What will dealer websites look like in 10 years?
Written by: Lauren Cooke
When we were first challenged to speculate on car dealer websites a full decade from now, we didn’t know where to begin. We like to think our websites are already cutting edge and that means embracing future technology now. All we need to do to realise how much websites are going to change, is to look back 10 years.
In 2005, the one billionth internet user had just gone online. It was a major milestone in the industry. We’d been producing websites for dealers for three years already, but it’s fair to say things were quite different back then! Twitter didn’t exist and Facebook was a tiny baby open only to university users. The web wasn’t really stylish yet, nor was it clever – it was text dominated and images were small. Functions were simple – look for a car, find an address, find a phone number, email an enquiry. The idea of going online on your mobile was revelatory – even mobile websites weren’t really a reality.
In short, things have changed a lot and we are now entering a whole new level of internet usage. Lines are blurring between offline and online, technologies are blending together and internet access is getting more exciting, with the advent of wearables and ever-more-capable devices.
So, what do we think you can expect to see on a dealer website in 10 years? Here are some of our favourite ideas – from the realistic, to the ridiculous and everything in-between!
A virtual dealership
We already know that fewer and fewer visitors are walking into dealerships. They’ll often only pop in to test drive the car at the end of the research process. This could mean that, as interactions get even fewer, dealers reconnect with their customers and reinvigorate the sales process, by turning their website into an interactive digital version of their actual dealership.
Cars are getting connected and it makes sense that down the line they’ll start plugging into your website. Especially since we’ll almost definitely see online payments for full, configured cars online!