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View Poll Results: Is car shopping slowly shifting to the online platforms?
Yes 48 27.75%
No 88 50.87%
Can't say 37 21.39%
Voters: 173. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 4th October 2017, 18:30   #31
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Default Re: Is car shopping shifting online?

This is similar to asking whether buying a home will shift online. The reason being at least in India, buying a home and buying a car are similar mental activities with investments in both being large multiples of monthly incomes.

Thus I say shifting completely online is not in the near future. Even if car manufacturers (and/or dealers) offer car shopping online, the scenario might unfold like this:

1. Select a car make / model that you like.
2. Visit a dealer to get a look and feel / get a test drive booking online.
3. Once you know what you are buying, then compare and book the car online.

There are many factors for this - people do not generally buy even television sets or washing machines or refrigerators online. And by people I do not mean only the tech savvy internet users. People includes the landowner who just sold a portion and wants to buy a landcruiser, the elderly businessman looking for a comfortable saloon and the enthusiast who wants to test drive all the cars in his budget before selecting any single car.

Also there is the factor of getting a wrong colored car delivered or car with incomplete fittings and so on and so forth. This will mean a call to the support center and we all know currently what that entails.
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Old 4th October 2017, 19:43   #32
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Default Re: Is car shopping shifting online?

Been wanting to share my opinion on this particular thread because I run TryCarPal, a start up in the online new car selling space operational in Chennai and Bangalore. Forgive me if this post is long - I have been waiting for the best platform to communicate this. (Moderators- please let me know if you feel it's not aligning to rules. I'll try to keep it as relevant to the topic as possible).

From what I read everywhere on this topic, the phrase 'online buying' with respect to new cars is sometimes over quoted. Paying a booking amount online is not 'buying'. It only reflects the 'intent to buy'. For example, the new Mini JCW can be exclusively booked via Amazon. The Mahindra Scorpio and other vehicles can be booked through Snapdeal. The e-commerce platforms provide convenience of paying the booking amount through a payment gateway. (as against giving a cheque to the dealer or taking the effort of adding a net banking beneficiary). There is no fulfillment that gets done. Post payment, everything is taken care by the dealer. From a business standpoint - the dealer gets a 'conversion' from the platform without a deal closure.

There's a lot that goes into car buying. Research / vehicle discovery plays a huge role. Post decision, there's the negotiation, finance deals, insurance options and if you have an existing car to sell - that becomes super critical.

In my option, car buying platforms should do the following:

1. Address the vehicle confusion issue that customers have. Car buyers are constantly comparing possible options, features and prices.

2. Stitch everything together by working with relevant stake holders - new car dealers, insurers, finance providers, used car dealers and make the whole process completely seamless.

3. Address the downsides of traditional car buying by offering multiple test drives at home (car buyer test drives multiple options at the same time, at home - this brings down conversion time from 30 days to probably 5 days), directly give better prices (so that car buyers don't have to bargain PLUS convenience alone cannot be a selling point)

4. Try and make money

This thread is pretty relevant too - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...e-up-15-a.html (New Car Discount Websites - You can apparently save up to 15%)

My understanding - from a business stand point - Traditional car selling is quite an inefficient way of today's sales (industry agnostic). The over head costs are high with land, rent, people, infrastructure, continuous test vehicle updates, etc. Dealers' margins on cars are mostly thinned as markets now demand the cars to be sold on discounts, except very few. The only way of making up money is marking up insurance, services and spares. Dealers (from a top management view) now sell for the sake of servicing. Not the other way round.

Having said that, dealers are definitely here to stay for vehicle support and service. Offline sales from walk-ins, tele-ins will slowly taper down (I'm sure most dealers in cities are seeing this trend).

Given the extent of options at least in the A,B,C segments - a 3rd party platform could be useful. The market place model would work for now where car buyers can see multiple cars and offers in the same website. Otherwise, going from one website to another just to check for prices and availability could get quite tiresome.

In essence, car buyers should be able discover, get a test drive, choose car/variant/fuel/colour options, get deal closure with better pricing with little to no interaction with any sales consultant, book the car online, see status of the booking like Amazon/Flipkart, get started with down payment and loan processes, pay at the appropriate timeline and get the car delivered by the local dealer.

Next step forward - 3rd party platforms become multi brand online authorized dealerships.
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Old 4th October 2017, 21:49   #33
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Default Re: Is car shopping shifting online?

