In 2015, Accenture conducted a survey of 10,000 consumers from around the world. Overall, more than half of the respondents have a favorable view of buying and trading cars over the Internet. In fact, 53% said they would consider buying a car online, and 63% are open to buying from online auctions.
The data tells us that dealerships with a strong online presence have an edge over competitors who are inaccessible via the Internet. It also indicates how consumers now regard the Internet as a reliable channel for transactions as important (and sometimes complicated) as buying a car.
Convenience and Access to Information
It’s easy to see the attraction. Online search makes it easy to find dealers for specific brands and units. Buyers can browse hundreds of sale listings from various locations in the comfort of their homes.
Being online allows them to look for more information about the cars they want to buy and the dealers on their shortlist. Of the consumers from the same Accenture study, 54% said they want relevant information when checking prospective purchases online.
The process is also easier when purchasing from other states or outside the country. Buyers and dealers can hash out arrangements via email, calls or conferences. The process is often simpler online, too. There’s less beating around the bush as buyers and dealers make the most of each communication.
A Boost for Traditional Dealership Services
This doesn’t mean that traditional dealerships are now less effective than online services. It’s more accurate to say that online buying channels aid dealership transactions. Many car selling websites provide price comparisons of inventory from brick-and-mortar dealerships and would require dealership visits as part of the buying process.
There are obvious benefits to this. Dealers conduct thorough and first-hand inspections and can, therefore, give accurate and detailed descriptions of the cars they sell. They are also a wealth of knowledge about cars in general. It is for these reasons that Tyacke Motors, a Utah based dealer, encourages buyers to visit dealerships personally — especially when buying second-hand.
A recent Bloomberg report also confirms that online channels boost dealership sales. Numerous auto financing start-ups are now emerging online to boost the car purchasing power of consumers. They don’t bypass dealerships; instead, they cater to them.