Finding and purchasing the right car can be a long and stressful process. However, the internet has made this much easier as where most people would have previously visited several showrooms and been subjected to a myriad of extended sales pitches, now the majority of the initial work and search can be done online.
Of course, technology has completely changed the car buying process as a whole. As a result, in addition to finding out information online, customers now expect technology to be integrated throughout, from being able to book a test drive via an app or dealership website, to use of tablets and gadgets in the showroom.
Now, in another leap forward, augmented reality may soon be used in e-commerce, which for the automotive industry, could allow users to take a virtual test drive without ever leaving their homes.
Apps changing the sales process
Another form of tech that is rapidly being adopted by dealerships is the app. Being used during the buying and after-sales processes, apps offer customers convenience, providing information and documentation with just a tap.
With the UK becoming increasingly addicted to our gadgets – data shows that the average Brit now spends more than two hours per day on a mobile device – and with apps for everything from monitoring health and keeping track of finances, to purchasing clothes and gaming, it only seems logical that the automotive industry would uptake this form of tech.
Car warranties have gone mobile
When buying a car, whether new or used, understanding the warranty can be confusing for customers. No two warranties are the same, meaning every manufacturer or dealer warranty has a very different offering. For example, a standard car warranty may include the gear box, ignition and suspension, while a more comprehensive offering may also cover the clutch. Furthermore, while most typically last around three years, it could be up to 10 years or 10,000 miles depending on the warranty, and for used cars, this figure is typically much lower.
It is essential that customers have the opportunity to read and fully comprehend a warranty before purchasing a vehicle, and an app provides such an occasion. It also allows customers to easily access the warranty, should it be needed in the event that any faults develop, so there is no worry about finding paper documentation.
This new use of apps by the automotive industry has yet to be widely adopted but along with showroom technology and the possible of augmented reality, it certainly promises to enhance the customer buying process yet again.
(A Retail Times’ collaborative article)