Research by MotoNovo Finance has revealed that digital platforms are proving an essential link in the retail chain for used car buyers.
The online survey of over 160,000 car finance customers over a 12-month period revealed that 60% of car buyers found their used car online but went on to purchase their vehicle through a dealership.
Customer satisfaction with the service they received from the salesperson once at the dealership reached 93%, meanwhile, highlighting retailers' success at maximising their input into a 'clicks and bricks' sales process.
Mark Standish, chief executive officer of MotoNovo, said: “The speed, control and transparency of an omni-channel approach to used car buying is proving to be a winning combination.
“Car buying and financing has undergone a transformation over recent years. Online access to car data, reviews and a host of finance product guides puts the customer in control, meaning they arrive at a showroom informed and empowered.
"Dealers have adapted their approach to support customers to complete their sales journey in the showroom and beyond.”
MotoNovo Finance believes the importance of used car dealers to car buyers is reflected in their continuing presence in towns and cities across the UK, as they ‘combine access with in-store service’.
Standish said: “Dealers are better suited than online models to serve three primary roles in the used car buying journey; superior service, reassurance and after-sales support.
"The situation is more pronounced for used cars than for new cars. People want support, guidance and crucially they want to see and touch a used car and feel supported beyond the purchase.
“The used car market is very competitive as is car financing. As a business, we are committed to digital; we are also committed to premises. For car buyers, our research continues to provide compelling evidence that when it comes to used car buying, clicks and bricks works best.”