Despite e-commerce being generally popular some industries seem to be immune to the digital revolution. Among things we don’t usually buy on-line cars but all seems to point out that this will change pretty soon.
Buying a new or used car is a serious decision, which is usually preceded by a close and time consuming examination of different offers. Until recently it was quite difficult to imagine this process without a visit to a new or used car dealer. But in recent months we’ve all gone through an intensive course of buying everything on-line and car companies have followed suit.
In March Toyota introduced in Poland a nationwide on-line car showroom, which allows a virtual tour inside a dealership and a remote purchase of a car without leaving your home. Opel and other automakers have shortly followed Toyota’s footsteps. Inchcape Poland, which owns a network of BMW and MINI dealerships is also launching on-line sales of cars.
According to Inchcape in five years every fourth car will be sold this way. Completely on-line. This is not an issue of some simple leave your contact details forms as this is how in many cases the process looks like today. The sales only begin on-line. But how about making it all on-line from the beginning to the end, including car configuration and specification? In this scenario the client receives keys to a car delivered to his or her home address. While this might be just a novelty, everything points to this model of purchase as something common in the near future.
For starters clients compare car prices on-line anyways and make a preliminary selection of models they are finally interested in. They can also check financial details and payments rate according to their requirements. A detailed technical inspection of the car can also be ordered on-line with results and opinion concerning the car condition being shared by email. History of a vehicle can also be checked using the VIN number.
All the elements needed for an informed and thoughtful transaction are already available. In Poland, about 1 million cars are registered every year, and in addition about 400-500 thousand are registered. new passenger cars, so there should be no shortage of customers for such a comprehensive online purchase service.
In the case of the new car, modern configurators are already so advanced that they allow comparison of different models in a panoramic view, both inside and outside. On-line sales without traditional showrooms are already carried out by Tesla, and other brands offer this as an option, e.g. Volkswagen for their electric ID model. In Germany, customers of this brand can buy an electric car directly from the manufacturer, i.e. similar to Tesla. Only the finalization of the transaction and physical delivery takes place via the selected dealer. This is how sales of new cars in the future should look like – websites will no longer only be used to leave contact details through the form, and will start operating as virtual showrooms.