Aust & NZ
17th Sep 2018

The AADA National Dealer Convention & Expo was held on the 4th and 5th of September. With an attendance of over 800 delegates, the two-day program focused at addressing the changing nature of modern retail automotive field with a series of innovative tracks designed to help Dealers adapt and prosper in the age of automotive disruption.

Below are some key insights we gathered from this year’s AADA Convention:

The Age of Automotive Disruption

NADA Chairman, Wes Lutz stressed about the importance of mobility. While ride-sharing services may have ‘exploded’ worldwide, consumers are nowhere near ready to give up their personal vehicles in favour of ride-sharing.

The other trend that we are seeing is consumers are much savvier and their expectations are higher than ever. This means that we will need to start addressing customers as individuals rather than as marketing categories. Dealerships are forced to improve fixed operations processes and use better technology within dealerships to improve customer satisfaction and retention.

One of the workshops from AADA Convention explored how the rapid growth of internet and social media affect the automotive industry. Some of the stand out statistics include:

  • Demographic between 18-54 spends over 20 hours on YouTube content per month, with 25% of this demographic no longer watching any free-to-air TV.
  • The average consumer spends up to three months researching and engaging with online contents prior to any purchases.
  • The average consumer also narrows their search to 1-2 brands and 2-3 models prior to entering into a dealership.
  • 75% of the ‘research journey’ is spent online.
  • 15% of all car buyers submit an online sales enquiry before entering into a dealership.
  • 80% of customers access dealership’s website from a mobile device.

Source: “Seven Digital Tools that Sales People Must Use and How to Use Them”, presented by David Kain, Leading American Automotive Sales Trainer.

Five important questions to ask:

  1. What are your digital strategies and how are you measuring the success of your online presence?
  2. How do you provide an immersive technology experience throughout the entire buying process?
  3. Is your Service Department up to speed and being led in a way that is maximising opportunities?
  4. How do you sell to a customer who knows more about your product than you do?
  5. How to make your customer’s experience unique and personal?

Our Conclusion

In the age of automotive disruption, traditional business models and practices are under threat, which means automotive OEMs and dealerships need to be ready to adapt and thrive.

Dealerships are not expected to predict the future or be afraid, but to simply be aware of the disruptive trends and think outside the box on ways to continue to build customer brand engagement and loyalty.

The complete car-buying journey and experience will need to be quicker, more accurate and consistent. As advised by Karen Spear, Director of Deloitte Private,

“The key to prosper is to acknowledge the dual challenge in remaining competitive today whilst preparing for an uncertain future through focusing on customer experience, digital and data.”

We’ve really enjoyed AADA Convention this year and look forward to the next.

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