Study: Half of the digitization potential is still undiscovered

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or someone who sees their car as a commodity, whether you’re experienced in buying a car or newly interested – the buying process is similar for everyone. At the beginning, we are faced with a multitude of questions that need to be discussed for each individual. Not only do I have to decide on a make and model, I also have to ask myself whether it should be a new or used car, where I would like to buy the car, how I would like to be advised, whether a test drive is possible and how this can be organized.


I also have to make a decision about financing: Will it be a cash purchase? Is a leasing or financing model attractive to me? What is a car subscription and could it be just right for me? Buying a car is often a major investment that is made at different times in a person’s life. However, all interested parties have one thing in common, namely that they need to find answers to countless questions.


We, Panoff Consulting Automotive Retail Services, look at this fact from two perspectives – that of the private customer, who is personally confronted with the same questions, and that of the expert, who looks at the realities of the purchasing process in a constantly changing industry from a structured point of view.


As we know that this change requires a change in strategy and processes in the Automotive Retail, we have taken these questions as an opportunity in recent months to examine the degree of digitalization in both offline and online sales.


We were guided by the following objectives: Exploring the integration of online and offline parameters of the customer journey, benchmarking results and experiences between several top OEMs, gathering real-world examples and insights from the customer perspective, and developing recommendations for OEMs and retailers to improve processes and customer experiences.


After completing our study in October of this year, we were delighted to present our findings at an online event in Bremen at the beginning of November on the topic of “Digitalization in automotive retail – omni-channel integration in the customer journey”. Our data shows that online sales opportunities are currently limited and that the customer journey currently has a digitalization level of 52%. We see potential in the digital showroom experience, digital interaction between seller and buyer, digital sales advice, mobility advice for financial calculations and online configuration options.


Our first online event, led by our colleagues Tobias Bald, Lambert Görsdorf and Berend Hoitink, was very well received and we were delighted with the high level of participation from our valued customers and partners. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their interest and support! As a young and growing team, this event is of great importance to us and motivates us not only to continue working on the topic in terms of content, but also to benefit from your feedback in the context of such events – in future also onsite.


If we have aroused your interest and you are not yet familiar with our study, please download it here or contact us directly for more information.

Kristin Hertwig


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