Consumer preferences have evolved rapidly in the retail automotive sector, completely changing how cars are shopped and sold in the last three years alone. With dealers juggling new technologies, a changing industry landscape and frequent economic headwinds, it can be difficult to stay up to date on the latest car buyer trends.
To find out how dealers can accommodate these emerging consumer preferences in the midst of their other roles as business owners, CBT News anchor Jim Fitzpatrick met with Jessica Stafford, senior vice president of consumer solutions at Cox Automotive, at this year’s Digital Dealer conference. Stafford is an expert in digital marketing and data analysis, making her adept at identifying trends ahead of the competition. Combined with her years of experience in the automotive industry, her skill at providing accurate insights into modern car buyers
1. Auto consumer preferences have started to move toward digital retail. This year, 80% of car buyers surveyed by Cox Automotive said they wished to perform some or all of the purchase process online as opposed to in a dealership.
2. Dealers will need to educate their consumers about their online purchase options rather than expecting them to discover these alternatives on their own.
3. To accommodate emerging consumer preferences and earn sales, dealers should be more communicative and informative when speaking with car buyers. This will enhance trust, build rapport and improve customer retention.
"What we've learned as an industry...is that this is a spectrum and a connected ecosystem. And so, while consumer want to do more and more online, they want the process to be digitized and seamless, they [also] want some human interaction on their terms." — Jessica Stafford