The year of 2020 has come with several, unpredicted happenings and an accelerated digitalisation has for a lot of businesses been a must. Not least for the worldwide automotive industry. Listed in this piece is 10 transforming and astonishing trends to be aware of…
- Online car sales are increasing rapidly.
As of today, a number of 63% of automotive consumers are considering buying a car online within the next five years. The trend of buying your car without having to visit a dealership has accelerated during 2020 and the number of car dealers who are investing heavily in their online showroom is growing by each day. Some of the world’s most known car manufactures such as BMW and Volkswagen have already put huge invest in their digital platforms. Major automotive brands such as Mercedes-Benz also believe that in 2022, a quarter of new and used vehicle sales will be completed online.
2. Purchase decisions are increasingly made online.
The major growth of e-commerce in general is driven by a rapid digitalization as well as a changed buying behavior at the consumer. The auto sector has for long been one step behind in enabling this new trend, but as the visits to dealerships across the world has decreased during 2020, the need for a more digital buying solution has become necessary. When the consumer is being provided with a, detail-oriented, more lifelike online presentation, a large proportion of auto consumers is even adapting to the extent that buying a car entirely online, doesn’t feel completely foreign.
3. Car dealers are putting huge invests in digital services.
Since the physical visits at automotive showrooms has decreased dramatically, selling efforts are being put where the consumer has moved – Online! In order to stay interesting and relevant, car dealers are also putting huge invests in offering a customer experience comparable to a physical one. A much prominent and appreciated concept is to deliver a dynamic presentation instead of a static one.
4. Consumers have a tendency to buy used cars in particular online.
According to Smilee 51% of auto consumers are interested in buying a used car online, as long as they are being provided with the important information they need about the car in a trustworthy way, in order to make a safe purchasing decision.
5. An excellent customer experience is more important than pricing.
64% of auto consumers estimate that the customer experience is way more important than the actual price when buying a car online. The customer service plays a crucial part and the huge importance of proper online services becomes even higher at times where the consumer first and foremost can be found online.
6. Disloyalty is the new normal.
Today, only 8% of consumers are strictly loyal to a specific car brand and 57% of consumers are loyal to whatever brand that offers the best customer experience. To capture loyalty, the consumers’ requirements needs to be in focus during each part of the buying journey. 79% of consumers even say that brands need to prove that they really understand their customers, as well as making a great first impression, in order for them to buy any products from a specific provider.
7. In the case of electric cars, the buying behavior is different and much more at the forefront.
When it comes to electric vehicles, customers make decisions much faster, which means a car salesman must be prepared to respond immediately to consumer signals. Electric car buyers are often called “early adopters” and very interested in new innovations and therefore are very willing to make fast purchases, in store as well as online.
8. The car trade is becoming increasingly transparent.
During this digital age, information is everywhere to be found and it’s available to consumers more than ever before and information is also being actively sought more than ever before. In other words; Consumers have plenty of offers, which requires every car dealer to practice major, consumer-oriented strategies. They must be able to anticipate and adapt quickly to their consumers’ needs and offer an extremely competent and compelling service.
9. Videos and online chat sell cars.
In the near future, all information must be transferred to the customers’ home sofa. Consumers want information about the car’s history, equipment, previous owners, service offerings, test options, delivery times, insurance and potential damage. Videos and online chat play an important role in the customer’s purchasing decisions. The future of automotive industry must therefore be based on an excellent customer experience, characterized by a trustworthy provider.
10. The future forecast for car trading online is very bright.
Six years ago, the forecast estimated that 4% of car sales would take place online by 2020. In 2018, the analysis company Frost & Sullivan estimated that approximately 618.000 digital purchases were made that included payment. Last year, the number had increased to 825.000… The future scenario estimated by the analysis company is 6 million digital purchases in 2025.