Could You Buy and Pay for Your Next Car Online? New Platform Launches
More and more businesses have moved online or added ecommerce options since the advent of the internet, but the automotive industry has never gone all the way on this. Never, that is, until the beginning of this year when Peugeot introduced its new online service, Order Online By Peugeot.
This service allows users to purchase a car completely online, picking out a finish, trim, and factory fitted extras to their liking, choosing financing options and even setting up part exchange, all completely online. Once the purchase is finalised that car can be delivered or picked up at the customer’s convenience.
Other manufacturers have had systems that allow customers to pick out options for their cars for a long time now, but they have always required that certain steps be carried out in person at a dealership. Peugeot is the first company to make every step of the process available online. In a way, the new service is like a home based version of their sister brand DS’s boutique experiences.
This is an exciting new step for the industry as a whole, but is it a viable one? Will online car shopping ever truly take off?
Well, Will It?
Some customers might be wary, after all nothing feels quite as official as signing a physical contract out in meat space, but many others will already be so used to carrying out most of the process through an online platform that this will just feel like a natural evolution, so it will come as no surprise if other manufacturers launch similar services in the near future. They’ll have some catching up to do though—Peugeot’s offering was in development for three years before it launched at the beginning of 2017.
The market might be slow to start, but once people are used to the idea—and the modern shopper is nothing if not adaptable to new ways of doing things—sales are likely to pick up quickly, so we expect this to be just another way of buying a car within a few years.
What Does This Mean for Traditional Dealerships?
It would be easy to predict that this is the death knell for regular dealerships, and that they will suffer the fate of so many high street stores outcompeted by online outlets, but a car is a big purchase. Many customers will be eager to test drive their cars, and the used car market will not go anywhere as long as there are first time drivers and other thrifty folk out there.
However they’re affected, we can be sure they’ll never completely go away, though they might change to adapt to the new marketplace.