Car-buyers are more inclined to visit dealerships than ever according to a study which suggests car retailers will continue to play a vital role as the sector evolves.
More than 55% of motorists will hit the forecourt during the car-buying journey, up from 48% who visited a dealership before purchasing their previous car, says the research by CitNOW.
Over 55s (69%) are most likely to visit a dealership, while 35-44 year-old motorists (45%) are the least likely age group to visit a showroom prior to buying. Men are slightly more inclined than women to visit dealerships while choosing their next car.
The research was conducted as part of CitNOW’s ‘Evolution of the Car Buyer’ report launched this week. The image and video specialist for the automotive industry surveyed 1,000 drivers across the UK, examining how car-buying preferences have evolved.
Confounding views from some quarters that the demise of motor retailers could be imminent, the new poll shows the opposite.
In fact, as more drivers intend to visit dealerships, it is an opportunity to capitalise; more than one in 10 buyers will expect to buy a car there and then when visiting a retailer. Therefore those that put an emphasis on customer engagement – through video or other channels – prior to a sale could see the benefits. This is especially true of 35-44 year-olds who may need more encouragement to visit a dealership.
Carol Fairchild, Commercial Director of CitNOW, commented: “Motorists clearly still covet that face-to-face customer experience and want the buying journey to be a personal one with the dealership.
“The challenge for retailers is standing out; making sure that they are using technology like video – which offers a personal, face to face experience remotely – to build customer engagement before they even set foot in the dealership. In doing so, dealerships can make sure customers are visiting their forecourt, rather than the one next door.”