By enabling customers to source finance quotes online, and potentially purchase vehicles, dealers aim to close a key gap in the customer journey which many believe puts them behind other business sectors.
Online services would need to link seamlessly to the showroom experience to create a smooth customer journey, as both dealers and consumers agree that a showroom visit is a vital part of the buying experience for most buyers. Around 7 out of 10 car buyers would be happy arranging car finance online.
Paul Burgess, Chief Executive Officer of Startline Motor Finance, which carried out the research as part of its Future of Motor Finance in the UK report, said:
“Dealers are less confident about the online experience they provide compared to their in-showroom performance with more than 40% believing that the industry lags behind other retail sectors. This is perhaps one of the reasons that extensive investment in digital capabilities is planned by many dealers.”
As part of the finance journey, dealers prioritize fast decisions and a good acceptance rate, which is supported by their use of panels of finance providers, which are continuously reviewed to meet the needs of customers.
Dealers believe prime lenders are tightening up on their portfolios, a situation that is likely to become more acute in the next year, so almost half have revised their lending panel and three-quarters believe near-prime finance will become more important.
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