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The future of video and the car buyer

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A Dealer Masterclass 2019 commercial partner.

Our latest consumer research has found more people seek to visit dealerships as part of the car-buying process today than did so at the beginning of the decade. At the same time, 35% of buyers want face-to-face customer service.

We also found that today’s consumer goes to the dealership more informed, wanting a test drive and potentially to sign on the same day.

What does this mean for you?

While more people are expecting to visit a dealership as part of the car-buying process, according to our latest research, retailers will need to adapt even further to future-proof their business.

 Video and the online experience will continue to play a prominent role in decision-making for customers. Interest in online video reviews has increased (from 13% to 25%) and more than two thirds of consumers (67%) want video as part of the purchase process.

Good-quality video, still images, and exterior and interior 360-degree shots are an important part of the research phase and where dealers need to invest time in their customer experience.

With consumers wanting more face-to-face customer service, bridging the digital-to-physical experience is more important than ever. A dedicated video platform that delivers good-quality video communications is key to meeting the needs of the car buyer of today and the future. Personalised video provides a bespoke purchase experience, creates emotional engagement and starts building a relationship with the sales executive before they have even set foot on site.

Consumer research often shows a reluctance to visit a dealer, with the fear of haggling often top of the worry list. Video has been a big part of changing those perceptions. We also know that customers are more likely to show up on site if they have seen a video, with 87% of car buyers who watch a video performing a follow-up action.

If a genuinely seamless physical-to-digital experience is to succeed, then transparency, openness and honesty are a must, and video plays a key part in this.

What’s important for car-buyers

Drivability is the top consideration when choosing a car, according to our research. It was closely followed by fuel type (39%) and insurance costs (32%).

Interior space was rated first by a quarter (25%), 23% thought the most important factor was road tax and the vehicle’s environmental impact, and 22% looked at exterior styling first.

Surprisingly, hi-tech safety features such as autonomous driving came way down the list, with just 13.5% citing these as their primary consideration.

With customers most interested in how the car drives, when retailers are creating digital assets for uploading onto websites and personal video messages, they could consider incorporating test drive footage in their video clips. Personalised video messages should also incorporate the features car buyers are basing their purchase decisions on.

Future expectations

The importance of the virtual forecourt will continue with the laptop. Websites need to be mobile-optimised and manufacturer apps will feature as part of the buying and owning experience. The strength of digital assets will increase in importance with buyers expecting to be immersed in an experience that is visually led.

Video is an established part of the car-buying process and the use of video and online assets will be the key to bridging the online to offline experience.

To view the report click here.



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