When talking to dealers and digital retailing providers over the past few months, I've asked about the innovations ahead for selling vehicles online.
Developing processes to create a seamless experience whether the customer is buying online, in store or some combination of the two — a concept known as omnichannel retailing — is one focus. Digital retailing software that becomes more transactional vs. simply generating leads is another.
Underlying both of those ideas is transparency.
A survey released in February of about 1,700 consumers by the Marchex Institute, the research division of call and text analytics provider Marchex, and automotive market research company Root & Associates found that trust tied with a competitive price as the most important factors in their choice of a dealership. One way trust is built is if sales employees can answer customers' questions early in the process, given the time buyers spend researching before contacting a dealership, the study's authors noted.