Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the car buying process underwent rapid transformation. With car buyers shopping from home in light of social-distancing protocols, technology and innovation had to slam on the gas to keep up with shoppers’ evolving needs. With the stay-at-home economy ushering in new customer demands, businesses of all shapes and sizes have ensured that car buyers can purchase a new, used, or certified pre-owned car–without ever stepping foot in a dealership. But how exactly is this new car buying process possible? Take a closer look at how tech has revolutionized the car buying process for the better.
Streamlined the online car buying process
Buying a car online has become easy, especially with the technological innovations on dealership websites. In the United States, at least six percent of the population decided to buy a vehicle entirely online to reap the benefits of a contactless experience and avoid wasting countless hours idling in dealerships.
The process of buying a car online and shipping it to the new owner has never been easier. With the help of cloud technology and lightweight materials that are now a staple of modern car production, car transportation has never been more affordable and convenient for online shoppers opting for dealership-to-door delivery.
Buyers can take VR test drives
In the past, car buyers wouldn’t consider missing the test drive. Now, they can take virtual reality test drives from the convenience of their computer screens. Virtual showrooms and test driving experiences give buyers a realistic idea of how their new cars look and feel going down the road.
Dealerships have more financing options
Dealerships have new technology to make financing more convenient. Many offer online applications and several choices for alternative financing with guaranteed approval. Buyers who want to avoid in-person meetings can sign their paperwork digitally and submit photo IDs through secure networks.
Customers can shop around for the perfect vehicle
Because dealerships share their inventory online, shoppers can look for the perfect car and the latest-and-greatest deal, even if the vehicle is miles away in a dealership across state lines. Shoppers can see the sticker and select the car with the high-tech features, trendy colors, and powertrains that fit their needs (and wishlists).
Dealerships share their independent offers and manufacturers’ offers so shoppers can find the lowest price and best financing terms and interest rates. Dealerships can also help register vehicles across state lines, introducing more convenience into the car-buying process.
More marketing opportunities for dealerships
Thanks to the internet and social media, dealerships have uncapped access to ROI-guaranteed marketing opportunities. Many sites now feature pop-up screens that ask for email addresses and phone numbers so dealerships can send local opportunities to shoppers. Before the internet, dealerships directed marketing efforts to local shoppers. Now, dealership owners can target drivers anywhere in the country.
Buyers and sellers can communicate via text, chat, or email
Smartphones and the internet have changed the way dealerships and shoppers communicate. Most dealerships have live chatbots that welcome customers and direct inquiries to the correct department.
Then, the sales team can work with sellers through the most convenient communication tool. Buyers can chat while at work and not worry about making a phone call at an inconvenient time.
While car dealerships continue to sell cars in person, most buyers are trusting the digital process. The conveniences of buying a car online cannot be replicated by the time-consuming and complicated old-fashioned process.
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