More people than ever before are heading online instead of to the forecourts, according to recent research. However, this shift in attitude should be embraced as an exciting opportunity for dealerships, argues Andrew Brameld, managing director of BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s motor finance business in the UK.
New research has suggested that almost one in three car buyers would now consider buying their new vehicle online instead of heading to a bricks and mortar dealership.
At first glance, these figures may seem staggering. After all, these buyers are passing up the opportunity to do many of the things we’d typically expect before signing on the dotted line such as taking the car out for a test drive, sampling the quality of the interior and inspecting the amount of storage space available.
But this way of thinking would also ignore the countless benefits to time-poor consumers. It gives them the opportunity to compare the specifications offered by different manufacturers and assess the benefits and drawbacks of different models to ensure they get a car that pleases both the head and the heart.
For dealerships, this change in approach is something to be embraced. Yes, it creates new challenges, but those that meet them will thrive and grow.
According to a report by KPMG, the internet has ushered in a new age of impulsiveness. Yet individuals who buy big ticket goods online are eschewing in-the-moment purchases in favour of journeying around the web in search of various offers, testimonials and reviews – before choosing their favourite and returning to purchase.
In the same way that a test drive has always been a great way to get a customer into a new set of wheels, now a dealership’s online presence can act as the perfect shop window to attract customers.
Are your Trustpilot and Google Review pages up to date and filled with glowing testimonials? If not, many customers will pass over your business without so much as a cursory glance – such is the faith that they place in these online review portals.
And how easy is it for them to find the information that they’re after when they reach your website? The best dealerships include information about manufacturers on offer and available stock, as well as details on aftersales products such as servicing and repairs.
Of course, for many customers the kind of finance they can expect to receive should they opt for finance options such as PCP or HP is also of the highest priority – including details on APR and representative costs of finance based on example agreements.
For retailers looking to distinguish themselves in the online world a clear, reliable finance solution is an absolute must.
At BNP Paribas Personal Finance we can help you ensure that you have the best finance solution in place, and that it meets the needs of your customers in both the online and offline worlds.
Our solutions include competitive rates and are backed by a global bank with more than 45 years of experience in the global automotive marketplace, during which time we’ve worked with more than four million customers.
For more information visit https://www.bnpparibas-pf.co.uk/our-solutions/motor-finance