There is little doubt the car buying experience has changed over the past couple of decades into a more streamlined experience. Sure, baby boomers still take a drive to the local dealership to kick the tires, try to outwit the salesperson and pretend they know what they’re talking about before taking a test drive. However, today consumers extensively research cars online before stepping into a dealership. It’s even possible to fill out web auto financing applications and receive approval for a loan before stepping foot onto the dealership's property. Technology has dramatically changed the auto buying experience and securing auto loans and financing options through in-person professionals is becoming a scarcity.
The Information Age
Thanks to the internet, some auto-seekers know as much about certain vehicles models as auto sales professionals. A car buyer can obtain pre-approval for an auto loan from his smartphone after filling out a short application. Though most customers still opt to purchase vehicles at traditional auto dealerships, much of the information they need about vehicles and financing is obtained from a smartphone, tablet or laptop screen. In some instances, the only reason for a customer to visit the auto dealership is to test drive the vehicle in question.
The Democratization of Information has Empowered Customers
Recent improvements in technology have provided customers with considerable car shopping advantages. Anyone with a smartphone that’s on the prowl for a new or used vehicle can became an auto expert in minutes. Whether it’s consumer safety reports or finding reviews from soccer moms, the web has answers that will assist you in researching your vehicle before visiting the dealership.
Car shoppers spend weeks reading auto-maker blog posts and tweets, they’re well informed on the prices and promotions. With a price comparison in hand they’ll arrive at the dealership to ensure the only ride they’re taken for is the test drive. In addition to being an expert on vehicle features, any customer may now obtain financing through apps like AutoGravity and know exactly what they can afford before heading to their local dealership.
Let's say the buyer pinpoints the perfect 4-door luxury sedan, they can narrow in to display local dealerships and automatically send emails or calls to the sales agents to find out if they accept their offered price and terms. Since the mobile app verifies your information and secures your financing, if a dealer accepts your offer and the vehicle is in stock you simple drive over and sign the paperwork. The traditional loan process through the dealership's finance and insurance department is gone. Customers lives are hectic and busy, give your consumer a quick shopping experience and automate their experience, they’ll thank you for it.
Transparency is the Name of the Game
The era of ‘the car salesman’ is nearing extinction and technology is educating the masses, knocking down barriers and helping people find their dream vehicle from the comfort of home. This is reason alone auto dealers must include transparency into their salesmanship and business as they move onward. Concealment or stretching the truth today will inevitably lead to loss of business or worst negative social status.
Auto dealers who facilitate the spread of information through an informative, engaging and well designed website coupled with top-notch social marketing will win over prospective customers and dramatically increase the odds of those prospects showing up in-person for test drives and purchases. Don’t wait till you’re out of business to hop on board this tech revolution. Engage customers online and provide them with information they’re hungry for, offer easy financing options. provide engaging website and your dealership will reap the rewards.
http://fortune.com/2014/09/02/car-dealerships-turn-to-ipads-not-sign-twirlers-to-win-business/ http://fortune.com/2017/01/23/ford-motor-credit-buy-car-online/ https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/3-reasons-why-technology-has-not-improved-car-buying