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Car buying journey slashed from 16 to six days since pandemic began

Jeremy Evans, managing director of Marketing Delivery

Car buyers have sped-up their purchasing process to cut the time from making an initial enquiry to completing a purchase from 16 to six days, according to Marketing Delivery.

Data gathered by the car retail marketing specialist showed that the acceleration of digital retail trends during the COVID-19 pandemic have served to propel the pace of making a purchase in to previously unseen territory.

Marketing Delivery managing director Jeremy Evans and Facebook UK’s Anita Fox shared insight from their joint digital enquiry trends at Automotive Management Live 2021, at the NEC in Birmingham, yesterday November 11).

Evans said the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on car the car retail journey had been marked.

“While the changes in car buyer behaviour over the past 18 months are well documented – in particular the increased reliance on digital communication – less well understood is the true extent to which it is now impacting the quality and quantity of interaction between dealer and prospective customer,” he said.

“Put simply, dealers clearly now have a far smaller window of opportunity to influence buying decisions.”

Marketing Delivery said that car retailers should not only seek to improve the quality of interaction once an enquiry has been made, but aim to influence the decision at an earlier stage.

He said: “Critically, dealers need to engage more effectively with the customer before an enquiry is placed. That means thinking about how best to balance seemingly opposing forces – the need to interact with large numbers of people potentially in the market for a new car, and at the same time make those interactions better tailored to the individual so they are productive.

“In this context, digital automation in marketing is becoming ever-more essential for franchised dealers of all sizes.”

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