, COVID-19 almost forced the older Gen Xers and baby boomers to adapt to this new normal.
While COVID-19 helped accelerate online vehicle purchases, expect the trend to continue beyond 2021 and long after dealer showrooms allow for foot traffic once again.
Consumer confidence in purchasing vehicles online is typically a direct result of having a great build-and-price experience. Making the visit to the website easy on the consumer, yet informative, is crucial. From running a cost comparison to looking at reviews to exploring various vehicle specs, the more control the consumer has over the end-to-end experience, the more likely a purchase will occur. Empowering consumers with the tools and resources they need in order to make a decision on their own, without the added pressure of physically being on a lot, has given a boost to this new purchasing behavior.
Another crucial part for dealerships, beyond the online experience for the consumer, is understanding how best to expand the sales target market to cover all 50 states. Logistics!
Vehicle shipping is the last and final step in selling a vehicle entirely online. Unless your dealership owns a trucking business, with thousands of assets all over the country distributing vehicles, how can you sell a vehicle to someone in another city or state? Again, logistics!
For dealers who need to meet the ever-growing online purchase demands for both new and used cars, consider using a non-asset-based provider with a large network of carriers. Unlike asset-based carriers, non-asset-based carriers allow you to sell a vehicle and ship it anywhere in the United States quickly and cost-efficiently, thanks to the network effect. In addition, tech-enabled providers that have a TMS allow for visibility into your supply chain that can greatly increase the success of moving inventory efficiently. For consumers, this is also beneficial because there is less wait time on receiving the new or used vehicle they purchased.