Not sure when it will happen, but car shopping can be shifted online for sure.

Even these days you can book your car online - take Nexa app for example; you can book your Baleno/Ignis/Ciaz/S-Cross from the app itself.

Leave company, even dealers websites (DD Motors, Delhi) have option to book and pay booking amount online on their sites.

Car shopping definitely can be shifted online. You book online, all paper work including finance can be done electronically, and even the car can be delivered at your door step. Taking another example of Nexa - They don't give hard copy of car brochures, the sales person just mail you the e-brochure from his iPad. Even the accessories, colors, etc are now shown on the tables by sales people. Lot of things are already moving to the electronic medium here as well.

But as of now the charm of visiting a car showroom, doing all the manual paper work, going for test drive, taking the delivery of a shiny new car from a swanky showroom is simply priceless.

Let's not allow technology to take all the fun away from our lives!

Last edited by bluevolt : 4th October 2017 at 21:53.
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Old 4th October 2017, 22:24   #34
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Default Re: Is car shopping shifting online?

What can happen:

1. Research online -> Already happening
2. Book test drive online -> Already happening, company routes to local dealership
3. Company itself arranges test drive. No need for fancy showrooms and lots of overhead. Move all administration work online. Have few people who can take cars to people's location for test drives.
4. Book online & do all paperwork online, do PDI in company-owned lots, take delivery at company lot, or have it delivered.
5. Service -> Brick & Mortar like it happens now.

Basically, one can remove the dealer from the equation. Will reduce dealer commissions, might lead to lower prices. Will eliminate dealer discounts/freebies, but if prices go down a little for it, should be ok.
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Old 5th October 2017, 12:50   #35
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Default Re: Is car shopping shifting online?

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
If buying a car is the destination, then the process of choosing it, is the journey.
Exactly my thoughts. See the process of choosing a car from a list of choices, test drives, the ' eebie jeebies' or ' butterflies ' you get while walking into a car dealership just cannot be felt purchasing online IMHO.
Yes as many Bhpians pointed out, a considerable percentage of car shopping experience has gone online from research to booking. But the truth is technology is moving ahead at a pace we cannot fathom. For eg. 10 years ago I couldn't think of buying TV's or any white electronic goods online but here we are rushing to shop on sale days online ! I'm sure almost all Bhpians including me will forever take to the brick and mortar showrooms rather than buying cars online for now. Some sites like carwale , cardekho etc have already started scenarios in which multiple dealers of the same brand compete for customers like us. A small experience when I wanted to check the on-road price of the Celerio, I had to give my contact details. Long story short, the speed at which I got a test drive for a Celerio surprised me !

Also the chances of cross shopping might fall as the present system of shopping allows us to focus on a single model. Maybe the touch, feel and visible attraction does play a big role because I once walked in to a Toyota dealership looking for an Innova and ended up buying a Fortuner. Also my friend opting for an Octavia instead of the Rapid are classic cases of what magic a dealership can do.
Of course all this will be solved and car sales may eventually go online (I voted yes) but till the day dealerships stand I will be customer to them !
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Old 5th October 2017, 17:24   #36
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Default Re: Is car shopping shifting online?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraken View Post
Also the chances of cross shopping might fall as the present system of shopping allows us to focus on a single model. Maybe the touch, feel and visible attraction does play a big role because I once walked in to a Toyota dealership looking for an Innova and ended up buying a Fortuner. Also my friend opting for an Octavia instead of the Rapid are classic cases of what magic a dealership can do.
This is a rare situation that worked for you. For a lot of people, it doesn't. Sometimes, people get swayed by going for a lower variant of a bigger car but that's actually a compromise more than a win. For ex. if you had walked in to a Nexa showroom to look at the Baleno around 4-5 months back, you'd have noticed that salesmen push the S-Cross more because that needs to be sold more urgently than the Baleno. Also, sometimes sales consultants push the car for which they have the highest incentives.
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Old 5th October 2017, 17:49   #37
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Default Re: Is car shopping shifting online?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigvr View Post
This is a rare situation that worked for you. For a lot of people, it doesn't. Sometimes, people get swayed by going for a lower variant of a bigger car but that's actually a compromise more than a win.
I agree with you on that one ! The percentage of that happening is definitely more than the scenario I mentioned . Also most of the time the ' compromise' scenario is in fact the outcome. Still cross shopping might definitely decrease when we go online, that was my point !

