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An Industry Built Around Selling Things to an Industry Built Around Selling Cars

Jul 24, 2019
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19
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First Name
Zach
I'm still a newcomer to this industry, only being in it about 5 months. I just need a moment to rant about third parties, and all the different tools used on a daily basis.

I'm just blown away at the amount of third parties and tools that only do a single, or very minor task - and almost none of them communicate with one another properly! 75% or more (likely more) are owned by COX and are old or at least look like they were designed about 15 years ago (which they probably were.) There are some outsiders that appear to be trying to do it right (DealerInspire for instance) but there are only a few more I can count on my hand that provide timely and reliable customer service. I get this is an old industry - and slow to adopt certain technology, but it seems to be as if it's the people as well.

People want to say things like "I've done it like this for 15 years, it's worked so far." Well Carvana didn't exist 15 years ago either, hell the internet didn't exist in the same way it does now. We can't rely on tools that worked 15 years ago, in their same state, and we need to hold our third parties - regardless of what they provide for us - accountable.

Props to guys like FrikinTech, and some other newer companies that see this and want to differentiate themselves from the old. I feel their are a lot of solutions that are yet to be fully realized, or can be made better in a lot of ways. So while this is a rant, there is also great potential and a positive outlook for a huge industry that can make changes to prevent it from going extinct.
 

ryan.leslie

Sr. Refresher
Apr 20, 2009
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First Name
Ryan
Welcome to Refresh. I have a feeling you are going to fit in just fine around here. ;)

What industry did you come from Zach?
 
Jul 24, 2019
16
19
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First Name
Zach
Welcome to Refresh. I have a feeling you are going to fit in just fine around here. ;)

What industry did you come from Zach?
I feel it took very little time for me to love this industry. That being said I want to keep a focus on what the consumer sees and feels - but it's hard as the dealership world just beats certain things into your head. I said for the longest time I will only call them cars and trucks, and I slowly started slipping into saying vehicles. I hated acronyms when I started, and now I throw them around with no regard for the safety of others. :rofl:

But anyways, I came from the Emergency Upfitting industry. It had unique challenges, I did EVERYTHING organically. I mean everything. I didn't have, other than myself, a budget. So to see the budgets that dealerships work with blew my mind initially. To see all the different third parties being used, to see the spend in ads, it was a little shocking at first. That being said I'm still figuring out how to make it all work. The best way to get organic to flow with our ads - to cut the "fat" that is our third parties. And to get people to our site, which has great leads in comparison. It's fun, but also crazy - and I think you have to hate yourself a little to work in this space, perfect for me! :lmao:
 
Reactions: ryan.leslie
Mar 17, 2014
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Carl
Welcome Zach! I agree with you regarding 3rd party widgets on the dealer website.

Most of the time, they break the UI by using their own styling, font, colors, etc and consumers are left wondering "What just happened? Did I accidently go to another website?". They break or interrupt the customer journey by introducing inconsistencies on the website. For example, on a trade-in tool, if a consumer gets a trade-in value, that value should be passed back to the website and prefilled in payment calculators. 3rd party widgets also slow down the website and you lose out on analytics data.

That's why whatever website provider you use should have most or all the features you need on your website and they should all play nicely together.
 
Reactions: Zach Houseknecht

Tallcool1

Sr. Refresher
Mar 17, 2014
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Clint
I said for the longest time I will only call them cars and trucks, and I slowly started slipping into saying vehicles. I hated acronyms when I started, and now I throw them around with no regard for the safety of others. :rofl:
I had to laugh about this part of your post.

I remember the day that Cars, Trucks, SUV's, and Vans ceased to exist. That day....the all became "units".
 
Reactions: Zach Houseknecht

Brittany

Getting Refreshed
Jun 25, 2019
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Brittany
YES. The marketing area of the company I work with just realized how important it is to talk about not being a third party..

I'm glad to see that dealers don't want third parties. I thought it was a pretty bottom-of-the-bucket phrase until now
 
Reactions: Zach Houseknecht