Industry survey shows which digital retailing tools automative shoppers are using

As car demand surges, chip shortages prevail, and dealerships continue to look for inventory, the automotive industry is rapidly adapting and transforming itself to become more digital, agile, and buyer-focused. Before we look at the results of a recent survey that examined the performance of digital retailing tools, it is important to understand why digital tools have become increasingly important in the car shopping experience.

Digital Improves Results

A recent Cox Automotive study found that "Heavy Digital" buyers who performed more than 50% of the car purchasing process online were significantly more satisfied compared to "Light Digital" buyers who performed less than 20% of the process online.

As a result, not only did the Heavy Digital buyers reduce their time at the dealership by more than 40-minutes, the survey indicated that their trust level of the dealership was higher and that the deals they received on their vehicles were the best they could get. It's clear that the pandemic has shifted car shopping behavior, and that two key themes have emerged as we continue into 2021.

  1. Car shoppers want to research and "buy" vehicles online and

  2. The more they can do online the more satisfied they are

The Pandemic Car Shopper

Take a look at this. In a recent Digital Dealer webinar, OfferUp discussed the post-pandemic car shopper and shared the following trends on what buyer's want:

  • Care more about the customer experience

  • Are willing to go to a competitor after 3 or fewer bad experiences

  • Want to do more with less

  • Prefer a mobile shopping experience

  • Expect instant gratification when asking a question

Digital Retailing

According to PureCars recent consumer survey on digital retailing tools, 26% of respondents indicated that they would have purchased their vehicle completely online if that option was available to them. It's not that today's car shoppers dislike going into the dealership, but the data does show that they dislike being "sold" to, which the survey indicates occurs when buyers go onsite. Today's buyers want to "buy" their vehicle and want a bespoke experience built around them.

Dealerships have been proactive about adopting new technologies and working with Horizontal Marketplaces like OfferUp to deliver frictionless car sales. Today, we got a look at PureCars new automotive survey that shows which digital retailing tools automotive shoppers prefer. With these insights, dealerships can continue to refine their buyer experiences.

Here is what the survey said:

Most Used Digital Tools

  • Trade-in Estimate: 71% 

  • Virtual Test Drive: 64% 

  • Contactless Delivery Options: 61% 

  • Build Your Vehicle: 57% 

  • Lease/Payment Calculator: 52% 

  • Finance App: 46% 

Advertising Trends 

  • 58% of consumers said the dealer had either a slightly different vehicle onsite as advertised or a completely different vehicle. 

  • Most people (76%) visited their local dealer after viewing an advertisement via an online video (YouTube); followed by streaming TV (72%); social media (71%), and search via Google (70%). 

  • Only 32% of people reported visiting a local dealer after seeing or hearing an advertisement on traditional media (broadcast/cable TV, radio or newspaper). 

Vehicle Delivery/Online Purchase Trends 

  • Nearly the same number of respondents said they had their vehicle delivered to them directly (29%) as those who said they picked up their car at the dealership (30%). 

  • However, another 26% said they would have purchased their car or truck completely online had the dealership offered that option.

If you have questions about chat or your own digital transformation, OfferUp is here to help. Today, OfferUp supports more than 4,200 dealers nationwide and helps dealers engage with hundreds of thousands of car shoppers every month.