This week’s IoT use case targets an industry that generates plenty of universally-experienced bad stories. What is it? Car dealerships.

According to an article from, “a survey found that 87% of U.S. consumers disliked something about the process of buying a vehicle at a traditional car dealership. ” Further, “another survey found that 75% of respondents said that “if given the opportunity, they would consider making their entire car-buying process online, including financing, price negotiation, back-office paperwork and home delivery.” These two survey results clearly identify a market problem.

The Internet of Things has the potential to help solve this market problem. By combining digital technologies with IoT devices, dealerships could transform the consumer experience. How? Let’s walk-through a few opportunities available right now.

  • Car-free showrooms, leveraging VR and AR, would enable buyers to review color choices, interiors, and accessories via interactive touchscreens.
  • Use connected devices to offer more personalized buying suggestions based on data to reduce the pushy sales experience.
  • Use predictive analytics to offer automated maintenance capabilities. BMW and other car brands have some of this type of technology in place where the call will contact the dealership to request an oil change or other maintenance requirements. The dealership, in turn, calls the customer to schedule an appointment.

I believe you could eliminate salespeople entirely using AI chatbots with a transparent pricing model. Coupled with VR and AR, the AI chatbot can listen to a customer’s specific needs, scan inventory and deliver a result. If the customer is ready to purchase, a fair price would be provided tied to a Rocket Mortgage type approval for financing.  Car dealerships are ripe for transformation and the ones first to develop these positive customer experiences will win the game.

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