Once there lived a car salesman..!
But, he was more than a salesman, in fact, your AUTO ‘mate’ during the car buying path. He used to meet many people who wanted to buy a new car for the first time. He was also there for people who wanted to upgrade their car with a new one, to make sure that they will get the right car from a dealership. Car shoppers always got what they intended to buy, he was always there with them during discovering, evaluation, and buying of a car. He always had the perfect understanding of shoppers at each stage throughout the journey.
But, he was left with time.
Do you know why?
Because millennials started discovering vehicles online, evaluating online, purchase, and after-sales services are also online. They changed the car-buying journey with the latest online shopping revolution. Simply takes the online opinion, checks online reviews, and makes online decisions.
The deeper problem is that car shoppers need to go to different online platforms throughout this online car buying journey. They love to go to a single place and get what they want; it makes them delighted.
I feel proud of sharing how the use of technology made the car buying journey the easiest ever. The good thing about millennials is that they are clear about what they want; they just need a place to get it done.
If I remember correctly, while going from Amsterdam to London, I met Mia. She was on the same train as me going to London. Mia is a perfect example of millennials with a promising career in corporate for the past few years. She used to go office in her car, but it was an old version of Ford from her college days; she wanted to change. With her new profile and salary, she preferred to buy a new Honda CR-V to suits her personality; I can relate to her motivation here.
I asked her what next she did. Mia said, ‘Internet Search.’ Yes, she started her discovery on the internet to find some local dealerships. No surprises, she shortlisted 3 dealerships from the search and contacted them for the best price for her preferences. Meanwhile, she reached one of her friends who recently brought a Honda CR-V to get his shortlisted dealer experience. Mia shortlisted one of the dealers, didn’t have a functional website, and not even a Facebook page, so she passed that one.
The marketer in me knew that customers are smarter now, but that much smart and calculative, I didn’t expect. This reminds me of the old school thought, ‘a customer is buying, not sold.’
Here, she showed me an interesting thing, the dealer, her friend, recommended have an exclusive app for car buyers. ‘AutoMate App’ what they call it is a complete experience of the dealership in a single app. You can download this app from their website and get your car to customize with your Smartphone’s virtual experience. It gives you everything; car model, customization, features, price, and finance options.
When the day arrived to visit that dealership, Mia got a call from that dealer; they scheduled her visit according to her availability. She was greeted warmly and went for test drives with a salesman. After a couple of test drives, Mia found her car choice, which she locked on the ‘AutoMate App.’
Mia was about to go for the payment options, then something interesting happened, which she told me was really astounding. The ‘AutoMate App’ keeps popping up a notification on her phone; it says, ‘You are eligible for lease too.’ It instantly hit Mia; she opted for the lease offer and get her car booked digitally. She even found interaction with the salesman was more personalized and friendly. Sounds impressive; compare to the traditional car-buying process, the digital journey is more effective. Before I ask Mia for more, we reached London and shared ‘goodbye.’
Did you notice why Mia was more delighted than other customers?
‘AutoMate App’ was the differentiator that you see at your dealership. The Digital automotive journey has a ‘new digital salesman.’ It knows, understands, and stalks car shoppers’ habits to a better experience at a dealership.
As a marketer, I’m glad that automotive digital development adds a new experience for new-age customers.
*This was a hypothetical futuristic concept of a car-buying journey with a single app. The digital experience is changing the way the automotive world used to be. Please share your thoughts on it.