car sales

A study by KPMG has foundthat for car purchases, “consumers want … an end-to-end e-commerce experience.” They also don’t want to step “in a showroom, even for a test drive.” So, dealers should come up with ways to meet those needs.

With most dealerships back to roughly normal around the country, it’s assumed you’ve worked out how to make it in this new economy, although maybe you’re just getting by. 

The reality is that KPMG’s study has said what some have feared: if customers get accustomed to being catered to, they won’t want it to stop. It’s the law of unintended consequences. But is that a bad thing?

If seventy-five percent of consumers would prefer to handle their test drive, purchase, trade-in, financing, and delivery remotely, how will you move forward? Here are some tips to help you with this transition to a new way of selling.  

Make Sure Your Website is Current 

Management decisions are moving at the speed of light these days, and changes to the buying process aren’t easy to implement quickly. If you decide to begin a completely online test drive, purchase, finance and delivery program, the website should be the first source you update because consumers are doing their shopping online through their mobile devices. If 75% want an online experience, your website should inform them about your services. Making it easy for them should be top priority. 

No-Touch Test Drives 

Although some buyers will go to a dealer and have a salesperson jump into the car on a test-drive, no-touch test-drives are here to stay.

Home delivery of test vehicles and, ultimately, delivering a sold car is a valuable time benefit for the consumer. Even without COVID, getting to a dealership in traffic may be enough of a barrier to purchase for your dealership. More often than not, the closest dealer gets the sale. However, if you have the best deal, then delivery will seal the sale for you. Online sales have shown that people won’t care where the product is coming from as long as it’s a reasonable price and there’s quick and free delivery.

Carvana has been delivering cars for test drives for some time. With your local access and knowledge of your target market, it wouldn’t be challenging to use your concierge service and bring the car to a customer’s home. And if the customer wants to buy it, you could complete the sale on a tablet.   

Home Delivery

This process isn’t new but, in the past, had been reserved for high-dollar sales. With COVID, it’s becoming more of a sales benefit for the general public. Many dealers have sales contracts in digital format for buyers’ signatures, and doing them online via Zoom isn’t much different than in person. 

And, for the consumer, having cars delivered to a buyer’s home is a far better experience than the buyer waiting 2 hours or more in a dealership showroom.  

Looking Ahead

A recent McKinsey report said, “Digital becomes more important along the entire purchase funnel; less than a third of younger consumers prefer conducting car sales and aftersales in person at a dealership; Respondents are even more interested in contactless services, approximately half of respondents willing to pay extra for this service.”

Younger consumers who’ve grown up with contactless purchases through social advertising on Instagram and Amazon expect the rules to be the same for automobiles. With more information available online, consumers can have more knowledge than salespeople and have already virtually chosen their car. So why not complete the process through home delivery from start to finish. If that’s not done, tomorrow may pass you by. 

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