How the Automotive Market Has Changed: A Consumer’s Perspective
May 5, 2022
The automotive market is constantly changing, and car dealerships need to adjust their strategies to meet the needs of today’s consumers. Buyers are doing more research than ever before, and they are making decisions based on information they find online. Suppose you don’t understand the answers to the question “how do people shop for cars today?” and adapt your strategies. In that case, you will lose business by stocking the wrong inventory or not providing the information that today’s shoppers are looking for. In this article, you’ll learn more about the changes that have taken place in the automotive market and why it is so essential for dealerships to pivot their strategies to stay competitive.
The answer to “how do people shop for cars” has changed in recent years
The automotive market has changed dramatically in recent years, and buyers are doing more research than ever before. They are looking for information online and making decisions based on what they find. If you don’t fully understand how do people shop for cars, you can lose your business to competitors who understand the new consumer landscape.
Several factors have contributed to this change in the automotive market. These include:
The environmentally-friendly movement
With the rise in gas prices and the increasing awareness of climate change, more people are looking for cars that don’t negatively impact the environment. This has also led to an increase in the demand for electric vehicles. As a result, many dealerships have had to pivot their inventory to include more eco-friendly options.
The rise of online research
One of the main reasons the automotive market has changed so dramatically is the rise of online research. Today, buyers are more likely to do their research online before purchasing, and they also use social media to gather information and opinions from friends and family members. However, at the same time, dealers can also use online resources like Kelley Blue Book’s blog to research and understand what buyers are looking for. This allows dealers to acquire the proper inventory and answer customers’ questions before they even step foot in the dealership.
The growth of social media
Social media has also played a role in the changes that have taken place in the automotive market. Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow people to share information about products and services with their friends and followers.
These sites also allow businesses to reach their target audience more personally than before. People can post questions and get answers from experts, and share photos of their new car or truck with friends and family members who may be interested in buying one.
The advancement of mobile technology
Finally, the advancement of mobile technology has changed the way people shop for cars. Today, buyers can use their smartphones and tablets to research on the go. Technology like augmented reality allows buyers to “view” a vehicle in person without ever leaving their homes. As a result, car dealerships need to be prepared to offer a mobile-friendly experience that meets the needs of today’s buyers.
The impact of these changes on consumers
These changes have had a significant impact on consumers. As a result of these impacts, you should constantly ask, “how do people shop for cars in today’s modern age?”
How do people shop for cars #1 – Buyers are more educated than ever before
One of the most notable changes that have taken place in the automotive market is that buyers are more educated than ever before. They know what they want, and they aren’t afraid to ask for it. This means that you need to be prepared to answer questions about features, suggested retail pricing, and financing. You also need to provide information about the different models available on the market. Dealers will also need to be more focused on acquiring the proper inventory to meet buyers’ needs since they are educated and will likely not settle for a vehicle that doesn’t meet their specifications.
How do people shop for cars #2 – Shoppers are taking their time to make a decision
Another change that has taken place is that shoppers are taking their time to make a decision. Using research tools online, buyers can compare things like your dealership’s suggested retail pricing with other dealers in the area. In the past, buyers would typically decide on a car within a few days, and now, they are taking weeks or even months to make a decision. This gives you more time to make a sale, but it also means you need to be prepared to answer more questions and provide information about their vehicles.
How do people shop for cars #3 – The importance of online reviews
Online reviews have become increasingly important in the automotive market. Buyers are looking at review websites to get an idea of what other people think about your dealership or an individual car salesperson on your team. They are also looking for feedback on specific vehicle models.
Why dealerships need to adapt to the changes in the consumer landscape
The changes that have taken place in the automotive market are here to stay, and you need to adapt to these changes to continue doing business in the years ahead. The top reasons all dealerships need to adapt are:
The advancement of technology
Dealerships can now leverage technology to gather more information about potential buyers. You can now use tools like online chat, text messaging, and social media to connect with customers. This new data can help you readjust your inventory acquisition strategies and suggest retail pricing strategies to suit your target audience’s needs better.
The growth of online shopping
More and more people are shopping for cars online. This means that you need to have a strong presence on the internet, with a website that is easy to navigate and provides accurate information about your vehicles. You also need to be active on social media platforms and participate in online discussions. Online shopping gives dealers critical insight into the shopping habits of their customers. This allows dealers to increase profits by acquiring the proper inventory and listings in the right places to boost car sales.
