20% of all UK car sales will probably be conducted on-line within 5 years.
According to GForces, the internet managing company, the path individuals have traditionally followed when purchasing a car – going to a dealership, test driving the desired car, then signing on the dotted line – might be replaced with an entirely web-based buying procedure.
The business believes that up to a fifth of automotive customers will read on-line reviews from trusted outlets, discover the very best price, and then conduct a secure financial transaction over the web, just as numerous presently do with other financial items and holidays.
The view is not shared by the majority of dealers in an on-line poll on AM-online.com, with 88.9% saying they had been not developing the capability for clients to complete new car sales on-line this year.
One dealer said: “We as franchise dealers have to give prospects and clients each and every encouragement to go to our dealerships and develop relationships not the reverse.”
Nevertheless, Tim Smith, GForces commercial director is not deterred by this view, he said: “People are much more comfy with buying big items on-line. Numerous of our clients are meeting their customer’s demands by moving much more of the car sales functions on-line like vehicle reviews, virtual test drives, finance propositions and insurance quotations.
“Visits to dealerships will continue simply because some individuals wish to test drive the vehicle or speak face-to-face. Nevertheless, the web generation are much less inclined to this behaviour.
“This reality, coupled with improving vehicle high quality and extended warranties, makes the test drive much less essential than it once was. Customers also have the added protection of distance-selling regulations that gives individuals a cooling-off period once a vehicle is delivered to them.”
Smith believes that the increased virtualisation of society via social media and reliance on technologies to deliver experiences and interaction, mean that there’s no real reason why even some thing as emotive as a vehicle buy can’t be conducted over the internet.
Smith said: “I am not saying that everybody subscribes to this way of life, but there’s a substantial and growing population that does and this is only going to improve.
“With car supermarkets and franchised dealer groups focusing much more and much more of their advertising invest on-line, it’s clear that the next logical step is for them to provide individuals the convenience of purchasing the car on-line.”
Almost a quarter of 8,000 individuals polled in a Capgemini study said they’re extremely likely or likely to buy a vehicle over the web within the future.
Smith said: “Research outcomes like these, coupled with people’s growing propensity to look to the web for trusted info instead of visiting a dealership, suggest to me that dealers’ web sites will soon provide the facility to complete the final step within the procedure, too.”
Nevertheless, instead of forecasting the beginning of the end for conventional dealers, Smith believes that they now have the opportunity to get their on-line presence in order prior to the goalposts move. “This is really a great chance for car dealers, instead of a looming disaster.
“If they take this opportunity to put in location an efficient internet advertising technique, they’ll be far much better equipped to operate successfully within the on-line marketplace of the future and to adapt to whatever consumer trends come their way.”
Read the February 25 problem of AM to see how Way of life Europe is developing its on-line new car sales technique and engaging with clients via social networks.