An inviting, well designed, website with easy functionality is a must for all car salesmen/motor dealers in these digital times when the go-to instinct of all shrewd millennials is to reach for the smartphone before every purchase. Everything from a simple falafel sandwich to a high end Hybrid car is accessed and assessed online prior to purchase. Car buyers too, are increasingly researching, comparing and buying on the net.
The latest online research indicates that Millennials (defined as those young up and coming customers) are overwhelmingly open to buying cars online. Over a third of those who took part in a Trustpilot survey on the digital future of car buying, said they would research and purchase their new vehicle online. It is no surprise that online research is already a feature in potential car purchases with over 71% of potential car- buyers doing online searches before they purchase (Consumer Association). But despite the online searching, there was still a reluctance for a full purchase online, and as consumer trends change, this too, will become a reality for many motor traders.
This change to a digital future for car sales, demonstrates the need for auto retailers to digitally transform and update their online presence. This includes improving the company website, improving your presence on third party websites and engaging on social media in a more meaningful way. The clever car dealer must start thinking that the internet is not just an extension of the car salesroom or the garage forecourt, it is the gateway to potential buyers. Third-party sites are the now the most popular starting point for car shopping (used by 78% of potential car buyers). It is essential to have an impressive presence on sites like Carzone and Done Deal to attract the car browsing public.
The Society of Irish Motor Industry recommend that consumers research online in advance of buying a car and then go on to buy locally for the best deal.
They even offer their own website, www.beepbeep.ie as a good start for second hand purchases, as it displays cars from SIMI members, with car history checks already completed. It is only one of many third party sites available for the buyer to peruse. Check out which ones offer you, the trade the best deal and have the most traffic, and make sure you are visible, visited and updated regularly.
According to the Motor trade publication, Autotrader, 71% of car shoppers will spend a lot of time researching car prices online, before test driving. Just under two thirds of prospective car buyers will find the actual car they want listed for sale on motor trader websites. Car buyers will also use online searches to compare different models and prices. They will seek the current value and expert reviews on cars and even use detailed video test drives prior to visiting a car show room. Finally they use the internet to locate a car dealer locally or to get dealer info and reviews.
Motor Traders need to embrace the digital age.
Trustpilot, the consumer review site has important message: “For those seeking to appeal to Millennials, the message is clear – build a compelling digital experience that provides access to the buying and service experiences of others. By doing so you’ll appeal on their terms, as our research clearly shows this segment is ready to buy online. The winners in the industry will be those that embrace change and transformation.”
At Dmac Media, drawing on our years of experience in providing outstanding websites and digital marketing expertise to the motor industry, we put it in more simple terms. The website of a successful motor trader needs to be sleek, classy with an ease of functionality. Your potential client will view it on a number of devices including smartphones. The buyer wants to see featured cars with video, imagery and the increasingly popular 360 spins. They also expect access to finance applications and simple contact methods. A car that lacks detail is a huge turnoff! Not just for that car but for brand.
With projected new car sales for 2018 expected to be in the region of 125,000, and considering the vibrant trade in second hand vehicles, it is vital for the independent motor trader not to get left behind in the world of online car sales. Social media, third party sites and your own amazing website are all part of keeping up with the online trends. Embrace the future and start forward thinking with a website revamp and a digital marketing strategy that will ultimately increase your footfall and sales.