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The digital world is changing how people are shopping for cars around the world. The consumer today is always connected and is in a position to discover information at an unprecedented rate. The consumer knows about products faster than before, compares those products and services and then goes to make a purchase decision. All of the above steps can be achieved within a few clicks.
The automobile industry is undergoing this transformation, it is also challenging a lot of old consumer habits and assumptions. The industry is being threatened by the advent of ridesharing and self-driving cars. At the center of this change is the consumer.
The customer’s buying journey is more dynamic now. With the digital journey, the customer is able to access the information from a variety of devices from home, office, dealership or anywhere else.
Earlier, consumers used to read reviews in print, asked friends and family for car buying advice. This process also included a number of dealership visits before zeroing in on a vehicle. Fast forward to 2019, this process is less relevant.
Buyers are using data-driven review websites like CARHP to complete their buying process. Websites like CARHP offer one-stop buying solution to the consumers. CARHP offers in-depth reviews, buying advice and inventory stats for over 2500 vehicle models in the US.
Prospective buyers are consuming video content at a fast rate. The dealership experience has shrunk to an extent. Earlier these places were hotspots for exploring and shopping cars, now they have been reduced to points of sale. Still, no online experience can take place of getting behind the steering wheel of a car - and going for a test drive.
According to think with Google, consumers like five video content styles: test drives, walk-around, feature highlights, reviews, and safety tests.
The buyers today aren’t just satisfied with good products but they also want a uniform experience across all the channels. People are looking for personalized information which caters to their needs. They want intimate conversations and they prefer it to do via social media and text.
OEMs and dealerships cannot put all their resources at their storefront. They need to provide a seamless digital experience that can win consumers at different online stages. The automakers need to take a consistent approach across different channels to present a uniform consumer experience. One way to offer a good consumer experience is to have an ear down for customer viewpoints, understand their problems and feedback. All these key factors can be used to anticipate and influence consumer behavior by offering relevant information to the consumer.