Top ‘No Contact’ Car Shopping Trends Dealerships Are Adopting

close up customer paying with apple pay

As online car shopping continues to increase, consumers are expecting a seamless digital experience from car dealerships. A recent Automotive News study found that 83 percent of car buyers prefer to shop online to save time.

To accommodate today’s car buyers, dealerships are adopting new ways to engage with consumers and offer a safe and convenient car shopping experience.

Here are three digital car shopping trends that are emerging in car dealerships:

Touchless Payments

More car dealerships are accepting touch-free payment methods (i.e. Apple Pay® and Google Pay®) which are preferred by 82 percent of car buyers, according to a recent study. It is a more convenient payment method and alleviates the need for consumers to touch payment terminals when making in-person transactions.

Virtual Test Drives

Test drive videos are another emerging trend amongst car shoppers and dealers. A recent Google study found 64 percent of consumers who watch online videos during the research stage of their car-buying journey say new formats like 360° video would convince them to buy a car without an in-person test drive. The study also found that the watch time of “test drive” videos on YouTube has grown by more than 65 percent in the last two years, marking a growing car shopping trend in online video consumption.

Online, Mobile-Friendly Content

Ninety-two percent of car buyers research online before they buy, according to Google, so it’s important for car dealerships to offer a positive online experience. Creating educational content (i.e. blogs, videos, customer testimonials, etc.) that car shoppers can access from their computer, smartphone or tablet can help establish your car dealership as a trusted resource. Online content can help engage and educate car shoppers on the vehicle(s) they are researching and drive more traffic to your website and, ultimately, your showroom.

In another recent study, 71 percent of all respondents said they use a mobile device at some point during the car shopping process, and 58 percent said that in the future, their smartphone is likely to be the only device they use for all their vehicle research. Having a mobile-responsive website ensures your car dealership will fit smartphone and tablet screens so mobile car shoppers can peruse your site and find the information they need seamlessly.

Car Dealer Takeaways

  • With car shoppers being more convenience-driven and hygiene-conscious than ever, offering touchless payment methods in your car dealership can create a more positive car shopping experience.

  • Conducting virtual test drives on YouTube can be a good way to build engagement with online car shoppers.

  • Creating online educational content that is mobile-responsive is a great way to build your dealership’s online presence and credibility, which can drive traffic to your dealership.

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