It’s no secret that more consumers are going online to research products before they make a purchase — and auto purchases are no different. In fact, 80% of consumers use digital technology to research vehicles before they ever step foot on a car lot.1
However, it doesn’t stop with comparing makes, models and deals. Sixty-two percent of consumers actually initiate the car buying process online, and even more (75%) would consider buying a vehicle online — and that means completing more steps of the loan process online.2
The traditional auto shopping experience is getting in consumers’ way
A considerable percentage of consumers want to initiate car and loan shopping online, but not enough auto lenders or dealers are making the process easy. Consider that in the traditional process to buy a vehicle, consumers must:
- Research vehicles to determine which one they want
- Make sense of all the auto financing options on their own
- Figure out what they can afford by hopping around to several sites and using arbitrary generic loan calculators that don’t fully consider their true creditworthiness
- Determine on their own if their dream car fits within their budget
The process can be time consuming, inaccurate and daunting for consumers. In the Consumer First Era, both lenders and dealers are missing a big opportunity to meet consumers’ demands for a seamless experience, and ultimately close more business.
Providing the right information — at just the right time — changes the game
How can lenders capitalize on this online car shopping trend? It’s all about putting the right information in front of shoppers during their research phrase. Google identified five moments3 consumers experience during auto shopping:
- Which car is best?
- Is it right for me?
- Can I afford it?
- Where should I buy it?
- Am I getting a deal?
The “Can I afford it?” moment is an opportunity for lenders and dealers to help consumers understand their financing options, what vehicles they can afford, what loan terms they prequalify for, and what dealership inventory matches their prequalified offers. Consumers receive what they need to make an informed decision about an offer and find a dealership, increasing booked loans while creating better leads for dealers.
It’s the kind of seamless data-fueled process that can dramatically improve the overall consumer experience.
You can offer auto shoppers more of what they want
What does it take to meet consumers’ expectations when it comes to auto shopping? You must:
- Create an online one-stop shop that combines financing offers with dealer inventory so consumers can quickly see what’s available — and affordable
- Integrate prequalification offers right into the car browsing experience
- Offer a real-time searchable inventory of millions of vehicles
- Allow consumers to search for vehicles that fit their down payment and monthly payment requirements
All of that creates a first-class online consumer experience, which can lead to more booked loans. The good news is that TransUnion’s Auto Payment ShopperSM can do all that, helping you capture more of the growing online auto lending business.
Contact your TransUnion representative or fill out the form below to learn how Auto Payment Shopper can help you deliver a frictionless auto loan origination experience to acquire more profitable customers.
1 Accenture press release: “Car Buyers Want Better Digital Experience, Most Ready to Complete Entire Process Online, Accenture Study Finds”- April 14, 2016
2 Accenture press release: “Car Buyers Want Better Digital Experience, Most Ready to Complete Entire Process Online, Accenture Study Finds”- April 14, 2016
3 Mogensen, David, “The 5 Auto Shopping Moments Every Brand Must Own,” November 2015, www.thinkwithgoogle.com.