Digital transformation has impacted many industries, including the automotive industry. Modern cars are driven by technological advancements. This quickly-evolving technology can prove challenging for car dealerships, but also beneficial. The modern car buyer is fully informed about the cars they like long before they visit the dealership. Car dealers and manufacturers who want to sell more cars must focus on improving the customer experience.
Before a person buys a car, they have to feel it’s right for them--the determining factor is usually a short ride. They may get all the necessary information from digital channels, but nothing replaces the act of physically driving the car. According to Think with Google, 92% of car buyers research online before they decide to buy a car. Let’s have a look at 3 digital trends that have revolutionized the consumer’s car-buying journey.
Automation in retail is transforming how dealerships sell cars, and how customers buy them. Many dealerships now have websites with chatbots who quickly answer any questions consumers might have as they go through the information provided. Most car buyers love this automated approach as it’s faster and saves them precious time. Car dealerships should automate part of their customer service strategy because many of their customers are online.
They should automate simple tasks like offers and follow-up emails. This helps reduce the time the team spends on basic processes and allows them to serve customers more efficiently. It makes the user experience seamless, improved, and more personalized. Car buyers get the most out of dealerships’ websites and even mobile applications.
Digital transformation has brought about new ways of buying cars. It merges online and offline customer experiences, something that’s needed to meet the growing expectations of consumers. Digital showrooms allow consumers to check out the cars they are interested in online, and some websites even allow buyers to purchase cars online. In these showrooms, consumers can use smartphones or touch-screen tablets and leave their personal details. They can pause the shopping process and continue it later online.
Most car dealerships have created interactive showrooms that allow buyers to find out more about new services and car technologies. They digitally present entire car model line-ups. People can customize their preferred models, examine them closely, and then place an order. Online virtual showrooms seem to be working quite well, and more brands are changing their showrooms into all-digital spaces with virtual technologies.
Buying a car the traditional way meant following the same sequence. A customer would visit a dealership, talk to a salesperson about the car they wanted, take it for a test drive, negotiate the price, then place an order. But digital transformation has done away with that. It has brought us consumer-driven research and virtual showrooms.
Car dealerships that want to succeed must develop an omni-channel strategy to deliver a seamless digital experience to car buyers--at all levels of the buyer’s life cycle. People constantly switch between online and offline channels. Dealerships should create a consistent brand experience by allowing consumers to switch between information sources. They must create a solid online presence to capture prospective customers through digital sales channels.