The automotive industry experienced a reduction in demand at the start of the pandemic. While it’s expected to rebound in the coming months with the vaccine’s gradual release, it might take some time for new car sales to recover fully.
Despite this, used car sales saw an increase as people appeared concerned about safety in carpooling. Additionally, some people used the relief checks they received to buy cars. Since brand-new cars are pricier, people opted to look for used cars.
But buying a new car or a used car isn’t like what it used to be. With the coronavirus still out there, people cannot simply head over to a dealership and test drive a car. And since everything is going digital these days, the car sales industry is doing the same. Here are some things
With the authorities setting guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, car dealerships had to make changes in selling cars. To avoid having to go through all the hassle of preparing the brick-and-mortar store, a dealership can opt to give potential customers an online tour of its showroom.
It can even use live videos and stream them through their social media accounts to show customers what to expect when buying the vehicle. Additionally, they can use virtual tools to allow potential customers to see how the car looks like when it’s in their garage or driveway.
Dealerships can also offer virtual walkarounds of the vehicles to allow potential customers to check out a car while they’re at home. It will be similar to the practice in the real estate industry. In the real estate industry, buyers can check out the property they’re planning to buy without having to visit the place physically.
Test-Drive Car Delivery
Aside from checking the car virtually, dealerships can also offer test drives for customers who intend to buy the car. Since test-drives are not done virtually, the car is delivered to the home of the customer. Once the car is at home, the customer can test-drive it around the neighborhood.
With this, you can also check if your garage is big enough to accommodate the new car. If it’s too small, you have to get a licensed general contractor to work on your garage to make the space bigger.
Like this practice, for customers who want their cars to be serviced, the dealership can pick up the vehicles and deliver the cars after the maintenance process. All the customers need to do is get in touch with the dealership and schedule their vehicles’ maintenance.
Virtual Selling Experience
The current restrictions in place have compelled many businesses to process transactions virtually. Aside from viewing the car and checking it out, buyers will also make payments online. While there might be a few customers who want to visit the dealership, many will opt to process everything virtually.
The practice isn’t only limited to the car industry since many other industries have gone online. These industries include banking, real estate, and even the health care industry. Negotiation for a lower price can also be done through an app or even through videoconferencing software.
Many dealerships have started to move most of their processes online. They had to create their websites to showcase their vehicle offerings. Dealerships have even started to consider reducing traditional car sales positions and increase their online operations staff. With this, a shift towards a virtual selling experience will require digital marketing training for their staff. It also allowed employees to reach a bigger market and close deals faster than the traditional selling process.
For potential customers, it won’t be necessary for them to visit the physical location of the dealership. All they need to do is visit the dealership website and check out what they are offering. Some people feel anxious about the process, but they’ll eventually embrace it soon.
As indicated earlier, the pandemic affected sales of brand-new cars in the United States. When the pandemic started, many people found themselves without a job. Any plans of buying a new car were put off. Even as they needed a car to go around, they were contented with used cars, which were cheaper than brand-new models.
With the lower sales, dealers are expected to offer incentives and deals to potential buyers. This will make it a buyer’s market, and potential buyers will have many options to choose from. They can opt for a cheaper used car or a brand-new one that they can purchase at a zero-interest rate.
The pandemic has reduced car sales across the country and resulted in changes that dealers were not expecting to happen.