While emphasizing that the overwhelming majority of car sales started online, Evans didn’t deny that almost 90% still concluded at the dealership. Having foreseen an even greater shift to online sales, Hyundai was well-armored to face the COVID-pandemic, thanks to already established online operations. Additionally, as a response to the pandemic, Hyundai Canada was the first to launch a new at-home test drive program.
Another example is Heineken, who, in an attempt to reach the end customers’ data, launched an online portal, which allowed the company to bypass various ‘men in the middle.’
By not pursuing online operation, distributors risk:
- Losing full control over end customers because customer’s data belongs to the owner of a B2B ecommerce platform.
- Going out of business or significantly curtailing their business operations as someone else wrestles away a part of their business.
Although some distributors might bet on personal relationships, it doesn’t mean that there’s no place for ecommerce, or that ecommerce can’t strengthen their already existing relationships. Thinking that customers don’t need ecommerce is erroneous – it radically expedites the work, cuts costs, and increases their satisfaction and loyalty.