There are a number of factors that have caused great changes in businesses over the past few years. The most predominant catalyst for change has been the global pandemic, with workplaces worldwide being forced to rethink the way they market and gain business. The motor industry is no different. Although it is hard to imagine the spacious car dealerships – where clients browse and are marketed to through an in-person interaction. Moving to a centralised online sales platform. But it seems there is also change happening in the car industry, and the way it reaches potential clients.
Dealerships are rethinking the way they market their cars, how they come across online and how they can reach more clients without needing a physical location to show off their stock. Shopless looks at ways car dealerships are adapting to the online shift in its industry and what the future looks like for car dealerships.
What is the purpose of car dealerships?
Going to a dealership may seem old fashioned, but more young buyers are happy to visit dealerships. Based on their online research – going to a dealership allows the buyer to witness the car, discuss their research further with the dealer, and also offers a chance for further negotiation. Some second hand car dealers offer a wider range then they offer online and often new car dealers are specialists in their brand.
Therefore going to a dealership to look at a car offers an in person experience has historically been what people prefer. Particularly those who are not car enthusiasts, or those that just want more of a firsthand car experience.
How are car dealerships moving online?
More and more second hand car dealerships are using online platforms such as Shopless to sell their products online. Online marketplaces have become an instrumental selling platform for dealerships. As buyers know the platform, they are happy to browse many different items on the platform and they trust the online marketplace for their research. It also means the buyer/brower can research the history of the car and reviews while browsing the internet.
Consequently dealers are looking at ways they can interact with their online clients. The role of a sales person is shifting towards a marketing or virtual assistant role. Where the employees need to be proactive both in the dealership and through online portals. Thus the skillset of a car salesperson is shifting with the adaption of the current demand in clients.
Car companies and dealers are also looking at different ways to market themselves as reputable companies online. Elements such as creating press releases for new stock or to showcase a car. Using photos of stock to market to car enthusiasts through instagram, pinterest and other social media platforms. Some articles suggest that car companies that are more digital savvy will see the most growth and expansion. Which is similar to the outlook of many businesses in today’s society.
What are some considerations dealers have had to adapt to since COVID?
The mobility of buyers has changed before the pandemic. During lockdowns etc the travel of people in New Zealand and across the globe was limited. However during that time many factors changed, in particular the need to travel and the desire to travel. Many workplaces have adapted to the pandemic by offering people the chance to work from home. This has significantly decreased the necessity of a car for many peoples day-to-day lives. However now car buyers are looking at cars that may be better to travel for longer distances domestically. Due to restrictions around air-travel. So the type of car buyers are looking for is changing as well as the budget of many car buyers.
Are car dealers ready for the future?
Many car dealers are quickly adapting to the changing world and new sales requirements. Many dealerships are rebranding, or for smaller businesses they may be starting online sales before purchasing or renting a sales yard. Some car brands such as Polestar and other brands are centralising their showroom, and selling their cars in an online capacity. So if someone wants to view the car they attend the showroom, or book a test drive – the sales are generally made online. So with the current advancements and adaptation seen in the industry, yes dealers are ready for the future changes to the industry and buyer behaviour. Across all types of car sales dealerships that are looking at ways to improve and move much of their business online.
Shopless has offered a more in depth analysis on the way car dealers are developing their business structure. Online marketplaces are a great place to start in your car hunt, or if you are looking to purchase a car. Make sure to check out our motors section here, and utilise our trusted marketplace for your next car purchase!