The process of purchasing a vehicle has been shifting towards the strictly digital platform. It seems that it’s more common for consumers to do their shopping from the comfort of their own homes, with mobile devices that can access previously unavailable information – like pricing data and reviews – at the touch of a button, providing them with tools to make better decisions when it comes to buying something like a car. Despite all of this, car buyers still revel in the personality of going to the dealership and the instant gratification of seeing the car they’ll drive home with, with the help of a real person, walking them through the transaction. With that in mind, it’s been reported that the average online consumer visits the dealership at least twice before making the actual purchase.
At the same time, the rise of big data, analytics, cloud computing, and advances in core digital technologies allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and auto dealerships greater insight into customers’ activities and buying behaviors. And, in the midst, a new network of vendors has emerged to support the data needs of both sides of the transaction.
In a recent survey by Cox Automotive, 2,550 consumers who are or were in the market for a vehicle revealed there’s an increasing demand for automotive digital retailing. 83 percent of respondents expressed a desire to complete one or more parts of the car buying process online, while 85 percent said they’re more likely to buy from a dealer that allows them to perform at least one step of the process online.
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