Volvo has announced plans to shift its business model to expand, and favour, online sales. The news seems in phase with current and future trends, at a time when it can be faster and more practical to configure and buy a car with a smartphone or a computer than by having to visit a dealership.
According to the automaker, Volvo’s future is defined by three pillars: electric, online and growth. The aim is to make the act of buying a car considerably simpler by giving customers all the tools they need to make their choice, from configuration to paying for a new vehicle. In this respect, simplicity and convenience are the keywords for Volvo’s approach.
The carmaker plans to simplify the entire process on its website by reducing the number of stages involved. As a result, various vehicle configurations will soon be proposed by default, with set pricing, making the company’s offer easier for customers to navigate.
Still, that doesn’t mean that Volvo dealerships are set to disappear entirely, although their role may well evolve. Showrooms will continue to form a key part of Volvo’s customer experience and will continue to be responsible for services such as preparing, delivering and servicing cars. It will also still be possible to order a new car via a dealership.
Times are changing in the car market. While visiting a showroom was once essential — both to choose a model and potentially test it, as well as to benefit from various payment or credit options — it’s now much more simple to use the internet. In this field, the American carmaker Tesla has been leading the way. Customers in France, for example, were able to order the brand’s first models online well before the firm opened its first showrooms in the country. As well as manufacturer websites, the internet is also seeing a growing number of car price comparison websites and specialist auto purchasing sites.