CarGurus research shows how car dealers are adopting new technology to satisfy car buyers' changing behaviour
- Dealers rapidly adopting technology such as "virtual appointments"
- Nearly half of all paying dealers have adopted some form of contactless service since April
- Twice as many car buyers are now open to online purchases and 76% of prospective buyers would prefer to shop from home
- CarGurus' latest Consumer Sentiment Study can be downloaded here
Car dealers are rapidly adopting new technology to meet new purchasing demands among car buyers, according to the latest research from CarGurus, the fastest growing online automotive marketplace in the UK*.
New contactless features offered by CarGurus have enjoyed a swift uptake, with 43% of paying dealers now offering one or more of them on vehicles that they are selling through the CarGurus UK platform. These allow dealers to demonstrate safer purchasing options and continue effectively marketing their cars.
Among the various contactless services introduced in April, one of the most popular is virtual appointments, with 32% of all paying dealers now making that available for customers. Contactless purchasing, which enables buyers to either pay for or finance a vehicle remotely with any paperwork being delivered to them at home, is also now widely accessible, being offered on nearly half of all vehicles for sale by paying dealers on www.cargurus.co.uk (46%).
Another recent development on CarGurus has been the integration of popular social media platform, WhatsApp, as a method for communicating with dealers. In addition to facilitating faster response times to their enquiries, it also allows car buyers to communicate with dealer representatives through a messaging platform that many are extremely familiar with.
It is clear that COVID-19 has accelerated the pivot to new digital selling and customer service methods, as dealers seek to meet the consumers evolving demands for safety. A recent survey by CarGurus of 1,104 UK car buyers showed that consumer sentiment towards the dealership experience has shifted significantly in light of COVID-19.
Previously just 33% of car buyers were open to purchasing a car online, a number which has almost doubled to 61% in the latest CarGurus survey. Perhaps more tellingly, 33% are not just open to an online transaction but would actually prefer it.
For those willing to visit dealerships, areas such as hygiene and adhering to social distancing were extremely important. However, most current prospective buyers (76%) would now prefer to shop from home and make use of contactless buying tools.
Wendy Harris, Vice President of European Sales at CarGurus said "In an industry that has sometimes been accused of being slow to embrace new technologies, the speed with which car dealers have adapted to the changing landscape is extremely impressive. Just a year ago the concept of booking a virtual appointment at a car dealership would have seemed far-fetched, and yet today we have nearly a third of all paying dealers on CarGurus UK embracing technology and offering this service to prospective buyers.
"Aside from demonstrating how dynamic the businesses that make up this industry are, perhaps it also emphasises the scale of the challenge still faced by the industry in light of COVID-19. At CarGurus we’re committed to being a supportive partner to our dealers, and we will continue to develop tools that help them to satisfy the changing needs of customers."
To learn more about changing consumer sentiment during this unprecedented time, download the full CarGurus COVID-19 Sentiment Study.
*CarGurus is the fastest growing online automotive marketplace in the UK among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q2 2019 to Q2 2020 (Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform® , Total Audience, Custom-defined list includes CarGurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, Gumtree.com, Q2 2019 - Q2 2020, UK)
For further information, please contact:
James Drake at CarGurus UKPR@CarGurus.com / 0208 541 3434 / +44 07809 657178
How CarGurus Works:
CarGurus helps car shoppers search local car listings and quickly find great deals from top rated dealers. Every day, the company analyses millions of data points on hundreds of thousands of UK car listings to calculate each car's Instant Market Value (IMV) or fair retail price. This data is used in combination with dealership ratings from other shoppers to rank and rate available cars results based on the quality of the deal: Great, Good, Fair, High or Overpriced. The site also provides transparency on how long the car has been on the forecourt and if it's had a price drop. Consumers can contact dealers directly.
Founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert (also a co-founder of TripAdvisor), CarGurus (Nasdaq: CARG) is a global, online automotive marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of cars. The company uses proprietary technology, search algorithms and data analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive search experience and help users find great deals from top rated dealers. CarGurus is the most visited automotive shopping site in the U.S. (source: Comscore Media Metrix® Multi-Platform, Automotive – Information/Resources, Total Audience, Q2 2020, U.S. (Competitive set: CarGurus.com, Autotrader.com, Cars.com, TrueCar.com)). CarGurus launched in the UK in 2015 and is the fastest growing online automotive marketplace in the UK among its nearest competitors based on the percent change in average unique monthly visitors from Q2 2019 to Q2 2020 (Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform® , Total Audience, Custom-defined list includes CarGurus.CO.UK, Motors.CO.UK, AutorTrader.CO.UK, Gumtree.com, Q2 2019 – Q2 2020, UK). In 2019, CarGurus acquired UK-based PistonHeads.com, which it operates as an independent brand. In addition to the United Kingdom and the United States, CarGurus also operates an online marketplace in Canada.
CarGurus® is a registered trademark of CarGurus, Inc. All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
To learn more about CarGurus visit www.cargurus.co.uk.
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