The online shopping trend continuously aims to eradicate friction in the processes from online to real world – buying and selling vehicles online particularly, has international business abuzz in seeking out specialised products to harness the opportunity.
“Today’s super-powered consumers are more curious, demanding and impatient,” says Roberto Croci, Head of Google Marketing Platforms in Emerging Markets. “Armed with mobiles as their anywhere assistant, they are research-obsessed and will choose brands that deliver personalised offerings and serviced at the right time - at home, on the go and even in store. Because they can get exactly what they want, instantly and effortlessly, they expect fast, seamless, friction-less experiences however and wherever they choose to shop,” he points out.
AutoTrader CEO George Mienie says it is a space where the provider can meet the consumer at their point of interest with relevant, real-world and real-time solutions. AutoTrader recently invested in Google Analytics 360 to harness this vast opportunity in the auto industry. “It’s an investment with potential big insight gains,” he says.
Mienie says securing good auto finance is as dependent on the dealer as on the financial institution. Currently, online auto finance is only available via the dealer or the bank and both processes are “unnecessarily time consuming and separated”.
“Our experience shows our customer will get the best deal through a process that includes both the dealer and the bank. In an ideal world, the car buying consumer should get both institutions in just a few clicks,” he says.
The value of a car more realistically reflects the economics of supply and demand than an objective price. Mienie says car dealers want to give their customers the best deal because they want to keep their showroom moving.
“If AutoTrader has 1000 Toyota Corollas for sale and a rental company makes another 1000 available, economics dictates the price will drop. This real-time information is at the dealers’ fingertips through AutoTrader’s software called AutoFuzion, which gives the car dealer the ability to shift both trade and retail prices with supply and demand. Google 360 informs the demand side data,” he says.
While finance and valuation are essential components to buying and selling, communication binds the process and is this area Mienie feels there is massive opportunity.
“We need to understand the logic behind our customers’ online behaviour so we can better service their needs. For example, in the future, if a customer takes a virtual tour of the inside of a car and clicks on tinted window options, we can, with the consumers consent, communicate this information to the dealer to create a better shopping experience in store,” he says.
Most companies operate on the free version of Google’s Analytics software commented Mienie, receiving sample data on traffic. He says Google Analytics 360 is significantly more powerful and the ways in which the data can provide a better service are limitless, if nothing else, because there is unsampled data.
“Modern retailers harness their unique assets (brand, stores, content and inventory) to make them differentiated and discoverable everywhere consumers are; to acquire and retain customers while increasing profitability and accelerating innovation. They effectively builds a stronger connection with the increasingly empowered consumer, thereby enhancing customer experiences,” Croci says.
“The opportunities that Google Analytics 360 offers is big. Analytics and data are something that businesses must master and innovate. For AutoTrader, the investment is worth it,” Mienie concludes.