Contactless car retail is here2 min read

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could buy a car the same way we buy shoes from Zalando?

Sure it’s possible but for the most part, buying or selling a car is built around in-person interactions.

A business model put under stress during the pandemic.

According to an analysis by BCG, at the peak of the pandemic in April car sales in the EU were 80% lower vs April 2019. And just last month the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association revised its 2020 forecast down to -25% growth in new car registrations.

Things may look bleak right now but there’s light at the end of the tunnel for the more ambitious dealerships.

For one more Europeans believe that using a car is the safest mode of travel after the lockdown is lifted. And as Google’s trend analysis pointed out, people are willing to buy a car sooner if they could complete the purchase online.

A car dealership from NJ seems to have acted on this advice.

Patch wrote about how Bezel-Busch partnered with Looney to create a seamless and contactless process for people to purchase cars during the pandemic.

So what did this transformation include?

According to the article, “Looney created conceptual videos for Benzel-Busch’s new COVID-19 resources, including “Express Buying,” allowing customers to virtually select/customize vehicles of their choice, as well as “Complimentary Valet Service” and the industry’s first “360 Sanitize,” a deep clean that lasts up to three to six months and kills 99.9% of germs/bacteria/viruses.”

And what of the results? 

“new users increased by 180%, while website sessions soared by 159%. Direct site traffic also rose 51% and impressions increased from 365,000 to more than 96 million. Overall, Benzel-Busch had one of its best sales years in history in 2019.”

Devastating as it is, COVID also turned out to be the mother of many new inventions. I hope that more car dealerships will offer a better, seamless and contactless way to purchase new cars for introverts like me.