Ford Authority

New Car Buyers Are Really Digging The Pivot To Digital Purchasing

Ford has earned a number of distinctions for its sales network in recent months, including a fifth-place finish in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study and an above-average ranking in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study. However, the semiconductor chip shortage and other pandemic-induced problems have driven prices to an entirely new level while incentives have fallen to record lows, which has the potential to change the way Ford sells cars forever. That includes a shift toward digital purchasing – which FoMoCo is expanding via a newly announced partnership with Stripe – and that’s something new car buyers are quite appreciative of, according to Cox Automotive.

This news comes to us from the 12th annual Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study (CBJ), which reveals that overall, new car buyers are enjoying near-record levels of satisfaction in spite of low inventory levels, high prices, and few incentives. A total of 66 percent of buyers in 2021 were satisfied with their purchase, which is down from a record of 72 percent in 2020, while 75 percent said they were happy with their experience at the dealership. The 2021 CBJ study polled 2,976 U.S. consumers who bought or leased a new or used vehicle between September 2020 and August 2021.

Cox Automotive attributes much of this surge in satisfaction to digital buying, as those that completed the process online were reportedly more satisfied than those who did things the old-fashioned way, saving around 30 minutes, on average, versus those that went to a physical dealership to complete the financing process. Additionally, digital buyers were more satisfied with the price they paid and had more trust that the dealership or retailer gave them the best deal.

“Despite external market factors that dealers cannot control, the car buying experience remains amazingly good,” said Vanessa Ton, senior manager of research and market intelligence, Cox Automotive. “Dealers have done a great job adapting to what consumers wanted during the pandemic and have permanently evolved the car buying journey in a personalized way that results in very high satisfaction even when consumers are contending with historically low inventory and record-high prices.”

We’ll have more insights like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Njia

    In my previous career roles, when I’ve discussed the shopping and buying process with OEMs, they always insisted that U.S. dealers and car buyers would “never” transition to a model that shifted toward build-to-order, no-haggle pricing, online buying, etc. And yet, here we are, and consumers prefer it. I’ll bet dealers do, too.

  2. Tommy Ludlow

    Agree. If given the option, I would do everything on-line. The only reason for the dealership is to test drive.

  3. Bob Benson

    Our clients have been doing this for years with us already. It is all about the relationships we have.

  4. Jeffrey D. Sproul

    If the buying experience is completely online. As for ordering I ordered my Maverick XLT last July 25 with a production date of the week of Feb 14. I understand the chip shortage and Covid 19 taking longer but if this is going to be Ford’s future model the time between ordering and production needs to be no longer than 2 to 3 months and Ford needs to keep the buyer better informed as to how long it will take to make the vehicle they ordered. Ford should model their ordering system after Tesla .


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