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Getting it right for the customer online and in the showroom

Josie_Byrne_620For many consumers, buying a car is one of the most significant purchases that they will make, so the decision requires a good deal of thought. To better understand shopper behaviour throughout the buying journey, we conducted a survey of 1,000 UK adults.

We found that online research is a key part for the customer journey, with 32% researching the web before purchasing in a dealership, while 23% research both online and in the showroom before buying in-store. This means that a unified approach to the customer journey is essential.

But many automotive brands and dealers are still failing to fully capitalise on the opportunity to embrace digital interactions. Almost half (44%) of customers said they want physical dealerships to get better at recognising their online value, while 42% wish that vehicle websites would recognise them as a regular showroom visitor.

Automotive customers particularly value input from a salesperson, with a quarter of car buyers wanting to ask lots of questions and a fifth seeking an in-depth conversation with a salesperson. 18% said they appreciate a personal demonstration and even among those who prefer to be their own guide, 12% like a quick chat to make sure they’ve made the right choice.

With salesperson interactions playing such an important part in the buying cycle, dealers need to ensure they are equipping staff with the technology needed to help assist with any queries that arise to maximise deal closures.

As our research shows, a compelling customer journey brings together the best elements of digital and physical, through leading-edge technology.

Automotive brands must take a step back and look at what their current user experience looks like and better implement IT to cash in on the rewards truly engaged customers bring.

 Josie Byrne is an account director for automotive at Black Pepper Software

One comment

  1. If ford’s dealerships have told us anything, it’s that customers are browsing online much more before entering the showroom. Having your dealerships visible, with solid imaging before the client even steps in there, gives them a sense of familiarity and family as soon as the come in the door.
    Check out the individual dealership pages on http://www.ford.co.uk to see examples.

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