There’s no denying it, the internet has completely changed the way consumers shop nowadays. The world of e-commerce has simplified the shopping experience for consumers. No matter if it’s groceries, household goods, or the latest fashion trends, buying goods from the comfort of your home has become easier than ever, and surprisingly not as cumbersome as initially imagined. Even when it comes to big-ticket purchases like a vehicle, a growing number of consumers are turning to online dealerships to buy used vehicles.
So what does this mean for traditional brick-and-mortar used car dealers? Is it time for them to retire and make way for the online dealerships that are undeniably coming? Or do traditional used car dealerships have a fighting chance of staying in business in the far future?
How Has Car Buying Changed Over the Years?
Consumers are equipped with more knowledge now than ever before when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. Unfortunately, this means that the expertise of a salesman is often put second to the expertise of online reviews. Chances are, if you’re walking into a dealership to purchase a vehicle, you’ve already done extensive background knowledge on the make and model you want and what it has to offer.
Businesses have noticed, and the markets have shifted to satisfy these tech-savvy consumers. One prominent example is the online used vehicle dealer, Carvana. This online dealer has become a powerhouse of an e-commerce vendor which has helped connect drivers to the car they want in a matter of seconds. Carvana and other online dealerships have even simplified the process so that they bring the car right to your door, leaving you with virtually nothing to do but pay up and walk to your driveway where you’ll find your new vehicle waiting for you.
Even with this simplified shopping experience, does it mean that online shopping for a used car is the way to go? Let’s take a look at some of the pros of shopping online along with the tried-and-true services offered by a dealership.
Perks of Shopping Online
While purchasing a used vehicle online is undeniably convenient, that’s not the biggest perk. In fact, being able to do your own research and essentially sell yourself on a vehicle that fits your needs will allow you to steer clear of any unnecessary add-ons and up-sells that a traditional car dealers may offer you more. The advanced algorithms on popular search engines can even predict what you want and suggest models you might find appealing.
Online Shopping Can’t Replace Exceptional Customer Service
Used car dealerships, for the most part, still hold the advantage of exceptional customer service over their online counterparts. When you walk into a dealership, you can expect to work one-on-one with an actual human.
The staff at the dealership will work to answer all your questions and concerns and will help make you feel at ease during the car-buying process. Unfortunately, for clueless shoppers, this might mean that you’ll get more than you bargained for when purchasing a used vehicle from a dealership.
Luckily, with the power of the internet, you can arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make a sound decision on a used vehicle purchase. Reading up on reviews, the performance of a specific vehicle, and the main issues you can expect to encounter will allow you to ask the right questions when you’re in the dealership.
What Does the Future Hold for Used Car Dealerships?
While online car dealerships are undoubtedly convenient, they still remain no match for the intimate one-on-one relationship you can build with a traditional dealership. Luckily, dealerships all over the nation are understanding how important it is to be visible online for consumers. Because of this, it’s likely that your local dealership offers an online database that allows you to shop for the vehicle you’re looking for. Most dealerships will also offer neat tools including pricing and performance comparisons.
This mix of online convenience and in-person interaction has helped put dealerships in a powerful position for success. While online dealerships are undoubtedly going to continue to grow, it’s unlikely that the one-on-one experience you get out of brick-and-mortar car dealerships will be easily replaced.
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