Build It Right From The Start
Automotive digital transacting has exploded over the last year. April 2021 sales doubled over April 2020 and we are forecasting an estimated 17.1 SAAR! Research shows over 70% of buyers would prefer to do their shopping, credit application, purchase configuration and negotiations online saving the final paperwork for digital, in store or at home completion. Anything that was guarded by proprietary technology has been shredded for the good of transparency in this new paradigm.
Vehicle content comparison, pricing, payments, financing, and aftermarket purchases have transitioned the sales process online supported by many of the digital retailing applications and tools. This has created a strong need for accurate vehicle build data, rates, rebates, and the ability to define a vehicle with the specific VIN options, packages and incentives. Getting these pieces right with build data is required content across advertising Tiers I – III by OEM’s, dealers, integrators, and software/technology providers.
The most challenging areas are vehicle specific option and equipment packages describing a VIN or unique attributes of a vehicle. Some full-size pickups having close to 3 million unique ways a model can be built, and it is critical to know the exact content of the vehicle for matching incentives 1:1 with the vehicle option/package codes leading to correctly pricing the vehicle for the type of transaction (cash, finance or lease). Also include distributor options and VIN Specific offers which require assignment to the VIN after delivery from the manufacturer and as part of the accessorizing or incentivizing of slow selling inventory.
Solving the “last 6 mystery” continues to be an online stumbling block for much of the industry. This has been an issue within the industry for many years, however, we are seeing the gap in accuracy close significantly with the harvesting and validation of build data through syndicated listings, OEM MSRP specs, or a combination of all of these data sources. This is clearly an advantage for advertisers, software providers and consumers.
Consider the importance of using this information to correctly advertise pricing, payments, and incentives for an industry spending over $50 billion dollars on customer discounts annually. The importance of getting the pricing and payments right, the incentives assigned correctly at the VIN level supports cost reductions in BILLIONS of dollars. OEMs, captive finance companies and auto lenders must get this right for consumer lending regulations and supporting a smooth transition from online transacting to contracting payments based on the tier, term, lender, consumer demographics, incentives, location and tax, title, and license fees.
Based on the type of transaction and term of the financing, we have seen differences in payments of hundreds of dollars for the same vehicle on multiple websites. You can see the lost credibility, advertising costs and sales when the consumer realizes their payment is increasing by that amount once they decide on the vehicle they are ready to purchase.
Additionally, extended warranties, insurance (and insurance replacement costs) carriers are all dependent on getting accurate build data for correct menu pricing online. Using these attributes also supports requirements for meeting compliance and disclosing a fundable offer to the consumer.
Consider the importance of using build data and incentives correctly across all advertising, pricing and payment publishing compared with the wasted spend of not including this level of detail. These vehicle attributes are available and are a requirement for correctly transacting online and in store.
Automotive retailing has advanced quantum leaps over the last 12 months. The industry is facing lean inventory and profitability on every sale is vital for the industry. Advertising a vehicle correctly with these attributes is the most cost-efficient method of maximizing multi-channel publishing, digital commerce tools and consumer search using content description tools like photos, CGI, videos, and vehicle side-by-side comparisons. Consumers have expectations that the correct description, price and payments are being advertised and technology allows this to happen today.
Get it right by using build data and incentives and realize advantages through technology partners, integrators, advertisers, and dealers. The risk and rewards are higher than ever for using build data and incentives to power pricing and payments correctly across all marketing, advertising, and sales channels.