Automakers not 100% digitally ready: Ipsos Mystery Shopping Study

Ipsos digital audit of India’s top automakers (in the mass passenger cars segment) reveals, the automakers in the mass passenger cars segment are not 100% digitally ready and consumers are not being given the attentiveness in the digital experience, vis-à-vis in brick and mortar showrooms. There is lack of agility and responsiveness.

“Our Mystery Shopping study shows the automotive industry is not 100% geared for providing a glitch free car buying experience, in the digital world. In normal times, marketers could’ve ignored it or brushed it aside, but during the pandemic, what automakers need to understand, that every customer who is scouting for information online, is a serious car buyer, and marketers need to show agility and have systems, processes and people that are efficient and nimble,” says Sonul Verdia, Country Service Line Leader, Ipsos Customer Experience, India.

The study throws up some interesting findings, which can make or break a sale and more so at the dealership level: Only every 1 in 2 customers were contacted (48%); only 30% were contacted within 2 hours of the query; only 1 in 2 (48%) customers received a follow-up call; only 2 in 3 (67%) were offered a test drive;  2 in 3 (67%) offered home test drive and 1 in 3 (33%) customers were asked to visit the showroom for the test drive; and only 22% customers experienced dealers offering digital mode of vehicle purchase.

With the pandemic still raging, due to the ease of the browse and click option, it is imperative for automakers to deliver across consumer touchpoints,” added Verdia.

“Whether it is the portal visit, test drive booking or enquiry confirmation, first contact with dealership, test drive, second contact with dealership, follow up call/ vehicle booking, everything needs to be like a well-oiled machinery. After all, the consumer is spoilt for choice and can hop across to the rival brand in case there is lack of responsiveness,” commented Verdia.

The survey covered 7 large automakers – both MNCs and homegrown players – in the mass passenger car segment (volumes) and assessed all processes granularly in the lead generation stage.

The survey was done at the industry level – to assess the readiness and responsiveness of the automotive industry per se in delivering on the expectations of the prospective buyers in the new normal.

“With the festival season coming, marketers should do a 360-degree assessment of their digital readiness,” added Verdia.


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