What Shoppers Want: Convenience, Choice and Flexibility 

As the digital age continues to advance at lightning speed, consumer preferences are evolving just as quickly. Understanding these shifts is crucial in providing an excellent customer experience while driving business success. Based on insights from the Cox Automotive 2023 Digitization of Car Buying Study, it becomes evident that convenience, choice, and flexibility are paramount for today’s consumers, including in the automotive industry. 

Convenience: The Cornerstone of Modern Purchasing 

Consumers today are juggling busy schedules and expect brands to accommodate their need for convenience. In the realm of car buying, this means offering a seamless, end-to-end digital retailing experience. According to the Digitization of Car Buying study, nearly all dealers believe digital retailing positively impacts their business, particularly in customer experience and satisfaction. 

Key Insights: 

  • High Satisfaction: Consumers appreciate digital retailing solutions, with personal connections emerging as a significant benefit. 
  • Seamless Experience: Shoppers prefer a seamless transition from online to in-store without having to repeat information, emphasizing the need for integrated systems that facilitate this. 
  • Frictionless Process: Digital tools in-store enable a frictionless sales process, saving time for both customers and dealers. 

Providing a convenient shopping experience will keep your customers coming back. 

Choice: Empowering Consumers with Options 

In an era where personalization is king, offering a variety of options is not a luxury but a necessity. Consumers want to feel that their unique needs and preferences are being met, and this extends to their car-buying journey. 

Key Insights: 

  • Online Purchase Process: Forty-nine percent of dealers are offering customers the ability to complete each step of the deal online, providing the choice to engage with the buying process in a way that suits them best. 
  • Hybrid Environment: Many shoppers appreciate a hybrid shopping environment where they can start online and finish in-store. Dealers are embracing new tools to enhance this experience. 

When consumers have options, they feel empowered and valued, making them more likely to choose your dealership over others. 

Flexibility: Adapting to Consumer Needs 

Flexibility in purchasing options isn’t just about offering various channels; it’s about adapting to the consumer’s changing needs and preferences. The Cox Automotive report highlights the importance of digital interactions and the willingness of shoppers to provide personal information for a more tailored experience. 

Key Insights: 

  • Personalized Interactions: Shoppers are willing to share detailed information like income, credit score, and vehicle usage data to enable an ideal, personalized experience. 
  • Open Communication: Consumers often reach out to dealers with deal-related questions remotely while preferring to manage the later stages of the deal in person. It’s important be ready for how and when consumers want to engage. 

By being adaptable, you can meet your customers exactly where they are, making the entire buying process smoother and more enjoyable. 

The Value of Multi-Channel Purchasing Options 

Whether it’s through a robust e-commerce platform or digital tools in-store, multiple channels allow consumers to engage with your brand in the manner that suits them best, enhancing overall satisfaction. 

Ecommerce has revolutionized the car-buying process. Consumers can now browse inventory, compare prices, and even finalize deals from the comfort of their homes. This level of convenience and flexibility is invaluable, especially when dealing with high-ticket items like vehicles (read this blog about where we think automotive ecommerce is today). 

  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Ecommerce platforms streamline the buying process, reducing friction points and making it easier for consumers to make informed decisions. 
  • Consistency is Key: Ensuring price and inventory consistency across all channels is crucial. Discrepancies can lead to frustration and a negative customer experience. 
  • Data-Driven Insights: Online interactions provide valuable data that can help improve accuracy and the verification process, ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction. 

Giving Car Buyers What They Want 

Today, consumers value convenience, choice, and flexibility more than ever. Leveraging these insights to enhance your digital retailing capabilities can lead to significant business benefits. By offering a seamless, multi-channel purchasing experience, you can meet the evolving needs of your customers and stay ahead of the competition. 

Making the buying process as smooth and enjoyable as possible will leave a lasting positive impression on your customers. 

Ready to take your dealership to the next level? Embrace multi-channel retailing and offer your customers the convenience, choice, and flexibility they crave. With Cox Automotive solutions, you enhance customer satisfaction and drive your business forward in this digital age.