Due largely to financial concerns,vehicle-buying ease slipped to its lowest in July since CDK Global started tracking the metric a year ago.
CDK’s Ease of Purchase Scorecard recorded its biggest month-over-month decline to 79% of responding buyers saying they found the purchase process easy.
Recent inventory improvements, though, were reflected in the results, as more buyers found the model they were looking for than at any point over the scorecard’s one-year history: 50%, up from 45% in June and 40% a year earlier. In fact, at least one respondent found it hard to choose from among the number of available options, CDK said.
Twenty percent of buyers ordered their vehicles from the factory, while the percentage of those buying vehicles in transit fell month-over-month from 28% to 22%.
The survey found that just 57% of buyers found it easy to get credit for their purchases, down from 62% in June, and 55% said agreeing to a final price was easy, down from 65% month-over-month.
The survey also reflected an industry shift in dealership staff from sales to other departments, as shown in the erosion of the ease of taking delivery of vehicles. Fewer respondents found that process easy, down from 79% in June to 71%.
“Prior to the pandemic, Sales Representatives outnumbered other roles four to one. Now that ratio is closer to two to one,” said industry analyst David Thomas, CDK director of content marketing in a blog about the survey results.
“A step, like taking delivery, might not seem to be as significant as what happens in the F&I office, but a touchpoint like that — which should be a highlight for the customer — is a solid bellwether for overall satisfaction.”