Will Rising Inventory Levels Make Car Buying Easier?

One of the most significant changes in the automotive retail industry resulting from inventory shortages is that shoppers are now ordering cars from factories even if they can’t find them in lots or in transit. This is why CDK Global began tracking how consumers find the cars they want and how that relates to an easy buying experience with the Ease of Purchase Scorecard. is one of

We began surveying new car buyers in June and every month thereafter to see if low inventory led to increased factory orders and buying vehicles in transit. In these surveys, he actually found that more than half of the customers in July and September had to use these means to find the car they really wanted.

But as inventory levels return, shoppers are buying back in bulk.

The impact was immediate. Just between October and November, the new car buyer we surveyed found inventory of cars he wanted to buy, up from 44% in October and 49% in November. It’s also the largest number of surveyed shoppers buying an in-stock vehicle since tracking began in June.

The lowest number of shoppers who found the car they wanted in stock, 37%, was recorded in September. In just two months, this is a big step forward.

These findings come at a time when the SAAR is putting out a figure of 15 million units and more cars are hitting franchise dealer lots, directly affecting car buyers. .

Nearly three in four shoppers (71%) say they can easily find the car they want, up from 68% in October. Yet this remains the most difficult part of the shopping process for 27% of shoppers. This suggests that even with the stock returning, there is still capacity at even higher levels.

Having a larger inventory of vehicles can also impact the number of dealerships that car shoppers have to visit. In November, his 49% of shoppers visited only one of her stores. That’s up from his 46% in October. At the same time, shoppers who visited three or more dealers dropped from 29% to 24%. Salespeople need to understand that once a shopper comes to the store, they’re likely to have found the car they want, but her 27% of buyers visited her second store.

Many shoppers surveyed in November said that gathering information online before coming to a dealership made the process easier, perhaps reducing the time spent as well as the number of stores visited.

Buyers feel they are spending the time they expect Less than Complete the purchase process. Nearly two of his three girlfriends shoppers (64%) felt the time spent completing a purchase was as or less than expected, similar to his 61% last month. is.

Despite these improvements, the overall ease of purchase score dropped 2 points to 82% in November. This is because two specific parts of his buying process have been less satisfying since October. F&I experience and delivery process.

As we turn the calendar to 2023, all eyes in the auto retail industry could be on inventory levels. But if they continue to rise predictably, the customer experience and what makes it easier for buyers could also change.

The Ease of Purchase Scorecard is a monthly measurement of approximately 350 new car buyers conducted by CDK Global’s research team.

David Thomas Content Marketing Director and Automotive Industry Analyst at CDK Global. He links CDK’s vast expertise to the broader market and trends driving the industry forward, and champions his leadership of thought across all platforms. David has spent nearly 20 years in the automotive world as a product evaluator, journalist and marketer for brands such as Autoblog, Cars.com, Nissan and Harley-Davidson.

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