Improve the Car-Buying and Selling Experience by Connecting Your Technology

The End is NOT Nigh

Car buyers abandon digital tools when the process gets too complex -- easy-to-use ecommerce capabilities are essential.

Boost Revenue, Streamline Operations & Improve the Car-Buying & Selling Experience by Connecting Your Technology

From supply chain snarls and production holdups to skyrocketing interest rates, car buying today is fraught with friction. This friction, however, presents an enormous opportunity for dealers to differentiate themselves by streamlining the car-buying process and making it easier for consumers and their staff.

Despite current market challenges, car buyers continue to make new and used purchases, whether that is online, in-person or a combination of the two. In fact, according to our latest data, over half (55%) of a buyer’s entire shopping process is dedicated to online activities, from locating a dealer and researching vehicle pricing to finding vehicle specs. There are myriad opportunities to use dealer tech to capture and engage these buyers and improve their satisfaction at each step of the way to not only earn their business but also gain their brand loyalty.

Consumers Are Online. You Must Meet Them There

If Amazon’s tech-powered shopping experiences led to a change in our collective buying habits, the pandemic solidified demand for online shopping and near-instant gratification. This change has permeated nearly every industry, and automotive is no exception. Consumers are largely shopping online, and dealers must meet them there. It is the greatest market share opportunity of this generation.

Data shows that 52% of car shoppers plan to utilize more online tools for their next vehicle purchase versus their last. Still, consumers expect more from their online experience. Going beyond scoping out their desired make and model, they’re looking to find incentive information, notification of financing qualification, monthly payment info, aftermarket protection products and more. While some dealers may think that offering a digital catalogue of available inventory is enough to capture customers, it is not. There is an opportunity to create a more holistic and personalized car-buying experience and, at the end of the day, the dealers with the best online buying processes will win. 

Transparency and trust are created when a consumer has the same experience online that they have in the store. Vehicle options and pricing must stay consistent and carry through the entire process so the car buyer can pick up where they left off — with all of the same data.  Not only do dealers have to meet consumers where they are — and attract them by having the right tools — but to close them you must fully support the experience they want, fully online, fully in store or both. In that way, a dealership adds efficiency (saves time) while building trust. Oh, and the sales staff benefits from a smoother, more accurate workflow, too!

Streamlining and Building Trust Will Boost Consumer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Car buying is a complex process, and that complexity can hinder dealer and buyer adoption of digital tools. However, advances in dealer technology are changing that. New offerings can help dealers more effectively merchandise, finance, sell, service, recondition, remarket and more. For car buyers, the path of least resistance leads to a faster, more confident purchase. If a buyer can check out vehicle specs, obtain financing and purchase all in one place, they are less likely to end up buying from a competitor. But beware, car buyers abandon digital tools when the process gets too complex, that’s why easy-to-use ecommerce capabilities are essential.

If data is the new oil, then dealers should be using it to fuel their operations. Advances in data science have made it so dealerships can see deeper into their sales workflow, target the right customers, extract actionable insights, and make improvements that streamline operations and positively impact the bottom line. Today, ecommerce has the ability to make dealer and consumer experiences flow smoothly from beginning to end.  

Digital tools can impact operations and boost consumer satisfaction and loyalty — this boosts the bottom line. Compared to traditional car buying, digital tools and automated ecommerce deliver higher consumer satisfaction at lower cost to dealers. Additionally, more than half (56%) of car buyers visited dealer websites during their shopping journey. Of the car buyers who were able to complete five or more of the car-buying steps online, 46% were loyal to the dealership. 

While there is copious opportunity for dealerships to capture and retain customers online, car shoppers’ readiness for purchasing vehicles online exceeds most dealers’ current digital retailing capabilities. Dealers must step on the gas and adopt digital tools, or they’re at risk of losing the race for a better customer experience and positive business outcomes that closely follow.

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