In brief

In brief

  • Mobility customers increasingly demand the speed, convenience, and price advantages of direct sales.
  • While mobility businesses recognize that direct sales are the way forward, many are still challenged to make the model work.
  • Cross-industry research reveals five best practices that could help mobility businesses future-proof their sales models.

A revolution in expectations

Customers want direct sales because it aligns more closely with their expectations. But while direct sales are becoming the leading sales model for the industry, many manufacturers are still challenged by the costs and risks involved in providing this.

Thirty-six percent of mobility customers are dissatisfied with current online buying options.

Cross-industry research in mobility and four other industries—consumer goods, heavy machinery, telecommunications, and insurance—shows that learning from others can offer a way forward.

Five best practices


A seamless, omnichannel customer experience is now a baseline requirement.

Businesses that enable a truly engaging omnichannel experience can drive sustained growth. But launching online stores or moving existing sales operations online, which many mobility players have already done, are only the first steps. Providing engaging, easy-to-navigate experiences both online and in-store would significantly raise their game.


of cross-industry customers rank time saving as a benefit of online buying.


still value the opportunity to “touch and feel” offline.


B2C and B2B expectations are converging.

B2B customers increasingly expect the same personalized, frictionless sales interactions common in consumer settings. But while many mobility businesses have launched online initiatives targeting both B2C and B2B, none yet offers the fully-fledged online sales solution that addresses both.


of total B2B sales cross industry will be online through to 2025.


Digital marketplaces are increasingly popular and require a strategic response.

When should a mobility business engage with a marketplace and potentially boost its brand exposure, and when should it remain independent, an option that will restrict access to younger customers in particular? There’s much to learn from players in other industries that have sought and found a middle ground.


of cross-industry customers now purchase via marketplaces.


Pricing must be clear, systematic, and consistent.

Price negotiations are still common in mobility—but passenger carmakers are limiting dealers’ discounting authority and using automated processes to adapt prices.


of mobility customers who negotiated a price would have preferred a fixed price.


Direct sales align most closely with customer expectations—and give companies more control.

In both their agency and direct-to-consumer forms, direct sales not only meet customer needs better. They also offer mobility businesses full control over consumer data and interactions, as well as the ability to set and control prices centrally across all sales channels and keep distribution costs to a minimum.


Direct sales can be challenging, but the experience of other industries offers a way forward for mobility businesses that recognize how the model can strengthen their position, as well as align more closely with customer needs and expectations.

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