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Car Buying Trends: The Shift to Digital Customer Experiences

Today’s car buying trends is increasingly turn to digital channels to research, compare, and ultimately make their purchase decisions. From researching online to purchasing, the journey from consideration to ownership has shifted digitally.

Embracing Digital Customer Engagement Technology

95% of car shoppers rely on online resources to gather information, bypassing dealerships as their starting point. So what better way to engage with potential customers than through your website? Here comes digital customer engagement technology to capture those research customers and transform them into a sale. Automotive consumers visit an average of 4.2 websites in their purchasing process. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to have channels across your website for you customers to engage with at any time. Technologies like live chat and video chat are reshaping how dealerships interact with customers. Not only do they provide convenience and flexibility but also foster personalized, immersive experiences that resonate with today’s tech-savvy consumers. Digital tools like video chat are exceeding customer expectations and satisfaction.

Car Buying Trends: Video Chat and Virtual Appointments:

With the rise of video conferencing tools, car dealerships can now offer virtual appointments, allowing customers to explore vehicles from their homes. Whether it’s a live video walkthrough of a specific model or a personalized consultation with a sales representative, video chat enables dealerships to deliver tailored experiences that bridge the gap between online research and in-person visits. Customers are willing to spend more when they know they will receive excellent service – up to 10% more in nearly every industry. Video chat has proven to be an effective tool for enhancing customer experience. In the automotive industry, Vee24’s solutions demonstrate the impact of person-to-person visual engagements: an average of 35% conversion from video chat to test drive, a 6x uplift in conversion for video chat compared to self-service, and an average Net Promoter Score (NPS) exceeding 90 for video chat interactions.

Chatbots and Cobrowsing:

Chatbots have become a valuable asset in the customer service space, offering instant support and guidance throughout the car buying process. They handle a range of tasks, from answering frequently asked questions to scheduling appointments, thus streamlining communication, alleviating strain on human resources, and enhancing overall efficiency. Statistics show that chatbots can handle up to 80% of routine customer inquiries, allowing sales staff to focus on more complex interactions. Meanwhile, cobrowsing technology enables real-time collaboration between customers and sales representatives, allowing them to explore inventory together and address inquiries seamlessly. According to recent studies, cobrowsing can increase customer satisfaction by up to 20% and reduce handling times by 50%. This interactive approach ensures that customers receive immediate, personalized assistance, which can significantly influence their purchasing decisions. By combining cobrowsing, video chat, appointment scheduling, and chatbots, dealerships can create the ultimate digital car buying experience. This comprehensive approach is not only efficient and seamless but also meets the diverse needs of all customers, enhancing their overall satisfaction and loyalty.

The Future of Car Buying

The automotive industry is poised for further development with innovations such as augmented reality (AR) showrooms, dark showrooms, and AI-powered recommendation engines. AR showrooms offer an immersive experience, allowing customers to visualize and interact with vehicles in a virtual space. Dark showrooms, which are minimalist and technology-driven, provide a sleek and modern buying environment. AI-powered recommendation engines analyze customer preferences and behaviors to suggest the most suitable vehicles, improving the match between customer needs and inventory.  Amidst these advancements, one thing remains constant: the importance of prioritizing the customer experience. A study by McKinsey & Company highlights that 70% of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are being treated. By embracing digital innovation and staying attuned to changing preferences, car dealerships can position themselves for success in a rapidly evolving market. This commitment to customer-centric strategies will ensure that they remain competitive and capable of meeting the demands of modern consumers.

Car buying trends service as a compass for navigating the shifting landscape of the automotive industry. By leveraging digital customer engagement technology, dealerships can redefine the car buying process and forge deeper customer connections.