Used Car Buyers making less trips to the dealership
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A shift is occurring in the way consumers are shopping for used cars. American’s are taking a different tack in car buying habits. We will explore what this paradigm shift is and how it adds up to sales on dealer showroom floors.
Traditionally car shoppers went to several dealerships looking at cars, kicking tires and gathering information. Consumers visiting as many as five dealerships before making a purchase decision this is now largely a thing of the past.
We have seen the mega-dealership where consumers could look at various brands under one roof. The car rows where five or six dealerships lined a few city blocks. All of this is becoming a thing of the past, why?
Shopping for vehicles today begins in front of a computer. With research tools available, manufacturer sites, used car dealership sites and third party information. Consumers can find out every little detail and nuance about a particular car in literally minutes.
Smartphones provide consumers tools that help in the process while on the dealer showroom floor. Third party apps provide a wealth of information giving the end user peace-of-mind that the buying decision is a sound one.
Consumers will begin their search online where they can build the car they’re interested in and see it in real time. For technical minded consumers this is a plethora of information. Side-by-side comparison shopping you can literally put two vehicles together and compare features.
With the technology that is available today consumers can literally arrange everything the purchase, arrange financing and delivery time. All that is left to do is pick up the car.
Those shoppers that are budget minded programs like Costco’s® car buying program take the hassle out of negotiating with preset pricing for members. Consumers are shown at the dealership the pre-negotiated price and all that is left to do is work out the trade-in, and financing if needed.
Programs like this are popping up from civic groups, credit unions and the like. This is an extremely fast moving trend and manufactures and dealers would be well advised to take a look at why. While consumers enjoy the benefits and real value of car buying programs.
Car buying programs tend to have members with higher credit scores, the consumers that work within these programs are looking for easy, no hassle deals. They are willing to work through third parties to get it. So much so that estimates put the number of consumers using for example Costco’s® service at 375,000 and climbing.
The paradigm change in auto buying is time driven; customers don’t want the hassle of driving from dealership to dealership. Folks just want a good deal, no hassle pricing, from a reputable car dealer. Dealers that are digital friendly, providing customer’s relevant information, fair pricing, and move them through the process quickly will fare much better than competitors that don’t.
Interesting to note that were seeing a global shift in automobile purchases, seems everyone is looking for the same service. No hassle, quick process and reputable providers.
Dealers that can provide consumers a complete online process from start to finish will flourish much more than those who don’t. Welcome to the digital age of car shopping!
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