NEW YORK – More and more people are looking for their next vehicle online. That’s changed the nature of brick-and-mortar shopping, with many buyers starting the process digitally and finishing it at the dealership.
But a recent survey from Accenture revealed that shoppers are feeling a disconnect between their web and showroom experiences.
Consumers in the U.S., China and Germany who recently purchased a vehicle were asked to rate their perception of “seamless integration” on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being “most integrated.” The average rating was 2.32.
“Today’s consumers, influenced by digital technology, are driving the car-buying process. They are visiting showrooms to seek distinct information to supplement the information found on the web, and want counsel from product and customer experts instead of a traditional sales presentation,” said Axel Schmidt, managing director in Accenture’s automotive practice.
“As digitization increases, automakers and dealers can no longer afford to ignore full integration of their operations. They must work together more closely than ever to create a truly seamless, multichannel experience to satisfy customers,” Schmidt continued.
Accenture made a distinction between consumers who shop online frequently (“Digital Natives”) and those who are more conservative online users (“Digital Laggards”). The report found that Natives visit the dealer more often than Laggards: 60 percent of them stop at their dealership more than twice before buying a car, while only 47 percent of latter do so.
Natives may need less time at the dealer because they have made their buying decision online. This emphasizes how the showroom’s role is being redefined as the place to finalize the purchase of a car, rather than the traditional starting point. The survey also showed that nearly all car-buying decisions are made online, and many customers do not believe that in-person interaction is necessary at each stage of the transaction.
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Author: Digital Dealer
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