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Online Sales Decreasing Foot-traffic To Dealerships

May 8, 2017 0 Comments

As more car-buying services are offered on the internet, less prospective car buyers are going to car dealerships to browse for vehicles. With the decline of foot-traffic, some dealers are wondering why they’re keeping such a large volume of inventory on their lots.

According to a study conducted by IHS Automotive, almost “90% of car shoppers use the internet to shop for a vehicle” (Wall Street Journal). Additionally, 59% of customers on their smartphones while at a dealership are “comparing prices for vehicles at other dealerships,” and another 38% are comparing inventory.

Dealerships are reacting to this online shift in different ways, Kristen Lee (writing for Jalopnik) reports. Some dealerships are moving inventory to less expensive lots, while others are selling “underperforming dealerships.”

The principal of Greystone Valuation Services, Brad Cooper, compares the shift of that to bookstores: smaller, independent bookstores are losing out to the larger Barnes and Noble, who in turn faces stiff competition from online retailer Amazon.

At the same time that the online shift is happening, real estate prices are rising, causing some dealerships to question the value of keeping large inventory on expensive lots when it would be more cost effective to move inventory to cheaper real estate.

The shift is tough for the dealerships, but it’s good for consumers. The internet helps consumers be more informed and “savvier” than before, which in turn leads to more purchasing options and better deals.

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