Us humans are creatures of habit

The way in which we do business might have changed over the years and new technology might have been introduced, but our buying behaviour hardly changed, especially when buying a car. But also in most other areas of our life.

Things that we used to do offline, we’re now simply doing online.

Consumers are slipping out of your finger tips due to anonymity

Traditionally, the process of buying a car was exactly that: a process. The vast majority of car sales are still made in the traditional fashion. I call this fulfillment at the dealership. The influence of the internet has led many car buying consumers to not only shop online but also to do their research online prior to buying a car.

The transparency of the internet means car buyers have become more and more anonymous.  As a dealer, this means your online presence is now a critical part of your business. Within minutes, your potential buyer could be checking whether the vehicle is in stock. Also, checking if it has the rights specs and if it’s priced competitively, all before making any direct contact with you. #anonymity.

You have 15 seconds to convince a consumer to choose you

To top it off, online shoppers spend 15 seconds on a page. That is only 15 seconds for you to convince a consumer to choose your car. On average, consumers spend approximately 5min on AutoTrader’s website flipping through many many pages. Looking at and comparing many cars.

According to the Automotive Shopper Study conducted by Google:

  • 95% of consumers buying a car use digital as a source of information. In fact, twice as many start their research online versus at a dealer
  • 60% of all automotive searches come from a mobile device (This is true also for portals like AutoTrader who receives almost 70% of searches from a mobile device)

True digital retailing isn’t just about moving the point of sale online

All of the information that car shoppers are gathering online isn’t just helping shape their decisions. It’s driving them into your dealership, or someone elses. In today’s market it is essential to intertwine your traditional and digital approaches when marketing your dealership to tech savvy car buyers. This is true digital retailing.

I would be very interested to know where your business is in the transition from offline to online/digital. What areas do you think your biggest wins will come from in the future?

Drop me a message on Twitter @georgemienie, connect with me on Linkedin or drop me a direct message here.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!