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Bridge the Gap Between Online Shopping and the Showroom

Bridge the Gap Between Online Shopping and the Showroom

July 27, 2020 | Ashley Morris
Updated 5/11/2023: The White House declared the end of the Covid-19 Health Emergency May 11, 2023 so some of the details mentioned in this article regarding the CARES Act or pandemic may have changed.

Car Buying Journey is Disjointed for Consumers

For years, dealers have leveraged an online environment that would entice and incentivize car shoppers to visit a showroom. The expectation was that a consumer would “start” their journey with their salesperson. However, the digital process has been disjointed because consumers felt they had to start their shopping process all over again at the dealership. And for many dealers, all the pre-build work done online never transferred to their showroom salesperson.

Since the rise COVID-19, dealers are now focused on going digital more than ever. They've sprinted to implement new digital processes that ensure the safety of their customers and salespeople, while maintaining new and used vehicle sales.

The bottom line is that dealers need to streamline their digital processes while improving the consumer shopping experience.

Creating a Seamless Shopping Experience is Crucial

Let’s look at the numbers. CNBC recently reported that auto research firms expect new vehicle sales to be slightly less than 1.1 million vehicles in May, down about 32% to 33% compared to May 2019.¹ Additionally, the industry is expected to lose between 1.2 million and 1.6 million retail sales due to the Coronavirus pandemic through July, according to J.D. Power.²

While these numbers might look alarming, used car sales seem to be on the rise. According to Cox Automotive, new-vehicle sales for the week ending May 28 were down 28%, but sales of used vehicles were up 6%.³

This means dealers need to close the gap with digital shoppers for the sake of new vehicle sales -- and the increase of used vehicle sales.

How to Streamline the Digital Process and Unlock Automotive Commerce

Let’s identify the major pain points. Dealers are unable to identify their online shoppers and are unable to tell who has been pre-qualified. Third-party websites don’t always help a consumer understand what they can afford. And consumers want a faster buying process, and they're tired of restarting the buying process at the dealership.

The industry is looking for solutions designed to help dealers, third-party websites and lenders:

  • Identify and authenticate the digital consumer
  • Pre-qualify the consumer, while personalizing the online shopping experience
  • Put the consumer in the right vehicle based on their needs, while speeding up the buying the process
“Experience and the customer journey matter significantly in today’s automotive market. Margins are razor thin and competition comes from all directions,” said Jenn Reid, VP, Automotive Marketing and Strategy Leader for Equifax.

Equifax offers solutions that help solve these issue. Watch this short video to learn more. 

Learn how our digital solutions can help dealers identify their customer up-front, reduce fraud and qualify their online shopper for a customized buying experience.