Seventy-seven per cent of car shoppers intend to buy a vehicle now or within the next two or three months after the lockdown, according to a Kijiji Autos COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Survey.
That is just one of the stats provided in the survey, which also notes that 48% of shoppers are not postponing their intent to buy a car, 14% will wait until two-to-three months after the lockdowns end, 15% will wait until the lockdown officially ends, and 23% are not certain anymore.
As a tip, Kijiji Autos advises to “Make sure all of your inventory is made available online with proper descriptions and details. This will allow car shoppers to fully experience your digital showroom from the comfort of their home.”
Demand for test drives is the main reason consumers are postponing buying a car, with 60% of those surveyed noting they are delaying their purchase until they can test the vehicle. And in fact 60% want to test the car before buying, 53% want to ask specific questions about the vehicle in-person, and 38% said it is not possible for them to complete the entire transaction — things like the registration, the contract, and the delivery.
Kijiji Autos offers badges that let buyers know what services the dealership is offering amid the pandemic — including test drives.
Some of the main reasons consumers are looking to buy is related to their day-to-day activities: things like getting to work, care-taking, and groceries; not wanting to miss out on a deal; and they need to replace their current vehicle.
“While more car shoppers will be in the research phase for an extended period of time, it’s important to follow up on all leads as you don’t want to miss out on a potential sale,” said Kijiji Autos.
Dealers can also help improve the situation by boosting buyer confidence, which has decreased during the pandemic. They can do this by offering safe and solo test drives, by ensuring they have a proper cleaning protocol in-place to minimize the risk of contamination, by doing remote vehicle inspections when consumers trade-in their vehicle, and by offering attractive financing options — such as 0% interest on the first 12 months.
Also of importance is to highlight or explain to the customer how the process works. This includes how your cleaning process differs from others, and how you go about sanitizing vehicles for text drives and service vehicles. It is very important for dealers to provide more information to consumers during this period.
“Is your dealership open? Are you offering deferred payments or virtual appraisals? What about home delivery?” said Kijiji Autos.
When looking to buy a car consumers want to know about:
- vehicle registration (can they get the vehicle registered when they buy a car?);
- dealership operations and services (is your dealership open and when? New processes? What services are offered?);
- your safety protocol (physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting services for your customers, ones that may be complimentary, etc.); and
- your purchasing and financing offers (are you offering these options, and what incentives are in place?).
The survey includes 500 respondents and was conducted between April 30 and May 10, 2020.
The complete survey can be found here.