Even before the pandemic set in worldwide, many consumers were looking for cars that displayed a high level of interest when it came to buying online. Things have changed quite a bit moving forward from the days when taking home a brochure was your only means of customization and selection for a car.
The pressure that the customer feels when online is almost non-existent: it has become very easy to streamline the process which has left the customer ample time to select trim model, color, and other important details. A marketing study completed in 2019 by industry pros Cox Automotive found that an astonishing 83% of consumers want to complete one or more steps of the purchase process online, and 7 out of ten are more likely to buy from a dealership if they could begin the process online.
A future positive shift in this behavior is most definitely likely to continue as dealers begin to adopt digital retailing platforms. It is going to remain to be crucial to implement very effective sourcing and CRM processes to analyze the initial contact and traffic that walks in the door, and the checkout/ virtual deal process will be of great importance as well.
During this same study, car buyers also claimed that they were least satisfied with how long the auto purchase takes, and that paperwork and negotiating were to them the most frustrating parts of the car-buying process. Once the car-buying experience begins, customer satisfaction begins to drop drastically after 90 minutes, yet car buyers are spending nearly three hours at the dealership making an average purchase.
The ultimate software or checkout systems to have in place during these times allows customers to initiate a deal online, followed up by the financing process, and putting down a deposit. When the financing option process is selected, users simply enter their financial information, ultimately saving them valuable time when they arrive at the dealership.
Once a deposit is left on a vehicle, the time is then right to know that the customer is motivated and ready to take serious action. Despite more efficiencies in the current car-shopping process, there is still an abundance of opportunity to grow and be a better dealership using some of the various software and platform devices available today.
One element of the transaction in the future that is very evident is that striving to make the deal-making process shorter is going to be beneficial for all parties. After seeing how much more satisfied customers are when everything moves faster, acquiring the means of having a seamless internet transaction will be beneficial enough to completely change the efficiency level and productivity of your dealership, even in these somewhat turbulent and changing times.
Car Buyers are also spending an average of around 96 days on the market, which is down 22 days since 2017. It is exciting that online tools and more information available will aid the consumer on the hunt for a new or used vehicle and whittle down the time of the transaction itself while offering a greater opportunity to get up close and personal with their choice and lease terms.
With a well-devised virtual checkout tool, the customer sees a car and selects “add to cart”. They then choose finance/deposit and delivery options, plug in more financial info, and upload their ID. They then just verify their credit card info, obtain a delivery date, and both the customer and dealership receive emails of the purchase.