Car dealerships should be more transparant to gain trust from their consumer base. Especially now these customers are putting more and more trust in the Internet of Things, like household appliances and smartwatches.

Nick King, Autotrader’s manager of the Insights division, will speak about this during the AM Digital Dealer conference in Sylvestone, England on September 15th 2015.

There are 23 million connected cars driving around and customers rely solely on their phones the same goes for their car.

This level of access to information means dealers have to make sure their processes and evaluations are transparent and adaptable to the wishes of the costumer.

King said earlier: “There is a big difference in the relation dealer – customer, the way the dealer perceives it and the way the customer experiences it. But, dealers can influence customer perception and win them over. For example, dealers think requesting a test drive is the easiest thing in the world, but research shows customers view this process with much trepidation. Dealerships who can explain the test drive process clear and transparant, are much better in convincing the client it is really easy and simple

Research also shows the dealer’s attitude towards Millenials (people aged 17-34) can be counterproductive. “Millenials are not taken seriously by dealership, while they have a higher disposable income due to living at home. And car buyers aged 25 to 35 usually have high education levels and a well-paid job.

Autotrader’s research shows car buyers are getting increasingly impatient and also make less appointment at the dealership to view a particular car. With this trend the website and the first impression when entering the showroom becomes crucial in the buying process. When you lose out in these areas, you’ll most likely lose the customer.

In the USA Autotrader found out that a staggering 89% of car buyers don’t make appointments any more. They just walk in, expect to be able to test drive a car and buy it when they like it.

And even if that percentage is lower in Europe and the UK (58%), it’s still rising and for millennials it’s almost 10 per cent higher, 67%. The current sales process is outdated. Take the test drive for example: this is usually a standard route on the industrial estate and highway driving or dealing with city traffic is not taken into account. With this you just don’t know, maybe a customer prefers a small, nippy car to the bigger one with more comfort.

“From our data shows when dealerships views their own actions critically, improve a little in each and every detail, put in a little more effort and treat their customers with respect, the number of sales and profit margins will rise.

During the AM Digital Dealer conference there will be focus on the key components of interaction between customer and car dealership.

For those who Sylverstone is too far away and of too short notice, Elmark-Online can help you definitely with the digital component and make sure the first online impression will be a positive one. Curious? Contact me by mail, skype or social media!


[This is an adaptation of an article from 8 september 2015 verscheen op]