The customer shopping experience has evolved in the past decade to suit consumer needs, comfort and to meet the requirements of globalization. With the expansion of retail giants such as Amazon, goods can be browsed, purchased and delivered to your doorstep with just a few clicks. Should the product be damaged or not up to your expectations, it can be sent back and refunded, free of charge. This has prompted almost all retailers, big or small, to provide content, goods and services online. Despite being in a completely different industry, the automotive market has not adapted as rapidly as its other retail counterparts, and throughout the globe you will find traditional dealerships, which still have the look and feel as the ones that existed over 30 years ago.

Customer expectations and demands are shifting

The fact is that automotive dealerships have not had the need to transform as rapidly, as their product was always viewed as a necessity, and the most common investment after the purchase of a home. However, the landscape is beginning to shift. Customers today have voiced their disapproval with the traditional dealership, with only 14% preferring the current vehicle purchasing process (Cox Automotive, 2016). Amongst the concerns, by far the most impactful pain point across all generations was the massive amount of time spent filling out paperwork or sitting idly, with 33% of Millennials, 37% of Gen X and 29% of Baby Boomers bringing this topic up (IHS Automotive, 2016). With purchases, bookings and terms and agreements taking minutes online, the car purchase journey is simply excruciating for most customers and the majority are not willing to spend a good portion of their day in the dealership. Visitors also expect to use this time they spend idly at a dealership as an educational or learning experience. 43% of customers expect to learn either about their vehicle of interest, parts, the automotive market or history, which is a factor many dealerships neglect, since so much information is available online (IHS Automotive, 2016).

Dealerships must go to where the prospects are

Additionally, it is common for many dealerships to be situated in locations outside of urban metropolises, which makes sense financially, since dealerships occupy a lot of space, and can require considerable investment. However, this irritates a large portion of customers, who value location as the second most important factor when selecting a dealership after quality, but before price (Capgemini, 2013). In regions such as China, location is even a priority before the quality of the service and price, as convenience is a must in fast-paced, high-tech cultures. Dealerships with locations outside of cities also tend to have trouble capturing new potential leads or prospects, as individuals willing to drive to the location already have interest in purchasing a vehicle.

Your experience at Automechanika Frankfurt

Within the actual Dealer 4.0 booth, attendees will be able to view the technologies involved used to attract customers into the dealership, interact with them, and educate them whether they are modern day tech gurus, or hands-on traditional thinkers. These include but are not limited to; a touchable Glass Wall, which can be used to configure a demo vehicle’s color, rims and interior, a Powerwall which displays a car when potential customers walk by it, drawing them into the dealership and facial recognition technology which tracks the user’s age, gender and emotion whilst interacting with the various applications. However, the benefits are not exclusively limited to customers, who will have a more satisfactory experience. The primary beneficiary will be the OEMs and the dealerships themselves, as all involved technologies are fully integrated and allow for data analytics to be stored in the DMS. For example, dealers will have access to the most searched vehicles in the given zip code, the hotspots or locations in which the customers stood the longest in the dealership as well as the most selected color, rim and interior configurations. Salespeople on the other hand, will have access to customer information (possibly prior to them entering the dealership through user apps) as well the configurations they have created.
Dealer 4.0, as well as all other incadea innovations and products, will be on display at Automechanika, the world’s leading trade fair in regards to the automotive aftermarket industry. This year’s trade show will be taking place in Frankfurt from the 13th of September until the 17th of September. If you are interested in experiencing a fully integrated, state-of-the-art dealership with all its capabilities, we kindly invite you to visit our booth in Hall 9.1, booth number D06. If you or your team are interested in a guided tour of the boutique dealership, our team at are awaiting your responses.

About the author:

Dennis Melzer | Business Consultant |

As a Business Consultant, Dennis focuses on supporting our clients all over the world in international projects in regards to making their business processes more efficient. While analyzing the processes and workflows within different OEMs, Dennis helps them to choose the best solution and proposes the possible improvements within the DMS used. One of the main interests that Dennis has - is to analyze the newest automotive business trends and ensure that all the companies and customers are up to date of the ongoing changes in the automotive market.