“The linear car-buying journey is over”
The future of remarketing is not just digital. It’s omnichannel. That means two things: simplicity for the customer and complexity for remarketers. And for the same reason: “The linear car-buying journey is over”, says Philip Nothard (Cox Automotive) (picture).
We all remember linear: the customer goes to the dealership, gets informed, and purchases. The bit in the middle could take some time because customers would often return until they were confident they were making the right choice.
Before the pandemic accelerated our reliance on e-commerce, the average consumer would visit a dealership seven times before buying a car. Now that’s down to just one visit.
We all know why: customers see – and find – a lot of the information they want online. They expect to interact with the dealership before they arrive. And they arrive more prepared than before.
Making the customer journey seamless
Customers want to be able to switch seamlessly between a digital and a physical customer journey. “In other words, the linear car-buying journey is over, and that will impact business models,” says Mr Nothard.
The paradox is that for customers to enjoy a simple and seamless customer journey, the dealers need to get serious about the added complexity this requires from their side.
“They need to avoid tech for tech’s sake and focus on tools that support the customer journey”, says Mr Nothard.
In general, such tools have two different jobs. At the customer-facing front end, they need to increase transparency and streamlining. Think chatbots, for example. At the back end, they should enable greater data sharing – so the dealers get a better picture of what their customers want.
“Some OEMs predict a quarter of new sales will be entirely online soon”, says Mr Nothard. A similar trend will transform used vehicle sales – and benefit those ready for the change.
This article is from our latest remarketing E-Book: Optimising the Used Vehicle Customer Journey in a Changing World, which can be downloaded for free.
Author: David Baudeweyns