The Internet has opened up car sales in more ways than one. The ability for consumers to search across a wide geographical area when looking for the best potential deal has forced dealerships to be more competitive and aggressive when it comes to pricing, interest rates and other incentives. This searching has also translated into a more informed car buyer, since the widespread availability of information on a car’s specifications, expert reviews of each model, and owner feedback have made the car sales process largely transparent. Finally, websites such as eBay and AutoTrader have revolutionized the used car sales industry, enabling buyers to find a wide variety of vehicles at the absolute lowest price that the market can bear.You can also find used cars right here on Autotropolis. Visit our used car research center.
It is no surprise that brick and mortar car dealerships have decided that expanding online was the next logical step towards increasing their sales and service divisions. There are several different methods that car dealerships have used in order to better incorporate the internet into their business model. The first has been the creation of an online showroom. Similar to a real world showroom, an online showroom uses extensive photographs of a vehicle, and often includes videos with sound of the vehicle running and driving. It is also popular to include a 360 degree walk around (see a 360 degree walk around of the Audi Q7) of a vehicle, which lets potential buyers see it from every angle. In addition to the photos, dealerships include detailed information regarding the vehicle’s specifications, its mileage, and its condition, as well as an explanation of any special circumstances surrounding the vehicle.
Virtual showrooms also usually contain contact info for the sales people who are specifically assigned to that particular model or division of the dealership itself. This allows customers to get in touch with personnel who can schedule test drives and meetings with interested parties. These same sales personnel can also send out detailed information packages via email for those who are looking to find out more than what has been displayed on the web page. These services make online showrooms an extremely useful tool for both the dealership and for consumers. Buyers do not have to spend excessive amounts of time visiting multiple dealerships on the off chance that the vehicle they are looking for is there. By the same token, car salesman are able to meet with buyers who are more prepared and who have likely already been in contact regarding the vehicle or vehicles in question.
The ability of the internet to allow consumers to shop outside of their local market is another benefit for both buyers and dealers when it comes to internet car sales. Since dealerships with a significant online presence can attract buyers and browsers from across the country, it can allow them to specialize in certain types of vehicles, a situation which might not have been viable if they were only able to service their region. By becoming the go-to spot for a particular make or model, they can offer lower pricing and greater expertise when it comes to buyer inquiries.
Finally, the breadth of selection offered by internet car sales has caused significant reforms in the car dealership industry. Since there is so much more competition at the national level when compared to the regional, dealerships have had to not only improve their level of service to reflect the demands of knowledgeable consumers, but they have also had to remain accountable to an automotive community on the internet which is very quick to praise excellent sales experiences and point out areas which need improvement. In order to maintain their reputations, dealerships now must go the extra mile, knowing that figuratively speaking, the eyes of the world are upon them. This pressure can also be felt by automakers, who are frequently appealed to in order to resolve a dispute at the dealership level. In effect, this exposure has created a much better sales experience for the car buyer.