In just a few years, the Internet has become the first step throughout the customers complex purchasing journey of a new or used vehicle. Digitalization now requires a personalized marketing strategy, polished content, and optimized lead management, for retailers whose online sites complement vendor applications and compete with traditional infomediaries.
Showroom attendance has decreased fourfold, and the internet has tripled
"Between 2000 and 2017, attendance at showrooms has decreased fourfold. Conversely, time spent on the Internet for information about a vehicle has tripled, "says Thomas Morel, in charge of automotive at McKinsey. If more than 90% of information surrounding a new vehicle goes through a search engine, the trend appears less pronounced on used vehicles where the infomediaries keep the upper hand. In more detail, 76% of buyers take action within two months and the remaining 32% in two weeks. This acceleration has remained steady for the last two years.
Social network influence
For distributors, digital strategy is based on lead acquisition and awareness via Adwords campaigns. They ensure a dynamic internet flow, and promote optimized SEO through keywords issued from a studied semantics: "arrival, cheap car, from ..."
Digital is also giving rise to new commercial events, such as Black Friday or private sales. Social networks, marketplaces, Facebook and Google now play their role. In addition, the approach goes hand in hand with vigilance around e-reputation. Opinions published online spontaneously or through a survey must be monitored and moderated within 24 hours by a community manager.