With the evolution of the motor trade in overdrive, it is interesting to note that whilst we have acknowledged the power of the internet for selling cars and engaging with customers, we have always believed that there are still buyers who want the experience of making their first contact by simply walking into their local showroom and beginning the process of buying a car there and then.
The sales process is fairly well documented with a few additions along the way but basically begins with a meet and greet creating a good atmosphere, qualifying a customer’s needs, followed by test drive, negotiation etc. etc. Anyone who has visited a showroom in the last 10 years is likely to have experienced something along these lines,
However with showroom footfall declining because more people are starting their car buying search online we really have to accept that this stat will only increase and of course it will.
We all now have a voracious appetite for information which we can fulfil instantly on the net and therefore it is inevitable that as technology becomes available to more people the more they are likely to use it for checking out the possibilities online first.
For example have you noticed how often you see supermarket vans outside people’s houses at all hours delivering their shopping? And although you wouldn’t realise it given how mobbed out the stores are it shows that more people are choosing this method because technology allows them to.
I even heard that McDonalds now deliver which is surely, even at this stage of the game, a recipe for disaster.
Anyway my point is we are entering a time where video technology, when it comes to marketing cars, is upon us and having a personalised video of a particular used car at the other end of the country filmed by a “normal” sales exec to give a buyer that extra bit of confidence before making that final purchasing decision, is a reality and more car dealers are likely to be offering this service very soon.
So although with social media we can talk of our experiences with dealers and cars it may be comforting to know that if we fancy a car which is advertised 200 miles away we can virtually test drive without leaving our homes and therefore are more likely to have more confidence to buy online than ever before.
As for new cars we already believe that the next generation of new car buyers will view cars more like mobile phones to be swapped and upgraded as contracts expire than the assest our parents deemed them to be (Cars are more like iPhones to the new car buying generation).
I seem to remember once saying buying used cars totally online and not seeing it until the day of delivery would never happen, I think I might be changing my mind.
After all don’t they say never say never?