Autolist.com, a San Francisco-based mobile-focused new and used car search site, just released the results of a survey that found consumers really dislike going to a dealership and that one-fifth of those surveyed would be happy to conduct the entire transaction online.
Now, that is a bit self-serving seeing as they are a mobile shopping site, and I am going to talk with Autolist next week to find out more about the study. But the results are still notable because they echo the results of many similar studies.
One thing is for sure, the car-buying research experience has already become an online experience and that has changed the way people decide where to buy a car. In turn, that has made the location of a dealership, and even its size and appearance, less important. As the transaction itself moves increasingly online, the need for real estate will become less and less important.
This week I talk with Brad Carter, a principal at Greystone Valuations, about dealership real estate, some of the trends, and what he is seeing in the industry. Not unsurprisingly, Carter doesn’t think dealers are thinking enough about the inevitable consequence of online car buying.
Last week Stephen Dietrich wrote about the mismatch between supply and demand in the dealership talent sector. This week we return to the theme of labor, or rather talent. Don Ray last year wrote about boosting dealership profitability by dealing with slippage in the labor expense area. I figure it is worth a re-read.
We also have, naturally, Transaction News.