Reimagining the future of automotive retail
Consumers, and even the industry itself, are dissatisfied with the old-fashioned car-buying process. Younger generations in particular expect to be able to research, configure, and even purchase vehicles entirely online. That doesn’t mean dealerships will disappear entirely. Some shoppers will always appreciate physical interaction with an auto brand. Automotive innovators are creating “low-stress” in-person automotive retail experiences that can serve as touchpoints on a person’s non-linear buying journey.
But digitizing the automotive sales process is challenging. It is “hardly surprising” that OEMs are slow to digitize their buying processes, noted Martin Sewell, Managing Director, Rockar. “The complexity of e-commerce for automotive is more significant than perhaps selling a set of earphones where you just add a buy button. To deliver true, full end-to-end e-commerce where you are selling configurable items and you [OEMs] are buying something off customers [vehicle trade-ins] in real time… It’s complex.”
Partner in Technology and Customer Experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers
Managing Director, Rockar
Below are a few of the automotive retail trends and key insights for OEMs discussed in the podcast:
The key to meeting customer demand is choice. In addition to rolling out ecommerce solutions, OEMs should reimagine the dealership experience for those customers who prefer a physical touchpoint. OEMs must understand the following factors as they devise their strategies:
Vehicle buying is overdue for transformation. OEMs that fail to keep up risk losing market share, or even becoming obsolete. Understanding trends in consumer behavior and mastering how online and offline experiences can work together to create a cohesive customer-centric approach are hallmarks of the next generation of Automotive Retail.
Want to hear how brands like Tesla and Land Rover have already digitized their sales process, or learn what our podcast guests think about car vending machines? (Yep, that is a thing.) Go ahead and take a listen!
But, before you go, download our guide to automotive retail innovation and the challenges shaping the future for OEMs and dealers, created by Star’s automotive and mobility experts. It’s an excellent companion piece to the podcast and will provide even more advice and examples of what it takes to digitize the automotive buying process and meet or exceed customer expectations.