E-commerce has become a vital component of the majority of enterprises. It has provided the marketers with the opportunity to interact with the consumer base to gauge their feedbacks and move the goods effectively based on these communications.
Therefore, it is unsurprising that the automobile industry is leveraging the numerous benefits offered by e-commerce. Consequently, there are multiple dealerships with a strong online presence and car buying websites, which provide convenience and efficiency. These digital platforms are serving as more attractive auto-retail options as compared to the traditional methods.
The rise of Auto e-commerce
There are projections of a significant drop in the number of cars sold in 2018 as compared to the previous years. However, the online sales niche of the automotive industry is thriving with increased sales activity and stiff competition.
Customers buying behavior is one of the primary reasons for shaping up the digital automotive industry. The current car-buying generation is more mobile-oriented and expects a seamless online experience. They prefer interactions via omnichannel including social media, websites, apps as well as physical retail shops.
Majority of them conduct an extensive online search before purchasing a car. They look for online reviews, take suggestions from their peers on the social network, compare prices on various apps and so on before visiting a dealership and making a decision. This has prompted more and more auto-retailers to jump on the digital bandwagon and carve a niche for themselves to gain more prominence and exposure.
The dealers also benefit from digital tools to evaluate and research the customer market. Web analytics enables them to comprehend the ongoing trends and preferences, subsequently allowing them to manage their on-site inventory.
In addition, online shoppers also prove to be the best customers for the dealers. The buyers are well prepared, having done all of their research online, and they usually visit the dealership to buy a car. This saves the time otherwise spent going over the minute details customary before pre-sales such as the exact specifications of every available model and negotiation for competitive prices.
Moreover, most of the pre-sale interactions are conducted through web-chat and emails, further cutting down on time spent on physical communications.
Another advantage of the auto industry’s digital market to the buyers is the increased competitiveness, which forces the dealers to offer the best prices for a car, both buying and selling. They can rarely hoodwink the customers into unreasonable deals because the buyers and the sellers are well aware of the actual value of a vehicle.
Auto e-commerce has also led to an entirely new marketplace for buyers and sellers of auto-parts. Vehicle owners are increasingly repairing their own cars by purchasing parts online, instead of exchanging the vehicles for newer models. This is mainly because the parts are easily available online. They come with complete information about their specification and in a varied price range.
As a result, the traditional auto-parts distributors are compelled to improve their online presence, improve the availability of parts, and establish an order tracking system.
E-commerce also paves the way for retargeting potential and previous customers, which is otherwise ineffectual for traditional dealing. The remarketing strategy mainly targets shoppers who show an interest in your website but fail to make a purchase. A smart marketing campaign attracts the prospective customers by tapping into their requirements about the year, make and model of the cars, and offering them deals based on the acquired insights. The dealerships can also produce ads based on their inventories and display them in front of the online customers looking for the specific models available in stock.
E-commerce has a lot of potential in the automotive domain. Owing to the growing sophisticated use of the online platform by the millennials, it is going to get difficult for the retailers to remain relevant without a digital presence. The dealerships must build brand recognition through social media and integrate a B2B and B2C framework powered by data analytics to up their game.