Three out of four drivers polled worldwide say they would consider buying their car entirely online, a new survey finds.
Already, 80% of drivers surveyed in eight countries say they are using some form of digital technology to research before they buy and 62% are initiating the car-buying process online, including checking social media, says consultants Accenture, which says it surveyed 10,000 consumers, including 1,000 in the U.S.
The results are interesting because they appear to point to less interest by consumers going to dealerships and kicking the tires before they buy. It even calls into question whether many feel they need a test drive. Almost half said they would be open to a “virtual test drive” at a dealership.
Some 69% of consumers surveyed said they have either bought a car online or would be open to the idea, and 63% said they’d be willing to buy through an online auction.
“The impact of the digital customer is becoming pervasive, disrupting the traditional car-buying experience and the competitive landscape,” said Christina Raab, global managing director for Digital Consumer Services in Accenture’s Automotive practice, in a statement. “This is clearly supported by the fact that many would consider conducting the entire car-buying process online.”
U.S. drivers are more interested in comparison shopping sites, Accenture says. Chinese drivers, by contrast, want instant access to information about a car model.
The research was conducted by Coleman Parkes for Accenture by polling consumers in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan and the U.S.