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LATEST THINKING


Overview

If I can choose a vehicle, decide how to finance it, and tailor it to my individual requirements—all online—why can’t I buy it online as well?

To address this question, Accenture conducted an online survey in three major automotive markets (US, China and Germany) to learn the preferences and buying habits of car buyers.

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HIGHLIGHTS

Only one third of customers who bought a new car in the past five years would do so again from a standard dealership in the future.

The more digital car buyers get, the more they seek a rewarding physical experience: the excitement of the showroom, and to be really listened to and understood.

To control the customer interface more effectively and fend off digital disruptors, OEMs need to collaborate with dealers to offer more engaging offline customer experiences, while leveraging more active online options, and ensuring that “customer geniuses” are on-hand in both channels.

KEY FINDINGS

THE DIGITAL PARADOX

The more digital car buyers get,
the more they seek a rewarding
physical experience.

THE DIGITAL PARADOX

VOLUME = PREMIUM

Both premium and volume customers
have much the same expectations when
it comes to the sales process.

VOLUME = PREMIUM

REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

Chinese car buyers have a strong
preference for flagship stores
whereas US and German car
buyers prefer other formats.

REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

DIGITALLY EMANCIPATED
CUSTOMERS

Car buyers want online stores that
are easy to find and use.

DIGITALLY EMANCIPATED CUSTOMERS

ONLINE OUT OF
CONVENIENCE AND PRICE

Bargain hunters and one-stop
digital convenience seekers require
different offerings.

ONLINE OUT OF
CONVENIENCE AND PRICE

THE HUMAN TOUCH

Car buyers are looking for a
“Customer Genius” with really deep
product knowledge, online and off.

THE HUMAN TOUCH

NEXT STEPS

Ask Yourself:

Who will occupy the touchpoints that deliver a satisfying customer experience?

Digital increases the number of customer touchpoints on the car-buying journey, all of which need to be occupied. Which will be handled by the OEM, which by the dealer, and which by online portals or platforms?

What are the future roles of the OEM and the dealer?

Both want to stay close to the customer and both will have customer data, or at least the opportunity to generate customer data. OEMs, however, will be better positioned to develop comprehensive customer insights, thanks to driving profiles generated via the big data capture capabilities of connected cars.

What is the right mix of future retail formats?

The traditional, three-tier distribution system (OEM/wholesaler/dealer) is becoming restrictive. The industry needs omni-channel strategies.

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