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Auto Aftermarket Consumers Seek Greater Ease and Simplicity

When it comes to automotive aftermarket purchases, it seems consumers want to speed up and put the process on cruise control.

Shoppers are spending less time making purchasing decisions and they want a simpler shopping experience. These were some of the findings from the most recent Synchrony Major Purchase Study of consumer behavior. This is significant information for merchants who want to maintain or increase their market share.

The Major Purchase Study revealed that automotive aftermarket consumers want a faster, simpler process. This may reflect a new attitude about shopping and life in general; a simpler approach to everything. Whatever the reason, the pathway to purchase is becoming shorter.

The 2019 Major Purchase Study1 was the seventh such research study conducted by Synchrony, one of the nation’s leading providers of consumer financing. Here are a few of the significant findings from those surveyed:

  • Consumers are spending fewer days to make purchasing decisions, visiting fewer stores (both online and brick-and-mortar), and are more likely to use the same retailer again.
  • More consumers ranked “ease of purchase” as “extremely important.”
  • Deciding faster – 45% of auto shoppers surveyed bought on their first in-store visit, compared to 41% in 2012, a trend that was true in every product category studied.
  • Ease of purchase – 67% of all auto shoppers surveyed said “ease of purchase process” is extremely important, a 5-point jump in just two years.

WHERE TO START?
Your website should be easy to navigate and it should communicate products and service information clearly, and make sure the mobile version of your website is easy to view on a phone. A strong, strategic social media presence is also helpful as today’s consumers go there for store reviews and recommendations. In-store signage also helps you communicate more clearly if it is done well.

Ease-of-purchase is another area where merchants can gain a competitive advantage. Helpful, knowledgeable sales personnel are essential as they can explain product features and benefits along with payment options. With regard to in-store credit, the application process should be fast and easy, and all details of the offer clearly explained.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Winning the consumer on their first experience to your store is vital as many of today’s customers will return if their initial purchase was easy and pleasant. According to Synchrony research1, the pathway to most big-ticket purchases usually begins online, then continues at the store, then goes through social media before returning for another in-store experience. Along the way many automotive consumers, about 21 percent of them, will research payment options before finally purchasing the item or service. For best results, make sure your store shines at every stop.

Consumers always go through a process when making a significant purchase. If you know the process, you can create a marketing strategy that removes most of the barriers. Simplicity may be more important than ever in aftermarket selling.

Synchrony (NYSE: SYF) is a premier consumer financial services company delivering customized financing programs across key industries including retail, health, auto, travel and home, along with award-winning consumer banking products. With more than $140 billion in sales financed and 80.3 million active accounts, Synchrony brings deep industry expertise, actionable data insights, innovative solutions and differentiated digital experiences to improve the success of every business we serve and the quality of each life we touch.

1 Synchrony Major Purchase Consumer Survey, 2019.

This article was sponsored by Synchrony Financial.

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