Amazon, which initially set out to become the "everything store," is now offering automobiles for sale on its e-commerce platform.
The company announced that beginning next year, customers in the United States will have the ability to peruse and acquire vehicles from dealers on Amazon.
The move, according to the CEO of Amazon, was intended to "alter the way in which consumers can purchase vehicles online."
Initial consideration will be restricted to Hyundai vehicles, the statement continued.
Although online car sales continue to represent a negligible portion of the overall car market, a significant increase in these transactions during the pandemic disproved the notion that consumers would not engage in such a substantial purchase online.
Predictors anticipate that these types of transactions will constitute a greater proportion of the company's operations in the coming years.
President of the Florida-based firm Haig Partnership Alan Haig stated, "I believe there is a growing segment of the population that places an enormous amount of trust in Amazon and other online retailers and would rather never interact with a human being when purchasing a vehicle." He further stated that the participation of Amazon, an already dominant participant in the online shopping industry, is what renders this announcement "transcendent."
Amazon, which began in 1994 as an online bookseller, has aggressively expanded into other industries, including financial and medical services.
It entered the online automobile purchasing market over two decades ago through an investment in an internet-based platform.
It collaborated with Hyundai to establish a "online showroom" several years ago that allowed users to peruse automobiles. Up until now, the ultimate transaction has taken place at a dealer's location, separate from the website.
President of Hyundai Motor Company Jaehoon (Jay) Chang stated that the company could "expand our sales network, transition to electrification, and realise the future of smart mobility" by collaborating with Amazon.
Beginning in 2025, Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa will be integrated into new automobiles as part of the agreement. Hyundai additionally entered into a multi-year agreement to utilise Amazon's cloud services.
Amazon refrained from disclosing the number of dealers that have consented to participate or furnishing additional details regarding the structure of the relationship with said dealers. It anticipated that purchasing would commence in the "later half of 2024."
Customers will have the capability to search Amazon for locally available vehicles by employing a range of criteria such as model, ornamentation, colour, and features, according to the announcement.
They will have the option to finalise the online purchasing process by selecting their preferred vehicle and utilising the payment and financing methods of their preference.
"This novel shopping experience will provide dealers with an additional avenue to promote their inventory and provide consumers with convenience."
Certain dealers may be hesitant, according to Mr. Haig, out of concern for the percentage of the sale that Amazon may require as compensation and for the increased distance that the platform will create between their company and the consumer. However, they may also gain if utilising Amazon facilitates sales, leading to increased frequency, or enables dealers to reduce advertising expenditures.