Covid has affected every industry, creating a business-from-home trend. People are turning to home cooking instead of eating out and conducting their own DIY repair and maintenance projects.
The car sales industry has been similarly affected, with consumers wanting their vehicles delivered to their homes. This has provided a new way for car dealers to compete with national online-only car sellers. Most buyers prefer their own vehicle to public transport.
Online Vehicle Transactions
According to one study, 36% of consumers would prefer to conduct the entire car-purchasing transaction online or by telephone. Sales are picking up after Covid lockdown restrictions.
The same study found that 19% of buyers intended to purchase within two weeks, 35% within three months, and 51% within a year. Conversely, 53% said they would visit a showroom in person, versus 47% that wouldn’t. Some of the technology being used includes real-time messaging and chats, virtual walk-arounds of vehicles, video test drives, online finance and trade-ins, and home delivery.
A Mixture of Traditional and Online Vehicle Transactions
Dealers are responding to customer expectations with a mixture of traditional and online transactions. Surveys revealed that 71% of consumers prefer traditional face-to-face interactions when purchasing a vehicle, and 64% opt for a hybrid approach to car sales.
Despite this, the survey results noted that customers wanted streamlined and transparent online options for certain processes. These include the chance to examine extended warranties and obtain finance. But people still want to assess the car in person (75%) and take it for a test drive (64%). Other than this, an online strategy is preferred.
Most people are not prepared to spend longer than an hour at a dealership. The top reasons for desiring a virtual process are speed and convenience.
Home Delivery and Preferred Vehicle Types
The latest research shows that 61% of people who recently purchased vehicles would choose home delivery. Dealerships that offer home delivery make up 35% of the industry. You can contact drive away transport companies like Acertus for vehicle home delivery and pickup.
Due to the pandemic, 57% of new car owners in the past six months bought vehicles from dealers where aspects of the transaction occurred online. With a 15% reduction in visits to showrooms, online shopping for cars has increased. Potential buyers who select dealerships that provide home delivery have risen by a third. From the start of the Covid pandemic, home delivery services increased 35% over six months.
Online car purchases are at 81% in New York, 73% in Los Angeles, 65% in Chicago, 64% in Atlanta, and 63% in Dallas.
More luxury vehicles are bought online but non-luxury used cars are starting to be included. The top ten online car purchases were for the following types of vehicles (in order): Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Nissan, Infiniti, Cadillac, Acura, and Buick.
Digital retailing technology is not new to the car sales industry. However, since the pandemic, these tools are enjoying increased use. This is driven by consumer demand and dealerships are rushing to oblige.
With so many consumers choosing online services, this trend is set to become the norm.