Buying a car isn’t as easy as it used to be, prompting lenders and car dealers to adopt an omnichannel approach both attract and retain customers.
Consumers today want a car buying experience that meets their unique needs while giving them confidence, Daniel Chu, Managing Director of Automatic three-color acceptance, Recount Auto finance news. Customers want to be able to search and buy cars by phone or computer, while also having the ability to visit dealerships and view vehicles in person.
The success of online auto retailers such as Carvana, Vroom and Gap highlight changing consumer preferences and the importance of delivering a more personalized experience, Chu said, noting that customers now have a better understanding of what they are looking for both in a car and in the process of driving. ‘purchase itself.
“When we first saw the automobile start offering online engagement, it was very straightforward,” said Chu, noting that consumers were looking online for certain brands and potentially a few select features. “Today we see people wanting to meet their own personal style expectations,” he added.
“For several people [the car] represents a statement about who they are, what they have accomplished and how they want to project their own personality, ”said Chu. “Because the emotional aspect of the experience always seems to resonate so strongly with customers, we believe an omnichannel approach will still be largely the way automobiles are treated. “
Lenders and auto dealers can build customer loyalty by offering a seamless omnichannel approach that makes consumers feel understood, Chu noted. “The automobile is uniquely positioned to provide an opportunity… to deliver an experience that makes customers feel special and validated,” he said.
At the same time, even though online is becoming a more important part of buying cars, in-person experiences are not being overlooked. In fact, about 70% of car buyers still want to test drive the vehicle before buying it, and many of them often visit multiple dealerships, according to Cox Automotive.
Dealers also play a crucial role in vehicle delivery, and customers always consider affordability and available vehicles when making a purchasing decision, Chu noted. “In the United States, when we look at the automotive retail and how it interacts with auto financing, we really see that, for emotional and practical purposes, the omnichannel experience seems to prevail,” he said.
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