The importance of online reviews
Online reviews are essential for dealerships because these reviews allow businesses to understand what other people think about them. If you have several bad reviews, this could be a turn-off for potential customers and hurt your bottom line. This means you need to be active on review websites like Yelp and Google My Business so that you can respond to negative feedback in real-time.
The growth of electric vehicles
Electric vehicles are becoming more popular, and this trend will only continue in the years ahead. You need to be prepared to sell and service these vehicles, and you need to have a solid understanding of how electric cars work and any special requirements that might come with owning one.
Dealership strategies to stay competitive in the automotive market
Sellers can use several dealership strategies to stay competitive in the automotive market. Some of the best strategies you can use are:
Research market trends
Researching market trends is an excellent way for dealers to understand what customers are looking for right now. Simple google searches like “How do people shop for cars today?” can bring up information that you can use to make changes within your organization, such as adding more inventory or changing to suggested retail pricing on specific models of cars and trucks.
Inventory optimization is one of the most crucial dealership strategies to stay ahead in the automotive market. You need to have an accurate picture of what inventory you currently hold at any given time and how much demand there is for each vehicle on your lot or showroom floor. With technology and social media, you can gauge customer interest in specific models before spending money on buying those vehicles.
Having a strong online presence
Dealerships need to have a solid online presence, and this means that you need to have an updated website with accurate information about your inventory and financing options available. You also need to be active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to interact with customers in real-time.
Offering a trade-in program
A trade-in program like the Kelley Blue Book’s Trade-in Advisor can benefit both dealerships and customers. You can offer a fair price for the customer’s old car, which will help them sell their cars quicker. The customer can then use that money to purchase their new vehicle. Dealers can use trade-in programs to acquire more inventory in the form of high-quality pre-owned vehicles at a lower price. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Selling cars online
More and more people are shopping for cars online. This means that you need to have a strong presence on the internet, with a website that is easy to navigate and provides accurate information about their vehicles, like special features and suggested retail pricing. You can upgrade their online listings to have high conversion rates using Kelley Blue Book’s Listing Enhancements tools.
Use technology to provide a great customer experience
Technology can be used to provide a great customer experience. This includes using tablets or iPads for customers to browse inventory, using video chat to allow buyers to communicate with salespeople from the comfort of their own homes, and having an interactive website that allows buyers to learn about the car they are interested in buying. In some instances, car brands use augmented reality technology to let buyers see what their vehicle would look like before deciding.
How Kelley Blue Book can help dealerships
Kelley Blue Book is a leading provider of new and used car information. The website provides suggested retail pricing data on cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans so that buyers can make informed decisions when purchasing their next vehicle. Kelley Blue Book also offers a full suite of tools that you can use to help stay competitive in today’s automotive market.
With Kelley Blue Book, you have access to:
Price Advisor - Provides vehicle pricing data based on make, model, and trim level. This is a valuable tool for suggested retail pricing.
Trade-In Advisor - Gives buyers an idea of what their current vehicle is worth. This helps them determine how much money they will have to put down on their next car or truck and enables salespeople to negotiate a better deal with customers by offering more for less.
Instant Cash Offer - Allows dealers to buy vehicles from customers for a fair price below suggested retail pricing. This is an excellent option for dealers looking to stock their lot with new inventory or for buyers who want to sell their cars quickly and easily.
Online Vehicle Listings - Allows dealers to post their inventory on Kelley Blue Book’s website, reaching a massive audience. Listings are rich with photos, videos, and detailed information about each car or truck.
The automotive market is constantly changing, and you need to be prepared for the new challenges that come with it. You must adapt your inventory acquisition, marketing, suggested retail pricing and sales strategies to keep up in this competitive market. Kelley Blue Book can help you fully understand the concept of “how do people shop for cars in today’s age?” This will ensure you’re ahead of the curve and maintaining a competitive edge. For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book.
ATLANTA, Aug. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The average price Americans paid for a new vehicle in July 2023 was 0.4% higher than one year ago, the smallest year-over-year price increase in the last decade. […]