The infusion of big data and analytics into the retail environment is redefining sales strategies for industries across the board. Automotive showrooms are not immune to the upheaval, with digital transformation trends in the auto industry being some of the most exciting movements.
Proactive automotive dealers can benefit greatly by embracing new methods such as behavior sensing technologies like Nexshop from Samsung.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE AUTOMOTIVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
It’s no surprise that what’s shaping the auto buying experience is consumer expectations. Most of those expectations revolve around digital trends designed to make every shopping experience more fun and more personalized.
Consumers now typically complete the majority of their buying processes online. Some opt for in-store pick-up, but the bottom line is that it is becoming an overwhelmingly a digital process. Car buying, too, often now begins on online, with shoppers researching and comparing makes, models, and prices before entering a showroom or taking a test drive.
Once shoppers log-off at home and walk into the dealership, the buying process is still often old-school with salespeople controlling the transaction, mountains of paperwork, and sales techniques that follow a set pattern. At a time when nearly 70% of dealership website visits consist of actual car shopping activities, this is an ineffective, unsustainable model. Automotive showrooms that take the time to address customer pain points resulting from an outdated process become more relevant in today’s market.
CREATING A SEAMLESS CAR BUYING EXPERIENCE
What if dealers could bring the at-home online experience into the showroom where people could do their research and choose their options on their own while experienced and knowledgeable salespeople wait nearby to answer questions? The result would be the consultative experience many customers want without the “pushy” or hard-sell techniques they fear when entering a vehicle showroom.
The automotive industry has been slow to integrate self-service technology into the car buying experience, but times are changing. Interactive digital signage and interactive kiosks are two retail technologies that can improve business and engagement by giving customers the digital experience they crave.
With Samsung’s Nexshop Behavior Sensing platform and dealer digital signage working together, it’s possible to tap into new ways to improve the customer experience and increase operational efficiency:
- A “Unique Customer Identifier” recognizes the customer and personalized content based on certain characteristics is displayed, allowing for continuation of the shopper’s online experience.
- User-friendly software lets customers browse different makes and models and configure vehicles. The data is then saved for their one-on-one consultation with a sales rep.
- Virtual reality experiences can be offered for models not currently available in the showroom.
- Personalized digital catalogs that can be downloaded to a mobile device and revisited by the customer from any location.
All of this combined with behavior sensing technology that collects and analyzes in-store customer preference data can make a showroom a true omnichannel retail experience that engages car buyers every step of the way.
Today, data is everything when it comes to creating a curated car buying experience. As the industry moves into 2020, look for an increased focus on seamlessly connecting at-home and in-showroom digital experiences while still giving customers the human connection they appreciate.
While these trends will not become the standard overnight, they do have long-term potential for helping automotive showrooms adapt the car buying experience to modern digital demands. Those dealers who grasp the emerging role the technology will play are the ones who will be well-positioned to handle whatever challenges the future brings. To learn more, contact PTG today.
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