Car manufacturers deserve customers not just brand advocates

Car manufacturers do not currently own the transaction, missing opportunities to get closer to the customer. In other sectors manufacturers now own dedicated direct to consumer channels that can encompass retail stores, but typically are built around an online component. This provides a lower ‘cost of sale’ channel, but most importantly puts them in the best position to understand and meet the needs of their customers.

Who owns the customer?

In Automotive, everyone owns a piece of the customer. They are handed over from the car manufacturer to the dealer and onto the financial services provider and insurance company. This fragmented approach means it is impossible for the customer to get a seamless brand experience and it is the car manufacturer who has the most to lose.

Cost of not having a direct to consumer channel

The financial justification is compelling when considering many customers are actively looking to buy direct from the brand and will do so of their own choice, resulting in the lack of an eCommerce channel losing some customers that would have come at a lower cost. This channel should sit at the heart of customer interactions and so enable an effective omnichannel strategy, gaining more overall sales when considering all channels. A positive effect will be an increased ease of measurement and understanding of how the customer is behaving, which will make it easier to target marketing spend more effectively.

In summary

Ownership of the customer is so fragmented that it is proving impossible to provide the seamless omnichannel buying journey that customers have become accustomed to elsewhere. Car manufacturers need to catch up with market leaders from other sectors and include a Direct to Consumer channel in their sales mix.

Assisted Selling provides the six basic pillars required to sell direct to the customer and an approach to help out the customer front and centre.

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