2022. 04. 26.
Opening your digital car dealership might be a faster journey for your customers
A battle tank, survival bunker for the apocalypse, celebrity time or an island: all these you can put into your shopping cart and purchase online any time if you want. Why wonder if buying a car on the internet became almost business as usual by now.
Before the pandemic less than 2% of vehicles were sold online in the U.S. In 2020 dealers reported that nearly 30% of their new car sales closed online and this trend seems to be spreading globally.
While buying a car is quite a decision and not something we’re doing everyday, there is undoubtedly a trade off when it is about our newly embraced convenience cutting edge digital experience offers us in 2022. We are certainly not talking about uploading 10 pics about the new BMW Roadster to eBay or Alibaba. Rather about top automotive brands who have been investing in simulating a real-life car purchase on their own platforms.
Carlovers doin’ it fully online
The question is, how to make the very personal experience of choosing your dream car online relatable and as real as possible. The answer is ‘building’ a video showroom that can serve as an online saloon to introduce the vehicle from head to toe. The dealer connects customers via their smartphones or laptops and take them for a virtual carpool ride, simulating the exact steps of a face-to-face visit in the dealership.
Let’s be honest: most of the customers buying online educate themselves about the new model quite properly in advance. Still the video showroom is the place they can see everything in real life, getting reinforcement in their buying decision and getting in the mood to book a test drive.
However, fashionable, high brand value models are more prone to attract that kind of hardcore online buyers who never even visit the dealership for a test drive. Thus embedding the video showroom into the dealerships’ online shopping process, customers certainly can skip the test drive part and move right on to the purchasing journey. Choosing the extras, asking for an offer, accepting it and signing the contract (meaning managing paperwork digitally) – all that can happen online as well.
The very next action happening in real life will be sitting into the car delivered to their front door.
What’s in it for your dealership?
All these being very convenient for the customers is one thing, but also has its prominent business advantages for both the importer and the dealership. While brand loyalty is in decline, having a tool that creates a personal connection with a fully branded showroom experience in an early stage of interest is a real gain. In the meanwhile it serves the goals of automakers and importers to centralise online leads and tracking the customer journey through the process, but not excluding dealerships to drive their own leads through conveniently.
Easy, hard to miss administrative features provide transparency and vital information about lead qualifications and trends, for both the dealership and the importer. Combine this with integration possibilities to automotive DMS, now you have an integral solution.
You might think this emposes another burden on the dealer, causing some resistance. Understanding the work method of dealers, such an online selling platform can be seemingless, easy to use and integrated, measurably allowing dealers to onboard more leads and have better results.
Over 80% of customers already use online sources during their car buying process, no wonder, Mercedes Benz aims to sell over 25% of their vehicles in Europe fully online by 2025, and they are not alone with such plans. This resonates well with McKinsey’s latest survey results, where over 40% of responders expressed their interest and openness in buying their next car completely online, while over 60% of responders would perceive booking, paying and reviewing additional services online as very appealing.
So let me ask you this: what role will play a branded video showroom or an end-to-end digital selling platform (including signing contracts online) in the future of automotive?
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