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigvr View Post
For ex. if you had walked in to a Nexa showroom to look at the Baleno around 4-5 months back, you'd have noticed that salesmen push the S-Cross more because that needs to be sold more urgently than the Baleno. Also, sometimes sales consultants push the car for which they have the highest incentives.
Also the trend you mentioned happens close to November / December when they have to finish up the stocks of the current year. Yeah as you observed correctly SA's will push the cars they earn maximum incentives on !
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Old 5th October 2017, 19:52   #38
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Default Re: Is car shopping shifting online?

What people have mentioned as a downside of online buying: not exploring the look and feel of the car before purchasing, offers a contrary thought from me:-

Online platform can actually manage to offer a single platform where you can explore the looks and feel and test drive from many different manufacturers. However much the manufacturers may not want this to happen (e.g. Bose doesn't like places where you can compare its Audio systems with other manufacturers) - it can easily happen in future - just requires one-two laggard seller to partner with someone like Amazon and start it.

Last edited by alpha1 : 5th October 2017 at 19:56.
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Old 8th October 2017, 16:32   #39
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As far as the sales are concerned, it is not a far-fetched idea that the cars are brought to the location of the customer for test rides. It is already in place for many years now. The paperwork can be handled from a central location in every city, at least the metros.
What needs a physical setup is the A.S.S, and that area in any brand can see continual improvement.

Not sure if I answered your question, but online is the way to go. Say in 10 years time, when your generation has seen salaries for a couple of years, you may not need to really test drive the car before you buy it. My first purchase was without a test drive as I was still learning to drive when my paperwork was thru. Had a friend drive it home for me.

And, I have done the same for a couple of people too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvDriving View Post
This is similar to asking whether buying a home will shift online. The reason being at least in India, buying a home and buying a car are similar mental activities with investments in both being large multiples of monthly incomes.


Many apartments are sold on 3d rendering and fancy presentations during the launch phase. The potential buyers have to wait for 2-5 years before the actual possession.
At least so is the case for new buys in India.


Mods: please excuse the back to back posting

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 8th October 2017 at 18:32. Reason: Back to back posts merged.
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Old 8th October 2017, 21:42   #40
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I would think that the fast majority of people would still like to see and feel a car for real. So a lot of research on line and maybe the actual purchase on line but still a visit to the dealer to see the car in real life. Dealers in the west are using lots of advanced tech in their showrooms too. I visited a Ford dealer nearby here in the Netherlands recently. They had a fair amount of new cars to look at. At least one of each model, but they also had a huge video wall. Through their online car configuration you could put the car of your choice on the video wall and see it in real size. Very useful for choosing colours and materials and such. They were also using some VR stuff as well.

As mentioned cars and houses are big capital layout for most of us. So I would like to see the real thing. Mind you, I did buy my Jaguar of EBay without ever seeing it in the real.

But online technology is definitely a powerful tools for marketing and promoting cars and houses.

We recently put our house on the market and I was pretty impressed by how that is done. Pretty good photography, 3D, video etc.

https://www.funda.nl/koop/nootdorp/h...ningsvaren-12/

It was sold to a couple who spend less then 15 minutes walking through our house and made an offer the next day! I have no idea how much time they spend online looking at all the details of our house.

I must admit that whilst we lived in the USA I was always impressed with how the main stream dealers sold their cars. You would walk into the dealership and you would have bought a car done the payment and all the necessary paperwork in under and hour, hour and a half tops. American car dealers stock a lot of cars, with always just about all options as well.

Because really, to me that is still the most disappointing part of buying a new car; having to wait 3-5 months for the delivery!

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Old 8th October 2017, 23:15   #41
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Default Re: Is car shopping shifting online?

I guess Tesla sells only online!! There are showrooms to walk in check the cars though. I saw one in Santa Clara downtown - its more of an exhibit of the car and the technology. Though its not going to happen very soon in India, eventually it should. For example when I took my Pajero, they charged close to 25K for stocking fee!! With the real estate prices going up, this is bound to happen.

Last edited by genopv : 8th October 2017 at 23:17. Reason: added more info.
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Old 9th October 2017, 01:24   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genopv View Post
I guess Tesla sells only online!! There are showrooms to walk in check the cars though. I saw one in Santa Clara downtown - its more of an exhibit of the car and the technology. n.

Yes, all actual ordering online

https://www.tesla.com/support/how-ordering-works

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