With 126.2 million cars circulating the roads worldwide by 2010, and the automotive industry crossing the $1.7 trillion thresholds by 2015, the impure oligopoly of auto dealerships across the globe is one of the most prominent industries in the world at the moment. It is downright a force to be reckoned with, however with recent advancement of information technology the industry might seem to dry out of its juice very quickly if the technology that compliments the buying experience is not introduced early on. Then there is Tesla and their electric cars that can be forecasted to outrun non-electrical models. Recent technologies which include 4G wireless communication standards (talks about 5G around the corner), limited deployment of AI, full-fledged application developments for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, the internet of things, big data, and cryptocurrency can be observed as the game changer for many industries which will ultimately revolutionize the current ecosystem as we know it. Hence it is high time now that automotive industry starts heavily investing into futuristic technologies that can keep it alive in the upcoming years.

What Are the Main Objectives?

A recent report by Ernst & Young, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in the world states that the future of auto dealerships and the overall automotive industry lies in the transformation from transaction-based to a more customer-centric approach. In order to do this the following observations, need to be materialized:

  • Shifting from product-driven retail to customer-centric
  • Customers should be able to quickly access and interact with information through a range of media and devices anywhere and at any time.
  • Concentrated efforts from both automakers and dealers to shed off non-value adding functions and adopt change management in order to stay relevant and competitive.
  • An immersive buying experience through the use of new technology which offers attention to detail.

How Can It Be Achieved?

It is significant to understand that auto dealerships need to offer customers with resolute paradigm shift regarding the current ecosystem in order to make waves amongst the masses. This can be only achieved through a comprehensive program which revolves around a new-found system that might completely make the running of present-day business models redundant. Significant ways to deliver this change comprise of the following thought-provoking and exclusive methodologies:

  • Managing trust amongst a diverse range of customers that can relay their own set of complexities throughout their life cycle.
  • Customizing value propositions
  • Crafting and developing a digitally engaging interaction that is captivating and offers larger than life experience.
  • A complete redesign of distribution channels and their network.
  • All-inclusive and exclusive brand management strategy for greater efficacies.

How Would Markets Operate?

The overall scenario isn’t rocket science and involves an out of the box approach to apprehend upcoming trepidations of change which the auto dealerships and the automotive industry as a whole would go through. Major indicators contributing to our statements include the fact that:

  • Around 72% of the consumers worldwide feel that an improvement in the process of purchasing a vehicle would drastically put them in a position to visit dealerships more frequently.
  • On the other hand, 70% of the organizations believe that the driving force for business growth strategies involves empowering the customer and offering them a resolute experience.
  • 80% of all customers utilize multiple devices for conducting a research for purchasing a vehicle.
  • About 52% of customers of new and used cars both are observed to regularly visit the dealer’s website during the purchase process.

It is quite comprehensible that with the proliferation of social media platforms and cellular technology along with other digital portals, will naturally create more knowledgeable customers, which will then translate to new considerations for customer relationship management. Strategies would revolve around:

  • Improved customer segmentation
  • Better and more detailed insights
  • Proactive selling and initiation of services
  • Increased transparency with customers and their data usage
  • A complete value chain analysis for customer’s life cycle
  • The mobility of services offered through a service-centric design
  • Progressively competitive aftersales markets
  • Exponential growth in the customer’s data analytics
  • Investments would be utilized to use floor space to create a digital experience
  • Direct selling through mobile stores, online platforms, test drive centers etc.
  • Dealers infrastructure would involve a perfect mix of virtual and physical experience

What Should a Dealer Do?

The story for the auto dealerships is not all gloomy and dreading for the matter, in fact, this will offer them an opportunity to grow beyond physical limitations as well and get more viewership with the passage of time. In fact, they can try out the following recommendations:

  • Emphasize crafting and designing a new and immersive customer experience that reflects their brand identity profoundly and transform their customer touch points into customer trust banks.
  • Develop a transformation system or process that takes into consideration various operations like marketing department, sales, a service department, and HR.
  • Provide employees with adequate and sufficient training regarding the deliverance of your envisioned experience for customers.
  • Deploy a specialized team of professionals to monitor and control authenticity, consistency, and transparency within your new system.
  • Implement digital strategies to govern objective and specific targets.
  • Review the entire process to identify critical information and their further applications.
  • KPIs that measure customer engagement with respect to performance.
  • Identify customer profiles and roll out innovative retail formats to suit their specific needs.
  • Make sure that their technological landscape is up to date.
  • Manage the success of all parties through a unified channel strategy.
  • Always present customers with personalized content that maximizes their preferences.

The aforementioned value addition strategies heavily imply that the future can be secured through a mobile sales force that is equipped with better customer relationship management tools through the power of big data analytics and unified channel management for each establishment.

We hope that this post was insightful regarding how dealerships can continue to deliver their operations with continued profitability in the upcoming era. If you have any suggestions regarding the topic and anything we might have missed out on, then do let us know in the comment section below.

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