Cutting-edge technology is reshaping the automotive industry, starting with nanotechnology developments in car design to self-driving vehicles. These automotive industry improvements influence the related sectors as well, such as car insurance or the car retail industry.
If you’re trying to reach one of the top positions in the automotive retail industry in your area or your region, check out the top trends in the car e-commerce business currently gaining momentum.
Virtual Showroom Experiences
Online car showrooms have been with us since 2015. when German automobile manufacturer, Audi, paved the way for virtual reality viewing. This luxury car manufacturer created a digital “test drive” for shoppers who could choose the desired vehicle, put on the VR headset, and test it. Visitors could customize the car by enabling or disabling features: model, color, or trim.
Global coronavirus pandemics raised the bar for the further development of virtual showrooms. During the pandemics, the purpose of virtual car shows has been to encourage people to practice social distancing and stay home so that they could be safe from the virus and prevent it from spreading further.
Manufacturers and dealerships have further enhanced online showroom customer experience and user-friendliness. Nowadays, customers can visualize their car of dream and make the final decision without aggressive sales pressure.
Purchasing Vehicles Online
Although purchasing cars via the web is a trend that has been snowballing in recent years, online automotive retail still makes a tiny percentage of all car sales. This trend will only continue to grow as the purchasing behavior of potential new car owners changes. Recent studies show that, nowadays, top online activities by car shoppers include: researching car prices – 71% and finding cars listed for sale – 68%.
Many shoppers use websites to compare different car models, find out the value of their current vehicle, locate a dealer or get dealer info.
Buying Spare Parts Online
However, this niche industry has developed in so many ways that car shoppers worldwide can now easily find car spare parts too, wherever in the world they are.
Great online retail shops, like this specialized for tyres, offer a large selection of trusted brands, so that car owners can now purchase the parts they need with great confidence, and most often, the manufacturer’s warranty. Owning a car is more comfortable when owners can easily find what they need – with a set of tyre changing equipment, they are just a click away from restoring or customizing their vehicles, even on their own.
To make it in sales, online car retailers need top-notch websites, offering potential shoppers an excellent customer experience. Today, websites are much more than a collection of photos with bits of information about the cars. Web design that grants the users simple, straightforward, and intuitive navigation is what matters most.
You can accomplish this by:
- optimizing your pages for fast loading speed,
- easy-to-use Browse and Search,
- using a crisp layout with eye-catching but not eye-irritating color schemes,
- easy-to-read content and blogs,
- using videos,
- quick and simple checkout process,
- different payment methods (PayPal, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, MasterCard, Visa)
- Certificates and logos (OEM logos, Google Trusted Store, PayPal certified, etc.)
To gain a competitive edge above other automotive e-commerce businesses, you also need to optimize your website for SEO by using keywords and key phrases, backlinking, localizing, etc.
Leveraging Social Media
Social media has real power and influences our shopping decisions, even when it comes to the cars we drive. Recent research found that Facebook impacted the purchase choice of 22% of Millenials, while Instagram played a crucial part for 16%.
Car buyers are strongly influenced by feedback and comments they read about cars on social media. At the same time, the potential shoppers search through dealership pages and validate the information they found on social media channels or third-party websites. Even though the numbers may not seem too high, we need to remind ourselves that less than a decade ago, that number was nonexistent, so the sudden rise in social media reliance is tremendous.
Additional Marketing Activities
Besides website optimization and social media, additional marketing activities will raise your chances of winning a deal.
For example, you can offer:
- Coupons for a purchase on your website,
- Free car wash when website visitors sign up for the email list,
- Free shipping on orders $ and up etc.
You can use a sign-up bonus – 10% off, or a $5 discount, for first-time buyers to expand your mailing list. It should be something small that won’t significantly affect your profits. Still, it will enable you to send well-tailored and personalized offers to your clients.
By following these trends, you can excel in your automotive e-commerce business.
By Mike Johnston