Analytics Trends That Will Shape the Automotive Industry in 2024

Analytics Trends That Will Shape the Automotive Industry in 2024
Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

The automotive industry has been riding a rollercoaster of changes over the last several years. One major trend has been ‌skyrocketing prices of both new and used vehicles. Factors like supply chain issues, semiconductor shortages, and increased demand have led to inflated prices, making it tougher for folks to snag a car without breaking the bank.

Interest rates have also been on the rise, making financing a vehicle more expensive for buyers. This has affected affordability and influenced decisions about purchasing a car or opting for a lease.

Meanwhile, electric vehicles (EVs) have been gaining serious traction. There’s been a surge in interest and adoption as people become more environmentally conscious and technology advances make EVs more appealing. With more models hitting the market and improvements in charging infrastructure, EVs are becoming a more viable option for many consumers.

Overall, it’s a bit of a mixed bag—challenging times with higher prices and interest rates, but also an exciting shift towards sustainable and innovative options like electric vehicles. During all of this change, some trends in the automotive analytics landscape are emerging as well.

Privacy in the Automotive Industry

Digital privacy in the automotive industry has become a significant focus, especially concerning how data is collected, stored, and used in vehicles and on associated websites. One notable trend is the emphasis on consent management, ensuring that users have more control over their data and how it’s utilized.

Consent management platforms are increasingly integrated into automotive websites, allowing users to have clearer choices and control over the data they share. These platforms often present users with options to consent to specific data collection practices, enabling a more transparent and user-centric approach to data handling. Implementing a consent management system and integrating it with all of the tags and platforms on your site will ensure a more future-proof and legally compliant data stack.

Google Consent Mode works in conjunction with a consent management platform and allows brands to collect anonymized data in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) such as conversion events, product views, page views, and more, without the use of cookies. Consent mode collects no unique identifiers, which can be associated with the user. As a result, this anonymous interaction data is compliantly collected to use in analytics for all users regardless of their consent state. This feature is only available in GA4 and given the heavy reliance on Google Analytics by dealerships, plans should be put in place to implement this functionality in 2024 to prevent data loss after the depreciation of cookies. 

These trends in consent management and the integration of tools like GA4 consent mode reflect the industry’s growing commitment to respecting user privacy and providing greater transparency and control over data collection and usage within the automotive digital landscape.

Automotive Data Integration

Data integration is pivotal in the automotive industry as it enables a comprehensive understanding of customers, streamlines operations, and enhances decision-making. Integrating online and offline data is crucial for a holistic view of customer behavior. By merging data from online sources like GA4 and offline data such as in-person visits or test drives, automotive dealers can create a more complete customer profile. This helps in creating custom audiences, personalizing marketing efforts, and improving customer experiences.

Dealer Management System (DMS) data, which contains information on inventory, sales, and service, is of course, integral for optimizing dealership operations. But when integrated with other data sources, it provides a unified view, aiding in inventory management, predicting demand, and enhancing customer service.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data holds valuable insights into customer interactions and preferences. Integrating CRM data with other datasets allows for a deeper understanding of customer needs, enabling personalized marketing strategies and fostering stronger customer relationships.

Data warehousing tools like BigQuery play a vital role in this integration process, tying together GA4, DMS, and CRM data in one place. BigQuery, with its scalability and ability to handle large volumes of data, can combine diverse datasets from the various sources that matter to dealerships. It allows for the transformation, cleaning, and organization of data for further analysis and visualization. By using BigQuery, automotive companies can perform complex queries, analyze integrated data, and derive actionable insights. And since BigQuery has a native connector with GA4, you can export all of your raw event data automatically to blend with other sources such as a DMS or CRM.

The application of integrated data through tools like BigQuery facilitates predictive analytics, allowing for better forecasting, inventory management, and customer behaviors. Ultimately, data integration empowers automotive organizations to make informed decisions, improve user experience, and return on ad spend.

Digital Retailing

Automotive digital retailing has seen significant advancements in recent years, reshaping the way consumers buy cars and transforming the industry’s marketing data landscape. The integration of advanced analytics and digital tools allows for a comprehensive analysis of the conversion funnel and user journey. Digital retailing platforms track and analyze customer interactions at every stage of the purchasing process, from initial research to final sale. This enables a deeper understanding of consumer behavior, preferences, and pain points throughout the buying journey. By identifying bottlenecks or points of attrition in the funnel, automotive companies can refine their strategies to optimize the user experience, improve conversion rates, and ultimately drive sales.

The continued growth of digital retailing has opened up the possibility of highly targeted marketing efforts. By leveraging the wealth of data gathered from online interactions, companies can personalize marketing campaigns to an extremely granular level. When platforms are strategically integrated (see the previous section) dealers can tailor advertisements, offers, and content based on individual preferences, browsing history, and behavior. It allows for more precise targeting, leading to more relevant and engaging marketing initiatives that resonate with potential vehicle buyers.

Overall, automotive digital retailing’s recent developments have brought forth a data-rich environment that empowers companies to understand customers better, refine their marketing strategies, and create more seamless and personalized experiences, ultimately driving higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Conclusion

In 2024, the automotive industry will continue to navigate the intersection of privacy, data integration, and digital retailing, shaping a new landscape for car buyers and dealers alike. Privacy concerns will remain at the forefront, compelling automotive companies to prioritize robust data protection measures and transparent data practices. With evolving regulations and heightened consumer awareness, businesses will further invest in sophisticated consent management tools, ensuring that users have greater control over their data while driving personalized experiences.

Data integration will play a pivotal role in enhancing customer insights and operational efficiency. Companies will intensify efforts to merge online and offline data seamlessly, integrating CRM, dealer management, and consumer behavior data to gain a comprehensive view of the customer journey. This integrated data will fuel predictive analytics and AI-driven solutions, enabling highly targeted marketing strategies and personalized experiences. Moreover, digital retailing will continue to revolutionize the purchasing process, offering consumers more streamlined and customizable options, while empowering automotive retailers to analyze the conversion funnel in depth, refine their strategies, and deliver more tailored and engaging interactions throughout the buying journey.

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Originally Published: December 11, 2023

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March 4, 2024
Originally published on December 11, 2023

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