Capgemini found that a whopping 94 percent of car shoppers start their shopping experience online. While vehicle manufacturers’ websites, dealer websites and search engines are top sources of information, social media gained more influence over purchase decisions, while family and friends lost some, according to Capgemini’s 14th annual global automotive study, Cars Online 12/13.
With better-informed customers, dealers are working with a shorter buying cycle, and must live up to the customer’s desire for an advanced, more personalized buying experience, complete with interactive tools, says Michael Boruszok, vice president automotive practice, Capgemini.
“Consumers are more empowered by technology than ever before, and dealers and manufacturers have the opportunity to take advantage of that,” says Boruszok. “They can enhance the customer experience throughout the entire lifecycle.”
Other key survey findings include:
• Loyalty to brands and dealers is on the rise.
• Despite the digital transformation that is occurring, the dealer is still an integral part of car buying.
• Shoppers increasingly expect the showroom to be informative, interactive and entertaining.
• The buying cycle continues to shorten with an increasingly demanding customer.
• “Connect me” technology enhances the ownership experience.
• Social media continues to influence consumers, especially in developing markets and for younger buyers.
• Alternative mobility solutions are seen as a viable alternative for purchasing.
The study surveyed more than 8,000 consumers in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, the UK and U.S. in August and September of 2012.