Dealerships Offering Online Sales is Gutsy Move, Says Foresight Research

ROCHESTER, Mich., Jan. 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A major national retailer recently announced that they were launching a digital storefront to allow customers to buy and finance a car online. "Foresight has a great view of the new car purchaser and how they want to interact with their dealers. When we read about the digital storefront, we knew it was a gutsy move into an intersection of buyers and dealers that will get a green light in the long run, but may be looking at a yellow light today," said Foresight Research CEO, Steve Bruyn.

The statistics below come from the Foresight Research 2014 Dealership Immersion Report™, which provides insights and diagnostics about dealership purchase influence and experience among new auto buyers.

Yellow light: Just 11% of new auto buyers agree that 'it is not essential for me to see, touch or sit in the vehicle before I buy it,' and only 14% 'would prefer online price negotiation.'

Green light: Those measures shift considerably toward online among 18-34 year olds, which means that the next generation may feel differently…not a surprise since there has never really been a viable way to buy online, making it hard it imagine if and how it could work. A strong digital storefront could change that.

The digital storefront concept came out of goals to cut transaction time and improve customer satisfaction.

Yellow light: In all, 20% of new auto buyers feel like they spend too much time at the dealership.

Green light: But it is much higher for those under 55, particularly the 18-34 year olds. We see the same thing for overall consumer satisfaction with dealers. So while the current, older buyers are OK with dealer time and experience, the up-and-coming groups are less so.

So, Yellow light! It is still early times and people 55+ represent the majority of new auto buyers and they appreciate the dealer environment as it is now.

And, Green Light! Younger buyers are telling us that the dealership role in the purchase process will need to change, and a well-executed digital storefront is among many alternatives that this group responds to.

Only time will tell whether this action is jumping the gun or gunning the sales!

The Dealership Immersion Report™ helps auto manufacturers and dealers understand what gutsy moves they should green light based on new auto buyer behaviors and preferences, today and in the future.

Note: parts of this article were included in a Letter to the Editor to Automotive News, published December 22, 2014

About Foresight Research –

Foresight Research specializes in syndicated and custom studies focusing on the key influencers of purchase decisions in automotive and marine industries. Since 2008, Foresight Research publishes several syndicated reports each year that provide information, strategies and best practices to help auto companies and their partners build, position, and support marketing insights and actions.

CONTACT: Nancy Walter Foresight Research 248.608.1870 x 18

Source:Foresight Research