The future of used car dealerships - Why online alone is not enough

At a time when online retailing is booming, a recent market study by Dekra shows that the majority of used car buyers still prefer face-to-face contact with dealers. This article is aimed at managing directors, sales managers and owners of car dealerships and highlights why a balance between online and offline sales channels is crucial.

Introduction: The challenge of digitization

Digitization has fundamentally changed the way business is done. While some industries are transacted almost entirely online, the used car market shows a different trend. According to a study by Dekra, 72% of respondents prefer to buy a used car locally at the dealership. This presents car dealerships with the challenge of being present and efficient both online and offline.

The role of personal contact in the used car trade

Personal advice and purchase processing are of great importance to the majority of used car buyers. Direct contact enables individual advice that is difficult to provide online. This is where car dealerships can contribute their expertise and knowledge to make customers the best offer. A lead management system can help to better understand the needs and requirements of customers and respond to them in a targeted manner.

Online research as the first step

Despite the preference for offline purchasing, 80% of respondents are active online when it comes to research and information. This shows that a strong online presence is essential. Car dealerships should therefore implement an inventory management system to optimize their online presence and offer customers a wide range of options already online.

The importance of online platforms

Online platforms such as Autoscout24 and are the first port of call for 46% of respondents when conducting research. This underscores the need for an effective distribution systemthat also integrates online platforms. By linking online and offline data, car dealerships can offer customers a seamless shopping experience.

Offline channels remain relevant

Offline channels such as personal interaction and visits to car dealerships remain important. A lead management system can help here to manage potential customers effectively. This includes capturing customer information, tracking interactions, and planning follow-up activities.

5 tips for car dealers

  1. Invest in an inventory management system: this will help you manage your online and offline inventory efficiently.
  2. Use a sales system: Integrate online platforms into your sales strategy.
  3. Focus on lead management: follow up with potential customers and nurture relationships.
  4. Offer personal advice: This remains a decisive factor in the used car trade.
  5. Collaborations can lead to success: Consider how partnerships with other service providers can boost sales.

Conclusion: Finding the balance

The future of used car dealerships lies in a balanced combination of online and offline strategies. An inventory management system, an effective sales system, and a robust lead management system are keys to success. Only through the right mix of digital and face-to-face touchpoints can car dealerships succeed in today's complex sales landscape.

Any more questions? Would you like more information? We look forward to hearing from you.

Feel free to contact us today to discuss your challenges and to learn more about whether Automanager is the right tool for you.
Our tip
On trend
Recommended articles