The pandemic is changing life as we know it. We are working from home, meeting on Zoom, interacting on Google Hangouts and embracing online buying like never before. While buying groceries, electronics, and clothing online has been the norm, auto sales have traditionally lagged behind, still requiring a visit to the dealership to see, touch and drive the car before buying.
However, online car buying habits are evolving. Eighteen percent of auto shoppers say they’re ready to buy a vehicle sooner if online buying option is available, 48% are willing to handle price negotiations online and 42% want to handle financing online (Source: think with Google).
With consumers forced to stay at home, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and dealers need to take advantage of the digital channel to deliver a true end-to-end seamless, contactless buying experience, which can go a long way in attracting new customers and mitigating slump in car sales.
OEMs and large dealerships are strongly motivated to take their products online, as it enables them to know their customers better, amplify customer experience throughout the sales and after-sales process, and build loyalty. Sixty-three percent of purchasers said they would consider ordering their future car online (Source: think with Google).
Strong growth projections in online sales presents a huge opportunity for OEMs and dealers to collaborate and figure out their respective roles in the customer purchasing journey, removing silos and consolidating data to create a single view of the consumer. This allows them to better target consumer preferences, optimize sales incentives, reduce operations costs, and drive customer loyalty and retention. The core capabilities required to unlock online sales include:
- Inventory visibility in the vicinity of the customer
- Artificial-intelligence-powered chatbots to assist in answering questions from customers.
- Transparent pricing, which guarantees the best price.
- Targeted incentives, which will increase sales conversions and improve the bottom line for the OEMs.
- An immersive shopping experience with the option to schedule contactless test drive and delivery.
- Online financing, payment and insurance process
- Compliance with local laws
To enable these digital capabilities, Wipro has launched a solution – ‘Click- Shift- Drive-‘ –
to provide a platform which enables OEMs to deploy an online marketplace that connects consumers with participating dealers. This e-commerce platform, built on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, allows consumers to search for products across dealers’ inventory, filter for desired features and see details for features such as colors, trim levels, and packages. Using augmented reality, consumers can visualize the car in their driveway and, if satisfied, set appointments for a test drive. The platform provides dealer pricing and discounts, calculates trade in value, and allows customers to pick financing or leasing options with prebuilt APIs for easy integration to ecosystem applications.
OEMs will also need to invest in managing change and collaborating with dealerships to navigate through this transformation. This is an exciting opportunity for the OEMS and dealers to reimagine the digital customer journey and provide a rewarding customer experience building trust and loyalty.