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Automotive Digital Retailing - Who offers a full solution for dealerships?

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by Jeff Kershner, May 9, 2016.

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  1. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    Adding another one to the LIST.

    Drive Motors
    - https://drivemotors.com/dealers

    Drive Motors is another San Francisco-based startup which offers an ecommerce solution for auto dealers to sell directly through their websites. For consumers, they can order directly online from the dealership’s vehicle pages, which includes buying, leasing, financing, trade-ins, upgrades, and pickup or same-day delivery.
     
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  3. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    Interesting fact: as I speak with the founders of the companies/start-ups that are offering Buy Online platforms for dealers, there tends to be a common thread amongst many of them...

    That common thread ...they have never been in the car business. They have never worked at a dealership nor on the vendor side.

    I'm in no way criticizing. Merely pointing out what seems to be a shared common thread.

    Several share a story on how their last vehicle purchase wasn't an experience they were fond of; wondering why couldn't they just make their vehicle purchase online like so many other purchases. So they've set out to change that...
     
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  4. KevinO

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    I Like "Make My Deal" & "Structure My Deal" I looked at a few dealer sites that sell the same product that I do. I noticed that with "Structure My Deal" there is more ways to populate exact quotes with or without certain fees. I was able to match OEM advertised lease quotes W/dealer's online inventory W/similar MSRP's & dealer discounts and the payments were within a few dollars. With "Make My Deal" it's more of a range. If you ask me if a dealer is transparent and only wants to get people in the door..."Structure My Deal" is the way to go. "Make My Deal" populates with much better engagement but i don't like "send my offer" button (That's for the MSRP guys). IMO most consumers would not bother even sending a offer. I'm sure that others disagree; Again just my thoughts. Sure would be nice If I could find a vendor to allow a consumer online within our website to price exactly what they would want to custom order and allow them the same buy vs lease experience. Please don't reply with "Kevin we are working with some lame buying service company currently to make these kinds of experiences possible. If you would like to talk, contact me directly so we're not interpreting the conversation here." I'm not interested in any 3rd party site, I would like something that allows my visitors to engaged with my website W/something that will save them time before they set foot in the showroom. I'm not afraid that they will shop the price!
     
    #63 KevinO, Aug 9, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  5. ryan.gerardi

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    Upon speaking w/ a GM dealer the other day he said the same thing about DDC/DealerTrack's implementation and removed it from his site. His concern with the system was that it was just trying to do what the website already does, get people to fill out forms, and didn't enhance the customer experience the way a true shopping cart does.
     
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  6. BHavican

    BHavican
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    Glad to hear I'm not the only one @Ryan Gerardi@Ryan Gerardi.

    In recent news, with their new brand launch Genesis is mandating that our sites(DDC only) have Digital Retailing on them (there are other restrictions as well, such as not being able to list pre-owned cars). While attending a launch webinar the hosts tried to sell that Digital Retailing enhanced the customer experience and made other lofty but empty stats/promises of increased sales and increased profit margins when dealers add Digital Retailing.

    From Genesis' FAQ on the new sites:
    "As the savvy online shopper continues to evolve, this workflow (Digital Retailing) will be able to serve as the foundation for a completely online transaction model for the shopper who demands it."

    I've asked everyone I could if we could opt out and they've all said no. However, I did have one person offer to work with us to make it as useful as possible for our store and that if we still didn't like it after a couple months they'd try to get us off.
     
  7. Chris Cachor

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    Happy to hear that. I like the experimentation OEMs and dealers are doing but I still think they're missing the mark. Does anyone else think "Buy It Now" is more or less a lazy attempt at improving the car buying process? Does the OEM ever ask themselves, "Hey, maybe our salesperson review process is pissing people off?" Or do they care to measure how long it takes from "Yes, I'll take it" to "Where do I have to initial?". I might be rambling, but people today actually pay extra not to wait. I think "Buy It Now" is like going from one to extreme to another while completely overlooking all the small important but annoying steps in the car buying process.
     
  8. anthonycapital

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    I believe there are two key components to buying and selling cars online:
    • Business model innovation

    • Right technology

    Business model

    In general, customers need the following to consider buying a car online, without first talking to someone at the dealer:
    • High definition photos

    • Inspection / blemish report

    • Right policies

    High definition photos are required for the customer to take the concept of buying online seriously. Just look at how prominent Beepi and Carvana have their photos. Or how much of a focus it is for ebay dealers like texas auto direct.

    Everyone wants to know what’s wrong with the car before they buy it. And every used car has something wrong with it. That doesn’t mean a dealer needs to fix it. But they at least should call attention to it. Even if it’s literally a link to a google drive PDF inspection scan it’s better than nothing.

    Customers need to feel comfortable they can return the car if there is a problem, that they have some level of warranty, etc. Do you have a haggle-free price policy? Few people will buy a car with a click if they think they can get a better price by contacting the dealer. Do you have a way to handle trade appraisals on-site? Are your cars priced to market?


    Technology

    You need the right technology to enable the above. Does your inspection process integrate with your website? Does your website provider support HD images? Can your sales people do remote trade appraisals effectively?

    • Design

    • Data accuracy and availability

    • The “Checkout” page

    Design. Is your site designed to encourage a customer to do business with you online? Does your site look more like AirBnB or do you have a million lead forms and no real digital services? People need to feel comfortable on your site and design is step 1 to making this happen.

    Is your data accurate? I mean really accurate. Or are you purely doing a VIN explosion? “See dealer for details” doesn’t work here. If you say it has the 3.34 drive ratio, it better have the 3.34 drive ratio. Do you have warranty data? (including accurate in-service date?

    The “Checkout” page (CP). This is the 3rd step in the SRP VDP game. It should walk customers through their trade, offer financing options, up-sell warranty, etc. Everything they would cover in person.

    There is a lot more too it.. but suffice to say it’s a lot more than a single plug-in. I don’t really think the technology fully exists yet. We are working on a solution ourselves but we are far from prime-time ready. I think one of the biggest hurdles is going to be dealers adopting the new processes required to make this work even once the technology gets there.
     
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  9. Chris Cachor

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    Bingo
     
  10. jscole86

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    I think the biggest hurdle [other than compliance] is getting vendors to develop a tool/program that is *seamless and baked into our websites*, which would allow dealers to *truly* compete with carvana and beepi, in terms of UI, merchandising and having the option to buy 100% online. Right now, in my opinion, they think most dealers are hesitant to adopt new procesess to make this work, therefore, they see little ROI.

    which is a bummer.
     
  11. anthonycapital

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    Agreed. Suppose, hypothetically of course, ;) there was a system, where a customer's trade literally creates the inventory record, and since the inventory system is also the website system, 100% of that data is instantly available, as appropriate, on the website. Same with the inspection process. But how many dealers can honestly say they would be willing to toss Renyolds/Homenet/WebsiteVenderX/ etc. for one integrated system?

    And the problem for a vendor is - once you strip away all the things that make it unique, you are left holding a basic website that's not much different from existing offerings. That's why we - even though the above described system may be already built - are working on releasing individual functions, ie Appraisal, Inspection, etc. first - as the functionality of those tools by themselves is valuable - and we think will be much easier to adopt.
     

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