How To Sell Cars Online or Offline (PART 14)
TRANSCRIPT: First, we got to think about the customer perspective. Think about this. Look at these two choices out here. Is your customer today, are they trying to structure a deal or are they trying to buy a car? Structure a deal, that’s how we talk. Why would we put this on our website? “Save time at the dealership. Structure your deal online.” That doesn’t mean anything to the customer. They’re looking to buy a car.
From a customer’s perspective, the top one doesn’t remove any dealership hassles and experiences. It only reduces the time spent which is good and “the paperwork.” Skip the paperwork which is amorphous. I’m not sure I understand what that means as a customer.
Carvana, which is the one on the bottom, they make it appear easy, seamless, and hassle free. And, in their buying process, they address the trust issues from a customer perspective. They can take it for a spin, buy from their couch, seven day test own. All the trust issues are broken down. All the hassles are taken away.
Let’s think about this. Let’s talk about consumer trust issues. What are some of the consumer trust issues with you just as a dealer, not online buying, just as a dealer? Remember, DrivingSales says, “99% expect a hassle when they start the car-shopping process.” That’s a consumer trust issue that we have to overcome.
What are the consumer trust issues with buying online with anyone, just buying online? Consumers worry, like, “Is my information safe? Are there guarantees?” How about consumer trust issues with buying online from you, from a dealer? What are their trust issues? Will they try to rip me off? Is this a good deal.
We need to address all of these consumer trust issues online if we want to do the deal online. The problem with the “structure of deal”, it doesn’t adequately address any of these issues. In fact, just look at the hassles that they add on this page. As I click through the structure my deal, they want me to estimate my credit score? What? Who knows that offhand? This is a toy. When you’re asking people to estimate their own credit score, it’s a toy. It’s not a to-the-penny calculation. How about trade value? I can’t click to get it in this form. I have to go somewhere else. You’re sending your customers off to another website to go get a trade value. “Well, Steve, we offer trade values on our website.” It should be part of this form.
How about my own financing? I can take this 6.7% from Chrysler. I can either live with that or I can, what? Pick up my phone and contact my own bank or I have to live with their numbers? Why can’t I select my bank on your website? This creates hassles. This creates issues. There’s no trust that this is a good deal on financing because you’re only offering me one choice, the 6.7% from Chrysler. What’s wrong with these? What’s wrong when we self-select or do a soft credit-pull? “Why can’t we do that, Steve?” When you let someone self-select their credit score, it doesn’t give us to-the-penny calculations for payments, does it?
Okay. That breaks trust. When we have a payment calculator? These are really just toys. Payment calculators were great 10 years ago. Listen, have them on your website. Have a link. Payment calculators. Let people go to it. I wouldn’t put it on the vehicle lead sales page but I’ll certainly let people go back to the payment summary on my website if they want to but the problem with this is payment calculators are really just toys that help a customer eliminate themselves.
Both you and the buyer want real decisions from a real lender. Look at this. I structured this deal. I went to look at financing options. I can lease it or I can pay full but to finance, I got to see the dealer. Is that an online deal? No. It’s just as bad as the shopping cart 10 years ago on your website. I still have to do work with the dealer. I want to buy online. I want it to be a great experience. I want it to be seamless.
How about this? You ever wonder why you’re not really selling a lot of cars with your General Motors Shop, Click and Drive that you got on your website? You got it everywhere. It’s on every vehicle details page, search results page. It’s taking up all the best real estate. Look at this. I clicked through on a drive it now price to buy on Shop, Click and Drive on a dealership’s website. Yikes! Nothing breaks trust with the consumer like showing them they can buy the car 3,000 cheaper until they click through to buy it and create their deal and it’s 3,000 dollars higher.
To the dealer’s defense, it does say, “Vehicle may be eligible for additional discounts. Please contact dealer.” You think? I wanted to buy. I wanted to Shop, Click and Drive but I didn’t get to, did I? I couldn’t do the whole deal online. This is creating unnecessary friction. The whole point of a great buying experience is we’re going to reduce friction. Why would we add it online? Why would we start off on the wrong foot with the customer and tell them they can buy it now, that they can Shop, Click and Drive. They can drive it away. They click through and the prices don’t even match. You have a lower price on your website then when I get through on the GM site. This breaks trust.