RISING consumer appetite for sophisticated automotive technologies offer huge opportunities for growth, but complicated marketing jargon, unclear pricing and a lack of frontline education means retailers and manufacturers are missing out.
That’s the key finding from the seventh edition of the Auto Trader Market Report which found that brands that explain the technology see higher conversion, higher prices and higher return visits for both maintenance and for next car purchases.
The research revealed that nearly a third (31%) of the 3,000 consumers surveyed for the Report have at least one semi-autonomous feature in their current vehicle (an average of 2.1 features).
80% said they would pay extra for semi-autonomous systems in their next car, and more than half (51%) would be more likely to buy from the same brand again because of these features; this figure increases to 57% for both men and people aged under 35.
However, despite the opportunity to upsell and build invaluable brand loyalty, just 35% of those surveyed said the features were clearly explained to them during the sales process, and only a third (33%) received a demonstration.
Underlining the missed opportunity this represents, upon receiving an explanation in the showroom, 72% of car buyers said they were more likely to buy the car, 72% to buy the car from that specific retailer, and 59% would be more likely to upgrade the specification of the car.
The long-term impact of greater frontline education is significant too. 74% were more likely to return to the same dealer for maintenance, 73% would return to buy their next car from them, and 73% would buy the same brand of car.
It’s not just the front end of retail where consumers are being put off: the use of complicated marketing jargon and acronyms is also an issue. When presented with the various manufacturing brand names for sophisticated semi-autonomous features, the majority of car buyers either miscategorised its function, or failed to appreciate its capabilities.
With car buyers either unaware or unsure of these features, it’s unlikely they’ll request them when visiting a dealership. Accordingly, of those car owners who have an autonomous feature in their vehicle, less than half (45%) said they actively sought it out when they made their last purchase.