E-commerce and the car industry

E-Commerce becomes more and more important in all kinds of sectors due to the needs of the customers. The report named “The selfie experience: The evolving behavior of the connected customer” shows that there is an increasing demand from the customer side to have a personalized experience. The customers expect this offline as well as online. Besides this expectation, customers mention that personal preferences should form the basis for the delivered service and offers [1].

People with an age ranging from 18 till 34 years old do have more affinity with online channels than individuals belonging to another age group. However, even these ‘digital natives’ with a high affinity with online channels do want physical selling points. This shows that dealers are still an essential part of the selling process [1].

The report also states that almost all costumers, which get the feeling that they are well informed about the usage of their personal information, are satisfied with their dealer or supplier. Nevertheless, 37 percent of the customers did not have any contact with their dealer or manufacturer in the past year [1].

According to Capgemini there is need for ‘data sharing’ between the suppliers and the dealers to allow personalized experience. Consumers in sectors like the retail industry are used to get personal service and an experience that combines online and offline channels. These consumers require the same from the car industry [1].

Additionally specified in the report: customers ask more and more for new advanced technologies and ‘connected features’ in their cars. This will create new possibilities for suppliers and dealers, but it is also a challenge to manage this [1].

Consumers use a large variety of online sources when they are searching for a new car. A large group of people makes use of websites of dealers or manufacturers and search engines, respectively 49 percent and 43 percent. Besides these generally used sources, consumers also return to web forums, social media and smartphone applications. It is actually the Asian market that stimulates the use of a large variety of and non-traditional online sources. 80 percent of the consumers are drastically influenced by the positive reactions on social media [1].

Even though many customers use online sources during their decision-making process, 95 percent of the consumers still visit one or more dealers before their purchase. The reason for this is that they still want a ‘tangible’ experience when they buy a car [1].

So, will the car industry completely turn into E-commerce in the future or will this combination exist forever?



[1] http://www.emerce.nl/nieuws/autokoper-verwacht-betere-integratie-offline-online-kanalen

One response to “E-commerce and the car industry”

  1. 348165dk says :

    I think you might be quite right to assume that the combination of going to visit a physical dealer and online information gaining is going to exist for a while. When you take a closer look at the products that are being sold over the internet, or even the products you yourself order online, you will see that most of them have free shipping. Further more, the goods will be (at least most of the time) small enough to be shipped back if they aren’t satisfactory. When you are looking for a car, used or new, you want to see whether it has user marks, if all relevant options can be added and what colour scheme you want. As most online retailers aren’t fully equiped to have a website as intelligent as a human being, I think I will stick to the dealer for the time being.

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