Is technology the key to succeeding in today’s automotive industry? And how can technology drive success in automotive dealers?
To answer these questions, let’s first take a look at the automotive market.
AUTOMOTIVE MARKET OVERVIEW
Worldwide car sales and car production in 2018 recorded the first drop of the last nine years, and 2019 is expected to remain challenging for the automotive industry, which has a value of USD 5,800 billion. Sales of new light vehicles should drop in the US (-2 percent to 16.8 million units), due to less sustained financing and increased competition with the growing second-hand market.
In China, the largest car market (accounting for more than 29 percent of global sales last year), sales began in a slow pace in 2019 and should only gradually benefit from a recovery in consumer confidence tax incentives and emission mandates – two issues that led to the first drop in sales after nearly three decades in 2018.
What dealerships need to understand is that they cannot get by on short-term strategies and trying to use discounts to clear stocks. After a while, it will stop yielding results…or come at a great cost.
BUYERS ARE CHANGING THEIR BUYING HABITS
More than 50% of customers start their research with a search engine query. Today’s digital-savvy auto shoppers visit the dealership less, relying instead on online research, mobile and video to stay informed and make decisions. When they do walk into the dealership, the customer is armed with a staggering array of information. Delivering on research needs and inspiring the customer is critical – dealers that succeed in this are more likely to win the sale.
Typically, customers decide which car to buy within 2 months of beginning their search, shifting between online and offline channels at 4 times. They expect their preferences to carry across channel boundaries, so they don’t have to repeat themselves. Those dealers that fall short of providing a seamless omnichannel experience risk losing the customer.
The buying behavior of customers today offers car dealerships ample opportunity to improve and boost car sales. To start with, they need to engage with prospects as soon as they begin their search online, using intelligent targeting and analytics to identify prospects and provide them with useful information such as educational videos on the car’s looks, features, and benefits lists.
Dealers should drive prospects to visit the dealership website for a more extensive experience with the relevant car brand and model.
There’s a modern way to consumerize the car buying experience. With an ever-increasing number of channels, delivering seamless consistent service has never been more complex. Software can solve complex customer service by making it simple. Learn more in this white paper, Succeeding in Today’s Automotive Industry.
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