It's not that consumers don't want to visit a dealership when they buy a vehicle. They do.
Generally, though, few are satisfied with how quick and convenient the process is. That's among the takeaways from a new Cox Automotive survey that asked 2,000 consumers of driving age what they think about ideas to reinvent the dealership.
Consumers still want to look at a car in person and ask questions of experts who can explain the vehicle's features and technology. But they also want to complete at least part of the purchase process online before they go to a dealership to save time. And they're intrigued by the concept of a "brand experience center" that flips the traditional showroom on its head by giving customers the chance to learn about a vehicle without an accompanying sales pitch.
"It would be a no-pressure situation and would motivate me to learn more on my own about the brand and possibly motivate me to purchase it," one respondent wrote of the brand experience center concept, according to the Cox study.
This month's Retail Technology page highlights efforts to remove friction from the dealership, in sales and service and as part of the hiring process. Technology plays a role.