Vehicle buyers' satisfaction with the shopping experience dimmed last year as they encountered a shortage of new models and higher sticker prices on dealership lots, but they remain happier with the process overall than before the onset of the pandemic.
That's among the findings of a Cox Automotive consumer survey out this week. Buyers' satisfaction with the shopping experience from the research stage through delivery dipped to 66 percent in 2021, down from a peak of 72 percent in 2020 but an improvement from 60 percent in 2019, according to the survey.
Consumers who did more of their purchase digitally tended to be happier with their experience than those who did more work in person, Cox found. And buyers' satisfaction with their experience while at a dealership also stayed above pre-pandemic levels — 75 percent last year, which is essentially unchanged from 77 percent in 2020 but better than 70 percent in 2019, according to the survey.
The findings signal that auto retailers have adjusted their purchase processes during the pandemic in ways that resonate with consumers, even as the market continues to be challenged by a shortage of microchips and new vehicles that has pushed up prices, said Vanessa Ton, senior industry intelligence manager for Cox Automotive.