Blog: Online retailing
Dave Leggett | 22 November 2012
Buying a car is always going to be a little bit more complicated than buying a book from Amazon. Isn't it?
Well, traditional automotive retailing models have not been seriously disrupted by the emergence of online shopping over the past decade.
If you are going to purchase a car, it's never been easier to do your own research online and then walk into the dealer armed with facts and figures over the car spec you want and the price that you are prepared to pay. But the physical act of visiting a showroom and talking to a salesman remains at the heart of the process.
Will that continue to be the case? The consultants at Arthur D Little have been considering the issues. One interesting change in the market may be that people move away from the car purchase as an emotional purchase to it becoming more of a rational one (for example, as they shift from direct ownership of a vehicle to personal lease). Online sales channels might be well suited to such a transition - for example in allowing quick and easy 'commodity style' comparisons. The car becomes a utility purchase, like switching household energy provider perhaps. Anyway, it's an interesting report (below link to summary, there's a PDF available for more detail).
With RHD Tesla cars only going on sale in the UK in recent weeks, it's way too early to be talking about the ownership experience. But in the US, it's a different story....
Ah, the old chestnut of the promise of the automotive brand, the core brand values and what the brand says about the driver....
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