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How Mobile Apps Are Changing The Car Buying Experience

Automotive retailing is shifting from a product and salesperson driven process to an experiential customer-centric approach. The dramatic shift in automotive retail in is not only being driven by data and technology, but by a transfer in control to the consumer – how they shop, buy, and the experience they demand.

2018 will see an increase in the number of dealers offering online shopper buying experience. Dealers will add new website eCommerce solutions such Online Shopper, Roadster, and Drive Motors.

This will ultimately determine the winners and losers of the next 5 years! The brutal reality is that most consumers still equate buying a car with getting dental work.

In a recent study by AutoTrader

  • 75% of Customers feel that an improved buying experience will motivate them to visit the dealership more often.
  • 72% of Consumers want to complete the credit application and financing paperwork online.

The bottom line is the old business model is outdated, and diametrically opposed to what consumers want and expect due to the rapidly evolving technology that is redefining the rules and retail model of the modern buyer and dealership.

Many consumers are moving away from the older, drawn-out experience of purchasing a car with all their research and planning happening at the dealership. Consumers often dislike the haggling process,  In fact, a study by Accenture shows that nearly 75% of people would be fine with buying a car without ever entering a dealership. They would be open to an entirely online car purchase process; this willingness is prompting a complete shift in the method of car sales.

Instead, many are starting their car buying process by scrolling through listings on their phones. The fact is that the market is shifting because so much information is at the fingertips of consumers, so they come to the dealership, either in person or online, equipped with a lot of information.

While this may be unsettling for challenging for dealerships who are accustomed to the older sales methods, harnessing these mobile and web based applications are the way to start today to bridge the gap to satisfy those customers who want start the quick and easy car buying process well before their arrival at the dealership.

Appraise Your Trade-In Remotely

While trading in a car is still often an in-person experience at the dealership, online applications are allowing more and more people to enter the dealership prepared to know what their cars are worth. Many people are using sites like Kelly Blue Book's Instant Cash Offer to calculate what they expect to receive for a their trade. Dealerships are making sure that they also know these sites and the factors that feed into them so that they will still have a competitive edge and ability to get fair trade-ins for the value they give out.

Identify a Dream Car From Home

One mobile car buying application Happy Tag Autos is the first to allow the consumer to find the new vehicle, appraise their trade all using just a smartphone. The consumer can communicate via the app with the dealership in real time and virtually complete the entire car buying process from within the app. The easy to use interface shows all the important specs, rebates and data that a customer may be interested in discovering. Consumers have reported that the time savings and less friction putting the deal together are 2 of major benefits of a car buying app like Happy Tag.

Remove the Friction from the Negotiation and Submit a Deal in Real Time

Another app that partially delivers the online car buying process is Roadster which also empowers the consumer with the ability to cut out the haggling over price in person. This service application negotiates with dealerships for customers so that they can get as much of a discount as possible without leaving their homes.

Other sites simply make the negotiation process digital, so that it can happen whenever the customer opens their phones rather than all in real-time. It not just the consumers who win. These functionalities can actually save time for dealerships, since getting a for-sure customer in only a few minutes of online negotiation is more fruitful than a frustrated customer leaving the store after a protracted negotiation in person.

At this point, 59% of people are hoping to be able to conduct their car purchase process through dealership websites, according to The Car Connection, and that number is poised to grow. Are you interested in bringing your car dealership in line with the modern habits of car purchasing?

ePush! can help you Operationalize data and leverage the technology to help converge the in-store and online environments to empower your dealership and customers to accelerate the entire dealership sales and service experience.

Contact us to learn more or register to watch our FREE webinar!

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Sean Marra
Sean Marra
CEO of ePush! With over 20 years of experience in automotive, Sean’s fearless approach and instincts put him at the forefront of the industry when it comes to Digital Marketing.

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