What you need to know about today’s car shoppers?
The world of automotive retail is changing and growing. Some dealerships are breaking records, dominating their markets, and selling more cars than they ever have before.
What’s their secret? How have they managed to get so far ahead of their competition? Well, if you ask Russell Wilson, the answer is quite simple: “The separation is in the preparation.”
Successful dealerships are preparing themselves for success, and most of that preparation is based on understanding the needs and expectations of today’s car shoppers.
In order to succeed in today’s competitive environment, you will need to adapt to meet the needs of the modern automotive shopper. Here are the things your dealership should know about today’s car buyers.
1. They do Most of Their Shopping Online
Today’s car shoppers prefer a dealership where they can start the buying process online. According to a recent study by AutoTrader, roughly 74% of all the hours spent shopping for a vehicle are spent online.
Shoppers of today have access to a vast wealth of information. They can research vehicles, watch videos, browse inventory, check prices, chat and get quick answers without picking up the phone, and ultimately do everything short of test driving and buying a vehicle from the comfort of their own homes.
2. They Share Their Experiences Online
Automotive shoppers have access to all the information on the web; they also have immediate access to their friends and extended social networks. Advice or opinions are only a text, tweet, or comment away.
They are also highly willing to share their own opinions about your dealership. According to Capgemini, 56% of US shoppers post or intend to post about their auto-related experience on social media.
3. They’re Connected 24/7 via Mobile Devices
Today’s car shoppers always have their smartphones on them. Smartphones have become an integral part of people’s daily routines. It’s their link to friends and family, entertainment and diversion, news and updates, ratings and reviews, and any other information they want to see.
The empowered consumer has a hand-held assistant with them wherever they go, and they use it constantly – even on dealership lots. According to a recent study by Cars.com, 63% of shoppers use mobile devices to shop while on dealership lots – a behaviour known as mobile showrooming.
4. They Have High Expectations of the Shopping Experience
For years, the most successful automotive dealerships were those who offered the lowest prices. However, long gone are the days where price slashing won the deal. Auto dealerships can no longer compete on price alone in an age where customer experience has become the new competitive commodity and consumers have the luxury of comparison shopping online.
According to a recent study by AutoTrader, 72% of automotive shoppers said they would visit dealerships more if the buying process were improved.
That said, there is a huge opportunity for dealerships to increase revenue among car buyers by providing a personalized customer experience.
As technology continues to advance, consumer behaviour will also continue to change and evolve. The dealerships that stay focused on the changing needs and expectations of today’s consumers will continue to get further and further ahead of the competition.
How will your dealership adapt to the needs and expectations of today’s empowered shoppers? Contact our team to keep you ahead of the competition.
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