BLENDING the physical and digital experience for customers is key to the future success of car dealerships, an audience at CDX heard today.
CitNOW commercial director Carol Fairchild revealed in her Live Stage keynote address to dealers that buyer behaviours don’t necessarily fit stereotypes and that they’re continuing to change.
The video technology company published its White Paper ‘The Evolution of the Car Buyer’ exclusively today at Car Dealer Magazine’s huge automotive expo in Farnborough, with Fairchild’s presentation addressing many of the points contained within it. You can download the research in full here.
The study of 1,000 UK customers reveals that:
Buyers today are conducting the majority of their research online
The manufacturer’s website is the most likely place for an online car buyer to visit first (30 per cent), followed by the dealership’s website (26 per cent)
The importance of visiting a dealership is set to grow in the future; more than half of all drivers will visit a dealership when researching their next vehicle
More than one in 10 buyers are ready to buy the car on the day they visit
Nearly a third (32 per cent) of car buyers are comfortable buying a vehicle entirely online, making high-quality assets such as images and video crucial
The most important aspect of a new car for buyers has been the way it drives – but research shows that is going to change
Environmental and cost factors are particularly important for younger buyers (those aged 18-24)
Even with the rise of online research and purchasing, though, dealerships continue to be popular. Fairchild, pictured delivering her speech, told her audience: ‘People want to go to dealerships more now than in 2009.’
Turning to the buyer of the future, she said: ‘Most customer journeys take around two months. Seventy per cent of the online journey takes place on mobile devices.
‘Seventy per cent of people want online reviews, 88 per cent want high-quality images and 67 per cent want video. Video is a key part of the customer journey.
‘Fifty-five per cent of people want to visit a dealership and 35 per cent expect to visit more than one. And most age groups still want face-to-face contact. Blending the digital and physical experience for the customer is really important.’