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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Pete MacInnis

Pete MacInnis Founder and CEO

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The dealership sales and finance process has been built by dealers for dealers. Not consumers.

2af48fea0403e3e44a052406dcbd4b03.jpg?t=1There’s got to be a better way to sell a car. Everyone seems to think so.  In our recent dealer survey, 8 in 10 dealers agreed the time it takes to buy a car ought to take two hours or less but most say the average transaction time today is 3-4 hours from meet & greet to funded. The clear majority of these same dealers say that the biggest opportunity for change is to capture more information from the customer earlier in the process.

With the endless eCommerce sites available today, empowered ‘electronic’ shoppers have come to expect the transparency and immediate gratification made possible by the internet. It’s difficult for them to understand why buying a car still has to take so long. Most car shoppers today want to know what their payment terms will be while deciding on a vehicle, so it's completely illogical that dealerships make it virtually impossible for car shoppers to find financing information online. 

Dealers should want to provide an easy, seamless experience for their customers that starts online because that’s where they’re making their decision to buy the vehicle. A connected buying experience that seamlessly moves the customer from the Internet to the showroom to F&I is quickly becoming possible.  With new technologies, financing no longer needs to be arranged exclusively as an in-store activity. 

Traditional online credit apps were a first step in that direction.   The next generation of interactive online credit apps will offer actual credit approvals with real, exact payment terms from your lender programs - made visible to you and your customers in seconds.   With no credit application to be completed in-store and no lender decision to wait on – your customer is transitioned from the meet & greet to the test drive to negotiation to F&I much quicker.  You’re selling more cars and, because time is money, profitability surges and CSI soars.

We know most consumers are doing their shopping and making their decision to buy online so why not give them a seamless shopping experience from start to finish?

Ed Brooks
You ask the question, "why not?", I think the answer, for many dealers, is because they don't want the customers doing more online. The "comfort zone" for many managers is face-to-face, not online. The quicker those managers can get the customers into the store, and indeed, into "the box", the better. For the dealers that are ready to really embrace not just online shopping, but online buying, this will be a huge opportunity.
Ron Henson
This is a good discussion. I find it interesting that you begin the post by sharing survey results that 8 of 10 dealers say the process takes too long, and they are the ones with the power to fix it. The title of the blog post hits the nail right on the head. Good stuff.
Megan Barto
When you have a customer (internet/phone) that you've worked payments (maybe a lease on?) before they come in - do you present numbers like you would with a fresh up? I certainly hope not. People use the internet to streamline the buying process -- let them!!
Grant Gooley
Love this. The automotive vertical is due for a revolution! Who will be our leader!? lol
Tim Elliott
The Evo/Revo lution has begun. The next logical change is moving current "in-store" process on-line. Think 4 Square on a Dealers website. By empowering online shoppers with VIN specific, accurate payment information you move them a big step forward in the decision making process while building virtual trust with the shoppers. If you track time engagement on Dealers websites we know Inventory and Photos is where the Shopper spends most of their time. Virtaul 4 Square tools like MakeMyDeal from Cox Automotive and DRS from Dealertrack are proving the value of real-time payment tools with 7-8 minute average engagement time. This is huge knowing the average site visit is only 4-5 minutes.

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