The high ticket item sales process has changed beyond recognition. If someone told me that people will be buying cars online without a test drive or a visit to a showroom I would have said that would be difficult.
I would have said that anyone buying a car in the future would be driven more by emotion than a reason and therefore the whole exercise would have to match that to secure the sale.
Instinctively, I would have assumed that that experience can only happen in the real world.
My prediction would have been wrong.
2022 is here we are buying cars via iPad and having them delivered straight to our house.
So, was I wrong in my prediction or did it happen that the real world experience just didn’t live up to our expectations.
I would argue the latter.
Having been to the car showroom recently the experience was far from convenient. Not to mention not matching the luxury brand it was selling.
Firstly – the store has 1 car as the sales person argues that all models look the same and any configuration is done virtually. 4 sales people with iPads – gather emails and send you app details so you can play with config as they wait for enough people to make appointments to have a test drive.
Test drives are limited to one day only.
After waiting 15 minutes I decided I have everything I need to make a decision. Guess what, I went home and completed the transaction. Even though the experience was far from great I have converted. How is that possible?
Possibly because the car is not seen as luxury, but rather a utility. A tool that I need to fulfil my work and family tasks. Or perhaps because a good user experience in the virtual world is on par with the luxurious experience in the real world. Having access to the video footage of my car being serviced is arguably just as or even more important than a sleek interior and a comfy soft sofa in the waiting area.
In fact the brand I went for is actually the same one I currently have. It’s not perfect but it is good enough. Isn’t that saying something about the state of physical experiences?
Needless to say I am not planning to visit the car showroom anytime soon, but I will update you in a few years whether car owners or subscription will be my choice. I will refrain from making predictions at this stage.