The age of the internet. In recent years we’ve seen a vast increase in online purchases, while the retailers and high street suffer a decline in their business. In the last 5 years alone, Amazon’s Revenues have more than doubled from $61 billion, to $135 billion, highlighting the surge in online retailing. As they look to expand and increase market shares, could a possible UK car sales Venture be on the horizon?
Amazon have already experimented with car sales. In the US just over a year ago, they started to offer services on up to 6000 different vehicles ranging from convertibles to full-size vans. The website provides potential buyers with information, reviews, and interestingly a community from which those looking can contact other owners for tips and advice about the car they’re considering purchasing. Customers in the US can already use Amazon to directly purchase necessary parts and accessories to improve or repair their vehicles.
The online colossus have also pushed across the Atlantic with their new found enterprise. In Italy, Amazon trailed a limited car buying scheme with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles whereby the manufacturers funnelled some of their products through the Amazon website. This offered customers with easy purchasing access and potential savings or deals on Fiat 500, 500 L and bestselling Panda models, as the dealers look to expand into a younger market. Recent research has suggested that up to half of Italians would be willing to purchase a car online, evidence perhaps that a UK venture would be successful for both Amazon, and potential partnering dealers as they look to expand their target audience.
Contrariwise, and while many would consider buying online, a vast majority, 97% in fact of the aforementioned research pool would still want to pick their car up from a proper dealership. This draws attention to the fact that, for many a good old fashioned high street buy provides more assurance than the internet. Unlike with clothes, electronics or other smaller goods, cars are usually far more expensive and far less frequently purchased. As such, a thorough pre-purchase examination and explanation seems to go a long way in terms of sealing the deal for customers.
At this stage then, it seems as though Amazon are still a way off expanding into the UK market, and when they do it will surely take time for them to build the rapport with clients that many large, existing dealerships already have. Despite this, there could be potential for the first manufacturers who decide to partner with Amazon, so don’t be too surprised when you find yourself looking for a car on the Amazon.