You didn't miss the announcement of CarMax EasyShop did you? CarMax has just dramatically changed car buying with their new CarMax EasyShop. The service has been launched first in Raleigh and Fayetteville NC. ShopEasy allows you complete more of the car shopping process at the convenience from any computer before arriving at the store and IMO, it's looking slick! Our good friend Brian has been talking about full transactional online car buying for years here on DealerRefresh and just published an article - Seeing Your Dealership As Consumers See It. As dealers, most of us quickly nudge our shoulders at this while thinking to ourselves - "this will never work", customers want to touch and feel a purchase of this size. Yes, there's a lot of truth in that. The percentage of consumers that are willing to buy a car sight unseen (other than photos) is very low BUT climbing. And it happens on eBay every day. Though I'll agree eBay is a much different marketplace - but is it really? I'll be the first to admit, I was a shoulder nudger not too long ago (only a couple years ago). I'm no longer. More and more people are going to demand this way of shopping and buying their next vehicle. The traditional new car sales "professional" as we know it today WILL DIMINISH!. It's going to happen - guaranteed! Will it take awhile? Yes, I believe it will BUT also I believe every dealership website should consider allowing the customer the option of BUYING online now. Even if most of the transaction still happens at the dealership, a solid online buying process takes the customer down the road of the purchase. It's not only a differentiator but it's (can be) an engaging pre-closing tool. How powerful is it to get a customer 30% - 40% - 60% down the road of the sale before even stepping into the dealership? This happens many times over the phone and via email every day but it's usually a complete pain in the ass to deal with. What happens when the customer can do it at their own convenience? A solid shopping cart on your dealership website can increase engagement, time on site, branding, positive customer experience, finance, and an actual purchase -- the list goes on. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE TRADE-IN? Let's admit, it's the one step in the process that nix the full online buying process. Though, or the time being I think CarMax has done a great job incorporating and explaining this into the EasyShop process. Plus, due to their already superb branding and marketing, everyone already knows the trade-in process at CarMax is effortless. Even with the trade-in being an issue - it's only a matter time of before we get this ironed out -- think...KBB/AutoTrader TIM So what do you think..Is this it the future of car buying? Lets lay it all out!!