Thanks to movements such as the Amazon effect and regular access to the internet, consumers are now both accustomed to and expect an instant, seamless, end-to-end experience when purchasing a product. This began with smaller purchases such as furniture, groceries and smaller technological items such as phones and accessories and has grown to now include anything you can imagine, including ovens, boilers and yes, now cars.
How is this shift in consumer behaviour affecting the Automotive industry?
The Informed Consumer
Through the development of the digital era, the rise of the internet and social media have enabled the informed consumer. With just a few taps or a quick request to Alexa, consumers can get instant product information.
In the age of the informed consumer, online research makes up a considerable part of the purchasing journey. With consumers now having greater access to product information on demand, the decision process becomes more complicated. This is because the decision is no longer solely based on the product itself. Everything down to the messaging that a company puts out on their social media now has an impact on how likely this person is to buy the product.
Personalisation is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it’s an expectation
Personalised experiences have been a hot topic over the last few years, but now, they’re becoming expected. People are now ignoring generic and irrelevant emails and products and are now valuing personalised and tailored customer journeys. Consumers are no longer happy to be treated as a number towards a target and traditional pushy sales tactics are more likely to drive your customers away than to close a sale. When implementing a sales strategy, it is important that you make the consumer feel human, nurtured and that their requirements are being met. Instead of beginning a campaign with your product, you should be leading with who your customers are, what they need and why your product would be right for them. This doesn’t just relate to the presale efforts, it’s crucial to remember that the sale is just the beginning of the customer journey.
Ownership is quickly shifting to usership
As companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Drive Now are expanding, the way in which people relate to cars is changing. Transportation is moving from a lifestyle accessory to more of a utility and necessity, even those that do want their vehicle, more and more are leaning toward leasing as opposed to buying a car outright.
This shift from ownership to usership is being accelerated by rich urbanisation, for example, many people in London see no need to go and invest in the luxury of their own vehicle when they can hop on the underground, summon an Uber or hire a car instantly through apps like Drive Now.
As the digital age continues to develop and evolve, as will the expectations and behaviours of consumers. It’s more important than ever to remain relevant and stay ahead of the game.