NEW YORK — A majority of car shoppers polled in a recent Accenture survey say they would consider making their entire car-buying process online, including financing, price negotiation, back-office paperwork and home delivery.
The survey found that 75 percent of drivers would take the entire process online, if given the opportunity.
"Most consumers are doing online research to help them make car-buying decisions and most are doing so before visiting a dealership," the survey noted.
Accenture polled 10,000 consumers in eight major countries, including the U.S.
It found that 80 percent of drivers seeking to purchase a new vehicle are using some form of digital technology to research their buying preferences and nearly two-thirds are starting the car-buying process online before visiting a dealership.
"The survey findings point to the growing need for automotive original equipment manufacturers and dealers to increase their focus on online engagement with consumers," Accenture said in a statement on Thursday. "Specifically, they are interested in getting more tailored information online, more virtual demonstrations and more sites that provide an opportunity for comparison shopping."
Car shopper's wish lists for dealerships include access to an interactive touch display that provides information on the available models during a visit to a showroom. They also would like to be able to take a virtual test drive at the dealership.
Many dealers and automakers are featuring these things.
Many dealerships are beginning to offer virtual test drives, including Acton Toyota of Littleton, which is located near Boston.
Several Ford dealers in the U.S., including Galpin Ford in California and Village Ford in Michigan have installed interactive product-information kiosks in their showrooms to help shoppers get information about the 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck.
The survey noted: "U.S. drivers are particularly interested in comparison-shopping sites."
Edmunds says: Digital customers are transforming the car-buying experience.