A survey found that 87% of U.S. consumers disliked something about the process of buying a vehicle at a traditional car dealership, and 61% said they felt like they were taken advantage of at some point in the dealership. Another survey found that 75% of respondents said that “if given the opportunity, they would consider making their entire car-buying process online, including financing, price negotiation, back-office paperwork and home delivery.” It’s clear that the traditional car dealership does not have much to offer consumers. Enter the internet of things, which can change the relationship customers have with dealerships and upgrade the entire car purchasing process for buyers.
It’s important to note that the buying process starts online for most consumers. Dealerships need to understand that to get the sale, they need to have better connectivity, engagement and, most importantly, transparency when dealing with these internet-savvy buyers. IoT can change how consumers buy vehicles, and the dealers that get on board this new technology will thrive.
IoT transforms showrooms
In 2016, Bentley launched a car-free showroom, which showed vehicles from every angle and in life-sized perspective. Buyers could review color choices, interiors and accessories via interactive touchscreens. Many showrooms from car brands around the world are implementing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) capabilities, revolutionizing how users view vehicles. This technology uses cameras and sensors in empty warehouses to let smartphone users inspect a virtual car.
Dealerships are also including interactive kiosks and tablets to view car features and promotions instead of requiring customers to interact with a dealer right away. Furthermore, dealers that take customer information and use connected devices can offer more personalized buying suggestions based on data, rather than going off of experience. These digital experiences blend the online and offline experience for buyers and reduce the pushy sales experience that users do not want to have.
IoT improves the dealer-buyer relationship
Drivers tend to have a negative connotation when thinking about dealerships, mainly because when drivers go to the dealership, it’s because there is something wrong with their vehicle. This relationship can change through IoT. Using predictive analytics, dealerships can offer automated maintenance capabilities. Instead of waiting for a car part to break, dealers can use connected devices to warn drivers of a potential malfunction, so they can take care of the problem before an accident occurs. Using a connected device in the vehicle, dealers can provide drivers with useful information and tips regarding their maintenance or driving. This technology can change the relationship between dealers and buyers by offering the latter more value.
The internet of things is coming, whether dealerships are ready or not. Since buyers have extremely negative views of the traditional car dealership experience, it’s time businesses use advanced technology to upgrade the car buying experience. Furthermore, dealerships have to compete with thriving online car buying models, so the IoT-based experience, including VR and AR, can help companies stay more competitive in the market. Dealerships can provide a new, unique experience to buyers and offer more transparency using IoT, which can help them remain relevant in a competitive landscape.
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