Over the last 30 or so years, the web has had a transformative effect on all areas of modern society – changing everything from how we stay in touch and communicate to how we shop and work.
However, while the effects of e-commerce have, to date, been most keenly felt in traditional, low-value areas of retailing like clothing and media, the web is slowly becoming an accepted platform for making far higher-priced purchases like cars and even homes.
The shift to the acceptance of making more expensive purchases online was further exacerbated by the lockdowns and isolation caused by the recent Coronavirus where both customers and purveyors had little choice but to move their buying habits online.
While even just a few years ago, it would have seemed almost inconceivable to make high-value purchases over the internet, experts now suggest there has been a shift-change in the dynamics of online retailing. Indeed, it has suggested COVID-19 accelerated the take-up of e-commerce by around four to five years, with those transformations expected to last long after the worst of the virus has passed.
Customers are now wiser and better informed than ever
These days, it is suggested around 71% of all consumer journeys start with a search – typically for research purposes. With so much information widely and easily available and accessible online, consumers are now more knowledgeable and better informed than ever when it comes to the buying process, and the same applies to cars and vans.
Sites like Vanstop Bolton provide a wealth of information about their vehicles that simply wasnot available in the days pre-internet – information that arms consumers to make better decisions when they finally come to making a purchase.
How connection speeds have improved the range of information available
Today’s vastly quicker connection speeds are also improving the type and depth of content that is available online, including images, video, animations, 3D flythroughs and interactive models. These tools are invaluable in helping consumers visualize vehicles, often to the point they offer better insight than seeing the vehicle in person.
Moreover, with over 50% of all internet traffic now being made on mobile, consumers can study this information from any location, at a time that suits them.
The web has made it easier than ever to price check
In days of old, prospective vehicle buyers were largely limited to the information they could find on their doorstep – typically found by studying local press or visiting nearby dealers. In the internet age, buyers can study and compare typical vehicle prices regionally, nationally, or even internationally get a better idea of what they should be paying for a new car or van. The increased transparency offered by the web is proving to be an important factor in the vehicle purchasing process.
Test drives and physical checks are becoming less important
Recent research has found that potential vehicle buyers are increasingly moving away from making physical visits to dealerships or taking test drives – mainly because they already know the vehicle they are looking for before appearing in person.
The take out
The internet is the greatest library in the history of man and, as more and more of our lives are transferred to the digital realm, it is extremely likely we will see the shift to e-commerce services continue for everything from high-value goods to the already-saturated low-value markets.