Information technology: changing the face of automotive retailing?
The purchase of a car is a highly involved process when compared with other retail experiences. Despite the range of purchase channels available and the increased level of accessible information, the majority of customers still choose to buy a car through a traditional dealer network. The sales process, which is often seen as adversarial, involves a high level of personal interaction and has remained relatively unchanged through the industry's 100 year history. This paper examines the impact of the introduction of a computer assisted selling process on customers' perceptions of the overall buying process. This pilot study was undertaken prior to the system's global roll out and incorporated a range of research methods: CCTV observation, customer and staff interviews. The preliminary findings indicated that the computer assisted buying process was well received by customers.
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