Buying a car has—for many years, if not generations—been a process that few have relished. Historically, it has been a hard-fought battle to get the best deal, with few buyers emerging from the fray confident that they have really achieved the best value. Until recently, lack of information and an opaque sales process have favored sellers.

But in recent years, the disruptive power of the internet has handed more information and control to buyers. Greater awareness around pricing, offers, and vehicle features now amounts to greater symmetry in the relative bargaining power of buyer and seller.

By 2025 there will be 36 million car sharing users worldwide – a growth of approximately five times from 2015.

Turning transactions to digital experience

But most car buying transactions are still a far cry from the experience that consumers— especially recent digital native generations— now routinely expect from their digital interactions. Companies like Airbnb, Uber, Netflix, and Amazon completely changed the way consumers go about their daily lives and subsequently elevated their expectations for security, convenience, ease, and relevance.

It’s no surprise that younger consumers are increasingly reluctant to stay on the traditional path when selecting and buying a car. Millennials are more likely to opt for car sharing and other new forms of mobility that emphasize access over ownership. By 2025 there will be 36 million car sharing users worldwide – a growth of approximately five times from 2015. It’s no secret that the rise of alternative means of transportation is disruptive to traditional OEM models.

OEMs must get marketing right, from the start

Even as driverless cars enter the mainstream, people will want to buy and own them. But how those people buy will change dramatically. And that starts with the very first encounter with an OEM brand online.

Everything about the digital experience, from tailored content and channel strategy to sales enablement, presents an opportunity to turn browsers into strongly qualified leads the moment they walk through the door. Best-in-class online experiences will answer all relevant questions and equip potential buyers with everything they want to know before they even set foot on the dealer’s lot.

What’s more, the devices and platforms that they will use to research a potential purchase are becoming ever more varied and complex. Customers expect to engage with brands in the digital spaces where they are most comfortable, with younger shoppers now as likely to research a brand on Instagram as they are to visit a brand’s website. On the bright side, OEMs now have an opportunity to diversify their strategy and meet prospective customers where they are most likely to engage.


Percentage of people who use some form of digital resource when seeking to buy a car.


Time that digital-savvy buyers are willing to spend in a dealership to complete the purchase.

A new car buying experience

Accenture Interactive and Adobe have partnered with OEMs to deliver a car buying experience in step with the shifting expectations of digitally-empowered consumers. By creating a consultative, concierge-like digital experience, we’re helping OEMs to make their digital assets work harder and more effectively to provide more personalized and differentiated user experiences based on the way that those different users want to take in information.

By deploying Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) at the core of their digital platforms, OEMs can compose, manage and deliver content across their digital properties on all channels. The control and agility that AEM provides means brands can deliver a more engaging and personalized digital experience from the very first consumer interaction.

Advanced analytics available in the Adobe Experience Cloud provide OEMs with the ability to capture, aggregate and understand visitor behavior across all their digital properties. Adobe Target enables delivery of the best performing content to the right audience segments, with intelligent recommendations to create a continuous uplift in digital performance. And Media Optimizer helps forecast the best mix of different media and then target budgets where they’ll have the greatest impact.

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