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E-commerce Will Drive the Digital Revolution in Auto

Permanent shifts in customer expectations make digital and e-commerce solutions more important than ever—here’s how OEMs can get started

The auto industry is facing pressure to adapt digitally more so than ever as COVID-19 has brought new challenges and intensified the need to shift toward digital solutions. Decisions now about technological adoption will have generational effects on the industry’s winners and losers. The dealers and OEMs who adjust can thrive, while those reluctant to change will fall further behind.

“Digital is not just a nice-to-have enabler of the automotive shopping experience, it is the new core of the auto shopping experience.”
Jen Steele, Global Vice President, Managing Partner at Publicis Sapient

The consumer in the driver’s seat: How expectations have changed

Prior to COVID-19, consumers were increasingly beginning their purchase journey online. Before visiting a dealer, 92 percent of customers researched and compared vehicles online, spending an average of 8.5 hours digitally learning; by the time shoppers arrived to a dealership, they knew the model, make and price range of their choice and were ready to buy.

Integrated digital ecosystem¹

More customers are looking to complete more of the shopping process online before ever visiting a dealer, and 18 percent say they would buy a car sooner if there was an online option.