Look at this picture below.
The age-old rulebook for the automotive industry is changing, more and more Millenials are making a car buying decision online through their mobile phones, laptops, and tablets instead of walking into a car showroom.
This is markedly different from the way in which the baby boomers purchased their first car. Millennials, who are now on average 24-38 years old, are the prime market who are looking to buy their first or even upgrade to their second car. Buyers from this prime segment are now walking into car showrooms with their minds made up. This leaves little to no scope for the hard sell techniques that have been prevalent in the automotive industry for the past few decades.
Now have a look at this below!
What will the car buying journey of the future look like?
Imagine a targeted ad playing on your Instagram or Facebook profile, the ad is being served to you as you’ve been on the lookout to upgrade to an SUV and have recently been searching for cars that fit the bill on Google. You’re non-committal and you don’t really know whether to buy now or whether you want to hold off till next year.
Now every car company that’s advertising on Facebook and Instagram know that you’re on the lookout for an upgrade. From this point, it’s all about getting your attention (Top of mind recall) without putting you off with a hard sell. The ideal strategy is to help you make up your mind yourself (Through targetted ads and content) and get you to book a test drive or visit the showroom with a buying mindset rather than a browsing mindset. Now, it all comes down to which automotive company has the best digital strategy to get you to BUY!
Let’s say Ford knows from the information publicly available on your Facebook profile that you are married and you’ve got two kids. You’re looking for a 5 seater to drive them around in comfort. You notice that there’s an ad playing for the 2019 Ford Escape each time you log on to Facebook or Instagram. You click on the ad and fill in your details, you’re expecting a call back from a sales executive to get you into a showroom.
However, this time around you don’t get the intrusive call that you’ve been expecting. Instead, an email lands in your inbox leading you to a personalized web page for the 2019 Ford Escape. There are no distractions, no other cars being showcased, just the one that’s perfect for you.
It’s a perfectly choreographed web page that exhibits the car in all its splendour. The car is showcased in an interactive demo, you can change the colors, you can view the car from all angles, there are even ‘highlights’ on different segments of the car that allow you to take a guided tour of all the features just by clicking on them.
There’s no salesman breathing down your neck, there’s no pressure of buying it right now. You’re happy to be discovering little trivia about the car by clicking away at your leisure. You’re exploring the car on your own and the ‘highlights’ help you get more information that’s perfectly in context.
You now know that there are 15-inch – 18-inch rims available, you can opt in for a retractable sunroof, there are 6 paint jobs on offer, there’s hill descent control, and 60-40 split rear seats that give you great boot space. It seems to fit the bill perfectly, so you click on the button to book a test drive at your home.
This is the future of buying a car for the millennial generation. According to reports by Ernst and Young, customers are spending on average around 10 hours on the web to search for information and to decide when and where to buy. The report also found that around 46% of customers are also willing to finance their car purchase online.
In such a scenario, the focus of automotive sales has to move from the showroom experience to the digital experience of a customer. The more informative and effective the digital experience, the more the chances of a customer purchasing a car from you.
And now check this below!
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