Over the years, I’ve been meeting with many of our Capital One dealer partners to gain a deeper understanding of their needs. Among the many inspiring and informative stories I’ve encountered, what has come across loud and clear from these dealers is a resounding openness to embracing technology. Dealers know that bold innovations can make operations seamless and simple for their customers and their salespeople.
This feedback aligns with what we learned from the Capital One Car Buying Outlook, the first-ever survey of dealers and car buyers to better understand their perspectives on the car-buying process, with an emphasis on financing. Dealers know the industry has changed forever; in fact, consumers’ adoption of digital tools has been accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic1 and more than half of dealers say they have permanently increased their use of digital tools in the wake of COVID-192.
The Car Buying Outlook also reveals how much car shoppers value the in-person dealership experience, including the dealer’s advice as they make one of the biggest purchases of their lives3. Financing emerged as an opportunity for dealers to help solve customer pain points, with more than two-thirds of deals falling through when finances enter the conversation4. Not only do nearly all dealers state that less than half of their customers have their financing figured out when they come in, but more than half of car buyers themselves state that they think about financing after settling on a car5.
Insights from the Car Buying Outlook unlock a potential opportunity, and it’s one car buyers look directly to dealers to provide: offering more information upfront about pricing and financing6. Not only do consumers still value the in-person consultation experience7, they are looking for more information and guidance from dealers, alongside the flexibility and transparency of digital tools.
At Capital One, we believe it’s this seamless combination between the physical and the digital, particularly when it comes to financing, that offers the greatest opportunity for dealers now and in the future.
Technology has permanently changed the way we shop, including shopping for cars. Dealers who integrate technology into their existing personalized, customer-focused strategy can help ensure car buyers are building their confidence around financing, whether before they arrive or while they are at the dealership, so they’re empowered to make a purchase that’s right for them.