Customers want dealerships to make better use of tech

Nearly half of consumers now expect retailers to offer free wi-fi and there is growing demand for more personalised in-store experiences, new research suggests.

A study of consumer preferences by Apadmi, an app developer, finds buyers want bricks and mortar retailers to make better use of technology in their stores.

Adding cutting-edge technology and tools to the buying process for customers has been a theme for dealerships in recent years, with many investing significantly in new sales tools that help to engage buyers and enhance the in-dealership experience in the face of increased competition from the online market.

Doing so can boost sales, but dealers also need to be aware of increased financial liabilities involved with such investments. It’s vital to update traders combined insurance to reflect these increased liabilities.

The Apadmi research found 46 per cent of shoppers expect free wi-fi in stories and one in five want to use technology designed to give them a tailored shopping experience. In a dealership, this could be an app that provides specifications and reviews about the different car models on sale.

Consumers cited speed and convenience as their top shopping priorities, with over a quarter of consumers saying they would like to pay for products through an app. 26 per cent like the idea of purchasing through an app then picking up in-store.

“There is a need among consumers for retailers to make better use of technology in-store to make every aspect of the shopping journey more enjoyable,” said Nick Black, Apadmi chief executive.

“As shoppers continue to embrace mobile e-commerce, and retail apps, the in-store experience needs to remain relevant and therefore incorporate the benefits that can be achieved through shopping online.

“Our research has uncovered a desire among shoppers for more convenient ways of buying items in-store, as well as better communication channels to inform them about the latest offers or promotions as they walk around the shop.”

Examples of the kind of technology some dealerships are adopting include click-and-collect services, iPads offering technical information and virtual reality headsets to promote the driving experience. In future, dealerships could start offering holographic images and allowing buyers to ‘self-checkout’ by paying for vehicles and servicing via a contactless smartphone.