How Will Auto Dealerships Thrive in the Wake of E-Commerce?

Right now, 50% of car sales begin online – and that number is only going up. In a consumer market conditioned by the omnipresence of e-commerce platform that simplify the purchase of everything from computers to groceries, dealerships are no longer the hub of a centralized buying process.

The majority of customers have already researched and decided on brand, model, and price long before their first trip to the dealership. People don’t buy cars the same way they used to, and there’s no going back. The internet is accelerating a shift in power dynamics from dealerships to individuals.

So what are we saying? Is the dealership model going the way of Blockbuster and landlines? Well, some definitely will. But yours doesn’t have to.

Automotive e-commerce is a growth industry

People already buy everything online, and car sales aren’t going to be some miraculous exception. In a recent study, 65% of those surveyed indicated an interest in end-to-end online car shopping. So why fight it? Think of it this way: your customers want to make your job simpler by being their own salesmen. So why not let them?

When customers start navigating the entire sales process themselves, all you need to do is provide a simple and intuitive path from online research to in-store purchase. That’s the gap that an omni-channel retailing platform fills. A tailored e-commerce platform integrates the research process with your sales environment, and hooks the customers right from the start.

The flexible solution

But the real power in a strong digital retailing solution is in its adaptability. You know cars. You know business. What you probably don’t have is an IT change management team who’s ready to integrate a SaaS platform into your business operations. Why would you? But that’s what you’ll need with off-the-shelf e-commerce solutions.

That’s why you need a digital retailing partner who works with you: the system is complex, and you’ll get the most out of it when your staff understands the full extent of its utility. The most important step in implementing an e-commerce platform is proper training and integration.

Half-measures cost you sales

Think about that time you signed up for a new bank account online. They probably sent you into the branch for the final steps, right? And for some reason, the teller had no idea who you were, what you wanted, or what the internet was?

It’s not a great feeling to repeat the entire process that you just completed online (apparently for the amusement of a bank teller). It’s jarring, and you just want to leave. That’s what an expert digital retailing partner helps you avoid.

Do it right

Omni-channel digital retailing providers aren’t just disrupting the way automotive sales are done: they’re disrupting the way automotive e-commerce is conducted. What’s the point in cutting back your in-house expenses with a great online sales platform if you’re just going to drive customers away with a clunky transition from internet to reality?

The key to making e-commerce work for you is in making things easy for your customers. That’s why they’re online in the first place, so show them you understand their needs. Prove you deserve their trust.

Since 2011, Motoinsight has been working with dealerships and OEMs to realize a new vision for the automotive industry through our leading solutions including MotoCommerce. If you’re ready to find out how your dealership can thrive in the digital future, visit Let’s redefine automotive retail, together.

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