Author: Jo Howes
Motor finance needs to keep up with the mcommerce revolution
The finance industry is changing, and we are in the middle of a digital revolution. My teenagers are never off their smartphones, and research shows that 63% of female smartphone users and 73% of male smartphone users check their phone at least once an hour! With an estimated 14.7 million banking apps currently downloaded onto smart phones, one thing is for sure… -the digital world is upon us.
Britain’s motor finance industry generates £30 billion per year in revenue for the country and a new tech-savvy generation is queuing up to buy their cars and willing to use any digital means – social media, an app or a notification from an iBeacon – to research the best deal.
Even those consumers that still buy their cars in the traditional way are using all the information available at their touchscreen before heading into a retailer armed with all the facts they need to get the most for their money.
Indeed statistics show that people now only make a single visit to a showroom once before purchase, whereas they used to visit four times on average.
So what does the British motor finance industry need to do in order to keep up with the ever changing demands of this new breed of consumer?
It is undeniable that digital banking technology has had a huge impact on what customers expect from their finance providers: greater levels of financial clarity, the ability to manage payment plans, and having their financial information at their fingertips.
With research that show increases of 4% in ’new car’ and 9% in ‘used car’ finance market volumes (April 2013 – April 2014), providing motor finance customers with a viable digital platform from which to manage their finance agreements would ensure that the car industry is in line with other mainline financial services providers.
Mcommerce technology has the potential to revolutionise the entire motor industry, from pre-purchase financial arrangements to increasing customer after sales engagement.
The key would appear to be using digital channels to enhance the customer perception of their product since, though most customers will be buying a car through need, they will also wish to connect with their purchase on an emotional level.
If a customer’s journey to purchase can be made relatively seamless, with all the tools they need to gain their information readily available over a wide variety of devices, then digital technology, which is already having so much influence, could be the next step in the motor finance revolution.