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Drive Motors Founder Aaron Krane: Dealers Can Sell Entirely Online

February 19, 2016 0 Comments

We all know consumers are evolving and the automotive retail industry has room for improvement to improve the Customer Experience. This was confirmed by the $1 million DrivingSales Customer Experience study. According to the study, 99 percent of car shoppers anticipate a hassle when buying a car and 56 percent would buy a car more often if the experience was better.

In order for dealerships to maximize their customer experience, they should be able to cater to how the customer wants to buy a car – whether the customer wants to spend a couple of days test driving every single model or doing it all online and everything in between. We spoke with Drive Motors founder, Aaron Krane, to discuss today’s consumers and enabling dealers to sell inventory completely online from their website.

Krane has founded Drive Motors, an online car shopping experience dealers can integrate into their website for consumers who want their entire buying process to be online. Krane began by telling DrivingSales News he came up with the idea for the company when he attempted to purchase a vehicle online and was ultimately was able to, through the mail, however if the experience was entirely online, he would have done so six months prior and not switched brands. He also explained why he decided to involved dealers.

Krane said, “The reason that I decided on our approach which is to work with dealerships, essentially building them a tool that allows them to keep doing business as usual is because when I started doing competitive research, what I observed was typically Silicon Valley startups had taken adversarial relationships with dealers and that hadn’t worked out so well so I wanted to learn and iterate and evolve on the experiments of my predecessors and I decided the most effectively way to try to solve the problem for the consumer would be to simply empower the dealerships to do so.”

In 2016, shopping online is a reality – especially for millennials. Krane explained why he felt today’s consumers would want to shop for autos online saying, “The reason that adding an e-commerce style experience to your website is important for every single dealership is simply because most of us buy everything else online and specifically when it comes to new cars, even if we need to experience the quote fit and feel, we usually decide to buy at a later point. And then, when we get that spousal approval, if you’re a millennial, you just want to click a button you don’t want to wait till the next time you go offline and chat with a salesperson. In terms of how this impacts a dealership’s business, the idea is (Not that this addresses that typical customer of the past couple of decades who wants to come in and haggle,) but rather this is a way to significantly drive up your volume of future sales for millennials who value their time and convenience over haggling and frankly, are willing to pay for it.”

Krane even noted most customers who order online will ask for delivery, and then just come get the car. Krane explained, “It’s an option for the dealerships they don’t have to offer it if they don’t want to but in our experience it’s a really, really great thing to offer the consumers it’s an amazing hook and believe it or not, most consumers are so impatient they just drive to the dealership to get the car even if they ask for delivery. So, dealerships only have to deliver within 50 miles and it’s only if they want to and a lot of our participating dealerships do this already, they will drive cars out to customers preemptively just to show them a new car and in the case of other dealerships they will go much farther than 50 miles to deliver a test drive, let alone a purchased car. We think it’s a great service to offer customers and it’s just yet another way to keep them locked in.”

The California-based entrepreneur also explained that the data doesn’t lie: consumers crave an online car shopping experience. Krane explained, “Dealers should consider the fact that 80 percent of their purchases are probably starting online. Meaning the customer more or less decided on the car via a website and or found that car via another website. The other thing to consider is that there have been multiple surveys by the brands and by third parties like Accenture, which all more or less say three out of four buyers want quote, ‘the entire car buying process online.’ And last but not least now 25 percent of most dealers consumers are already millennials and these are people who have grown up only buying thing online and the proposition of going offline and talking to a human to buy something is oftentimes a deal-breaker. I think those are three very important data points to consider and assuming one considers those data points, the next question is simply how do we address it as quickly as possible with as little risk?”

How have millennials changed the retail auto industry? What feedback have customers told staff at your dealership or group about selling vehicles entirely online? Do you think the retail auto industry will see a major shift to both new and used vehicle online sales during the next decade?

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.