Would you buy a new car online?

Ordering a car online

When was the last time you bought a new mobile phone from a physical store? When was the last time you ordered food online?

The answers to these questions show just how significantly the digital age has changed our lives. But despite all the technological advancements in e-commerce, would you be okay with buying a car online?

Well, Mercedes-Benz sure thinks so. Its new initiative mirrors the big push towards a digital buying experience that even the auto industry has now started to embrace. In-fact, the company’s tag line states that ‘buying a Mercedes-Benz should be as easy as ordering food online’.

Mercedes is amongst the first to go fully digital in India and allows customers to order and receive a customised car without leaving the comfort of their homes.

This is how it works. First, you configure a car through an app with augmented reality. The app allows you to explore and ‘test drive’ a car in 3d. There is also a car configurator with every option and model available.

This is the first e-commerce auto portal that lets customers order the car online. One can also opt for pre-owned cars, apart from the spanking new ones.

For most people in India, the purchase of houses and cars is a significant step in rising up the social order. Thus, unlike buying a mobile phone online, buying a car remotely is a much bigger decision. For many too the tradition of going to the showroom to for test drives or checking out cars still holds a deep importance.

However, most showrooms do not offer all the models for viewing. Nor do they allow customers to configure their cars with the detailing that Mercedes’s new app does.

Does this imply that, in the near future, almost all car-makers would embrace the online selling paradigm? Would you, as a potential customer, be ready to make a car purchase through an app? Let us know in the comments below.