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The future of car dealers in the web

How to car dealers can maintain competitiveness in the information age?

The business model of classic car dealers has become outdated, customers are ready to choose and buy cars in a new way, the experts from PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting company (PwC) discovered.

The car retail sales system will change

PwC published its research on the market for car dealers in Germany: The Future of Automotive Retail. The trend described there are not specific only for Germany, but this can affect by globally all countries. The retail sales system for passenger cars over the next five to ten years awaits fundamental changes. Classic car dealers, like a traditional sales channel, will lose their former value, they will have other tasks and features. Perhaps independent car dealers may face the collapse of their business model. Perhaps independent car dealers may face the collapse of their business model.

The Internet makes change business model

Currently, car dealers are mostly independent. Car dealers companies usually belong to local business owners and are not part of the car manufacturer's structure, even if they sell cars from a single car manufacturer and comply with the standards and designs provided by them. Independence is manifested primarily in the car dealer's independent pricing policy. The car dealer decides what price is to be offered to the buyer to ensure the profitability of the company. But it is highly doubtful that such a business model will be sustainable for a long time under the conditions of almost complete price transparency on the Internet. Buying cars online attract users, first and foremost by the fact that you can search for the right car at any time of the day, these offers are easy to compare and the online prices are lower.

Car sales directly from car manufacturers became popular

But even more than online car dealers, retailers fear competition from car manufacturers themselves. As many as 82 percents of the respondents said that the biggest threat to their business is the ability to buy a car directly from the manufacturer at the company's car show or even directly at the car factory. The popularity of this sales channel in Germany is growing rapidly. In particular, this is promoted by the Volkswagen Group. Back in 2000, he built the so-called Autostadt near his main factory in Wolfsburg (Wikipedia about Autostadt ). Here a customer receives an ordered car from the large glass tower, and customers have a high level of satisfaction. In addition, a customer can visit the car museum, an amusement park and a dozen restaurants with his family. All this increases the willingness of buyers from all over Germany to travel a few hundred kilometers. In Münch, a similar project is called BMW Welt.

With the car dealer, customers consult but buy online

Almost every other respondent car dealer complained about a reduction in customer loyalty to car dealers. In other words, the German car enthusiast's traditional behavior patterns disappear quickly. Earlier a customer repeatedly came to the same dealer and always ordered a new car from the same manufacturer, whether it was Volkswagen or BMW. At the same time, 56 percents of respondents said that the car dealer remained for them the most important source of information about the new car. 84 percent said they would "under no circumstances" decide to buy without first talking to a specialist personally. This customer behavior, however, increasingly leads to potential buyers getting to the car dealer first, getting detailed advice there and then buying their favorite model online. 55 percents of the surveyed car dealers called such behavior patterns the greatest challenge for their business.

Independent car dealers can be sales agents

How car dealers can continue to earn income from their work? PwC experts believe car dealers will not disappear as such, but by significantly changing their business model. They will be the center of individual customer counseling and provide them with different mobility-related services (including Carsharing). As a result, current car dealerships largely or even completely lose their independence and become a sort of sales agent for manufacturers, and receive commissions from them. But if the car dealers do not agree with such a decisive approach, they risk that in the automotive industry, the tone will rise to be more and more from "third parties". These will be independent online platforms.

How can search engine optimization help car dealers?

  • Using digital marketing and search engine optimization technology can help your business to high stand out on the web.
  • Check your website with an audit of technical search engine optimization.
  • Check if your website has a high level of content and meet the requirements of Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness E-A-T of Google - read more my article Content creation for EAT.
  • Check the relevance of structured data on your site.
  • Continuously monitor user actions on your site using Google Analytics.
  • Make changes to your marketing strategy and to your website based on an analysis of user activity on your site.

All of this will help your business to increase web visibility. And as a result, your company will be able successfully and painlessly to connect either online trading or a major automaker will notice you and you can become an authorized sales agent.

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