The largest auto markets lie with the United States and China, with China taking the number one spot as being the world’s largest auto market. China also has the biggest number of internet shoppers or online shoppers. We are all familiar with online shopping as there is such a huge market for it in a small country such as ours. However, have you toyed with the idea of online shopping for cars?
Such a platform such as Autohome.com.cn is gaining steam in countries like China where people are starting to take to such a concept. As of the writing of this blog post, no such platform currently exists in Singapore. We have sites like sgCarMart.com which advertise new and used cars but it does not allow one to actually buy a car online.
Although there are a considerable number of people from China who have purchased cars online, there still remain a lot who are skeptical and unsure of using such a method to purchase a car.
Fair enough, since buying a car is a much larger investment than simply ordering clothes or books online. A lot of visitors to websites such as Autohome.com.cn use the site to gather information about cars, allowing them to do research but they don’t necessarily purchase the car online.
If online shopping or e-Commerce can take off in other markets, then why can’t the same happen in the auto market? Let’s take a look at some Pros and Cons of such a concept.
- As with any online shopping, one can do this from the comfort of one’s home. No need to travel. This can save a lot of time for some.
- Such a concept could take pressure of car dealerships especially in countries with large auto markets.
- Some of these sites do not currently allow the potential buyer to test drive the car before buying and this could be a huge deterrent for a lot of buyers.
- Since these websites are not known to be associated with car dealerships, there is the problem of where to bring the car for servicing and repairs. One could always find one’s own mechanic or workshop but buyers usually like peace of mind knowing there is a shop they can bring their car to should anything go wrong.
- There also lies the safety of engaging in online transactions especially with such large amounts of money.
Would online shopping for a car take off in Singapore?
In my opinion, it could but only if test drives and places to bring the car to for servicing and repairs is guaranteed. However, with a country as small as ours, online shopping for a car does not appear to be totally necessary as dealerships and 2nd hand car dealers seem to be able to do the job just fine. One does not need to travel far in order to get to a dealership or 2nd hand car dealer in Singapore so until the Pros outweigh the Cons of such a concept, the current model of car buying is here to stay.
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