How Much of Your Dealership Needs to be Online?

Adopting online offerings has become crucial for many dealerships in the past few years. Some dealerships have even made it possible to complete the whole process of buying a car online, but is that what customers want?

Data suggests that many customers are hesitant to give up the in-person aspects of car buying, like test driving and signing the final paperwork. Still, a good portion of the population is willing to complete the buying process online; Auto Trader found that 41% of consumers would buy a car entirely online.

Let’s break down the rest of the data and find what car buying aspects customers want to do online versus in the dealership.

CDK Global data found “that nearly 70% of shoppers expected to find the ability to configure a payment on a dealership website, and 83% indicated that online buying technology would help them narrow down their vehicle choice and determine what is affordable.” Additionally, the survey found that around 60% of consumers preferred starting the car buying process online, specifically on a dealer’s website.

Auto Trader found that the top steps customers want to do outside of the dealership are:

  • Get insurance quotes
  • Make a shortlist of possible cars
  • Decide budget
  • Compare specific models

On the other hand, most respondents wanted to do the following at the dealership:

  • View the car in more detail
  • Sign the paperwork
  • Go through the purchase

For now, it seems that dealerships will have to develop a balance between online and in-person options. Take the time to ask your customers what they are looking for the next time they go through the car buying process. For example, 46% of Auto Trader’s survey respondents revealed they turned to online buying for ease and convenience.  

You’ll also want to make sure your customers know how to utilize your online storefront. Auto Trader found that “61% of consumers think buying online is appealing when presented with a tangible example of how it could work.” Most importantly, don’t get left behind by not anticipating customer needs. Listening to your associates and customers will help you build the best experience for your dealership.

How has your dealership responded to the move to digital? Let us know your thoughts on FacebookLinkedInInstagram, or Twitter.