In May 2020, Mike Jackson and his team hit an inflection point with no turning back. The CEO of AutoNation, an automotive retailer chain that boasts 325 dealerships, witnessed a jump in online-only sales in March and April 2020 during the first wave of COVID-19. Jackson believes online sales will continue increasing even as stay-at-home restrictions are eased. “This is what the industry has needed to do for a long time,” he added.
COVID-19 has absolutely accelerated the pace of change in e-commerce. And it’s not going back. We are heading into a period where consumers and auto companies will rapidly adopt new digital tools and processes to modernize the car-buying process.
However, there is more to this story than just the consumer and industry reaction to coronavirus. The pandemic may have been the accelerator, but consumers have been slowly shifting their car buying habits for quite some time.