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Joey Little

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The Future is Now: Getting to Know Today's Car Buyer

0cba1aebcc0439fb5c81c7d3263dbf8b.jpg?t=1Automotive Future 

Autotrader’s recent Car Buyer of the Future study shows only 17 out of 4,002 people prefer the current car-buying process, with the rest saying they want significant changes. This means the industry needs to take a closer look at what consumers are looking for in order to determine how their needs can be met. Dealerships across the country are making changes to ensure they are able to compete and offer consumers the innovations, service, and process updates they demand when shopping for vehicles. In order to do this, take a look at who’s shopping at modern dealerships and what they’re saying:

  • Auto consumers are discerning online shoppers. More than 6 out of 10 turn to dealership websites when seeking information regarding used vehicles. What does this mean for you?

While your website isn’t the only site shoppers will use, it is an important one, and it should be easy to use, updated frequently, and contain enough vehicle-specific information to entice shoppers to visit your dealership in person for more in-depth information and to do a test drive.

  • Shoppers have more information than ever before, utilizing an average of 24 research points before making a decision regarding where and what vehicle to buy. This explains the reason you may be seeing a decrease in foot traffic while still selling cars. Shoppers arrive on your lot having already done a majority of their research, and are likely nearing a purchasing decision. What does this mean for you?

Getting in front of consumer research is important, which means you’ll need to boost your online presence and be a reliable resource when shoppers are doing their research. Also, when consumers set foot on your lot, your sales professionals should be prepared to meet educated, fast-paced shoppers with reliable, transparent information.

  • Nearly half of auto shoppers are millennials. A multi-device, mobile generation, they are changing the way most industries do business. Auto dealerships are learning these consumers crave authentic communication and shy away from being sold. What does this mean for you?

As the number of younger shoppers increases, your dealership can build its customer base by ensuring your online content is optimized for mobile and by engaging shoppers through meaningful online interactions that offer authentic conversation and honest information updates.

  • 72% of consumers would like to complete credit and financing paperwork online. No one wants to wait any longer than necessary to do paperwork, and most respondents said credit and financing paperwork stands out as a key way dealerships could enhance the overall buying experience. What does this mean for you?

Consumers are accustomed to the perks of being able to click, pay, and ship in just about every other industry. Although it may not be feasible to complete an entire transaction online, dealerships are finding ways to cut down on the time shoppers spend in-house. Consider things like online credit and finance forms as time-saving options for shoppers.

  • Working deals is a traditional step when it comes to selling a car, but today’s younger buyers want to cut to the chase. AutoTrader’s Car Buyer of the Future study confirms over half of shoppers surveyed would rather start making a deal online, with 45% saying they would rather remain anonymous until they lock in a deal. What does this mean for you?

When you are able to consider ways to shorten the deal-making process and offer clear-cut pricing, shoppers will be more likely to trust you and want to work with your dealership. Get to your bottom-line deal as quickly as possible to prove to customers you’re on their side and working to save them time and money.

When your dealership is able to get to the bottom of consumer pain points, you can place yourself in a position to offer helpful and viable solutions. Consumers are fast-paced, online-savvy, mobile-oriented—and they are looking for a dealership that can meet their needs in the most forward-thinking ways possible. You may not be able to complete a 100% online transaction, however, there are creative ways to cut down on the time spent doing paperwork, waiting in the dealership, and haggling over price; and these details will be appreciated by shoppers in today’s rapidly moving marketplace.

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