US car dealerships need to continue to evolve to keep up with consumer demands in an increasingly competitive marketplace, according to research from one of the leading car search sites in the US, Autotrader.com.
New research from Autotrader.com says US motorists are generally dissatisfied with the car buying process and dealers need to do more to meet their expectations.
This echoes recent research from Autotrader.com’s sister site in the UK, Motors.co.uk, which suggests that while dealerships are on the right road, they need to respond quicker to queries and make sure they don’t lose sight of fundamental customer needs.
Both companies are part of global automotive services giant Cox Automotive, whose President Sandy Schwartz this month revealed the verdict of US vehicle market research.
The Autotrader.com survey showed that only a handful (17) of a poll of 4,002 US consumers like the current car buying process, with Mr Schwartz advising that dealership changes are needed to keep up with rising customer expectation.
The Autotrader.com research revealed some significant changes that US motorists would like to see to the dealership buying process including test drives from product specialists, not salespeople, as well as the ability to test drive multiple vehicles of different brands, all from the same location. Additionally, consumers wanted the ability to start the negotiation process online (56%) and complete credit applications and paperwork online for faster service on the day of the sale.
Mr. Shwartz added that dealers and car makers that created better shopping experiences would reap the benefits, with 72% of survey participants claiming they would visit a dealership more often if the buying process were improved and 66% claim they would be more likely buy from such a dealership that more closely delivered their ideal service.
Andy Coulthurst, managing director of Motors.co.uk, said: “In both the UK and US, customer expectation is very high.
“The findings from our sister company tie in with our own research which shows consumers are looking for a complete package and positive experience when purchasing a car.
“US markets often identify trends which make their way over here so dealerships should take note of the demands for increased online options and specialist service.
“A combination of smart online processes and strong retail culture will ensure dealers stay on top of their game.”