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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
3,153
1,975
Awards
1
First Name
Alex
Do you know what your dealership website is saying to customers? If you have a finance calculator you are telling customers the wrong thing! You are creating another channel of friction for your customer.

Screen Shot 2021-10-20 at 10.56.38 AM.png

TLDR: turn off the finance calculator on your website.​

Most finance calculators that come with Dealer.com, DealerOn, Dealer Inspire, Sincro, etc website solutions are free forms that allow the customer to input whatever she wishes.

Price​

Letting your customers set their own price is dangerous. How many customers actually enter the selling price you have listed?

Only the dumb ones.

Smart customers are going to set a price way lower than you’d like because that’s where they plan to start negotiating.

How many customers set a price with taxes? What about your fees?

Nobody knows how to calculate taxes and fees. What about trade equity? What about rebates?

Interest Rate​

Do I really need to explain the futility of pushing your customer offsite to their own bank to find their best rate?

Loan Term​

This is where customers can quickly knock themselves out of the market on your car. Old adages like “never finance for more than 48 months” still exist. Grandpa is still giving advice.

Where are the leases!!!

This is my biggest peeve with finance calculators. They can’t calculate a lease to offset that big payment the customer just saw on a loan.

And what about used car leases?

As I write this new car supply shortages are abundant and maybe on the cusp of getting worse. We’re missing chips and may soon be missing the metals required to build the cars. This means we are going to be selling more used cars and as market values continue to inflate, people are going to need to lease used cars to afford them.

Digital Retailing competition​

If you have a digital retailing solution, your finance calculator is definitely at odds with the other finance calculator inside your digital retailing solution. One calculator should rule the website! Choose one.

The legacy finance calculator that came with your website is probably not on any website company’s product roadmap for improvement. They have mostly been the same since the first dealership website payment calculator was launched over 20 years ago. Don’t feel bad about requesting your website company to remove it – I doubt they will find offense.
 
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Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
4,041
1,508
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Jeff
You WIN!! Over 10 years ago I tried to run find out what the engagement was like on our basic payment calculator. If f the reporting was correct, it was very little. Ten years later, I doubt I would see any difference.

I would absolutely agree - if you have any DR solution on your website, it would be a great idea to remove the basic calculator feature.
 
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Jim K

Full Sticker
May 5, 2019
40
49
First Name
Jim
Where are the leases!!!
@alex, (sorry to change topics) - you mentioned leasing on a recent Refresh Friday too. Why don't we see more creative leasing offers? Leasing is a great/better option for many and not as bad as it used to be. Dealers get the service, a guaranteed customer at the end of the term (sooner if you know what you're doing) and one less car you have to buy at action. I have a friend at a Lexus dealer whose client list is almost 100% leases. Easy business, long-term and trusted relationships, service revenues, +++
 
May 13, 2020
7
3
First Name
John
You WIN!! Over 10 years ago I tried to run find out what the engagement was like on our basic payment calculator. If f the reporting was correct, it was very little. Ten years later, I doubt I would see any difference.

I would absolutely agree - if you have any DR solution on your website, it would be a great idea to remove the basic calculator feature.
Here's the average completion rate that we see. About 14% of users who view a VDP complete the payment calculation. My presumption is that some people like to tinker around with something that doesn't ask for their name/phone/email. The payment calculator is one of the only tools on most dealer sites that isn't gated by a form.
 

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Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
4,041
1,508
Awards
2
First Name
Jeff
Here's the average completion rate from our sites. About 14% of users who view a VDP complete the payment calculation. People like to tinker around with something that doesn't ask for their name/phone/email. The payment calculator is one of the only tools on most dealer sites that isn't gated by a form.

Hummmmm :dunno:
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
3,153
1,975
Awards
1
First Name
Alex
Why don't we see more creative leasing offers?
The used car dealers who have figured out how to stock and which banks work for leasing are killing it! They don't have to worry about what they're paying at auction as much. I'm surprised Vroom and Carvana haven't figured this out yet.

Many franchised dealers focus on their captive lenders and miss a lot because of that.

As for the captive lenders offering creative lease offers - they don't have to right now. New cars are... well... we all know how rare those have become. Unless they start to care about used cars (which they should right now), then I don't see anything more than non-captives staying aggressive on earning paper the residual/rate way.
 
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Reactions: Jim K
Mar 21, 2012
487
602
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1
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Ryan
Do you know what your dealership website is saying to customers? If you have a finance calculator you are telling customers the wrong thing! You are creating another channel of friction for your customer.

View attachment 5706

TLDR: turn off the finance calculator on your website.​

Most finance calculators that come with Dealer.com, DealerOn, Dealer Inspire, Sincro, etc website solutions are free forms that allow the customer to input whatever she wishes.

Price​

Letting your customers set their own price is dangerous. How many customers actually enter the selling price you have listed?

Only the dumb ones.

Smart customers are going to set a price way lower than you’d like because that’s where they plan to start negotiating.

How many customers set a price with taxes? What about your fees?

Nobody knows how to calculate taxes and fees. What about trade equity? What about rebates?

Interest Rate​

Do I really need to explain the futility of pushing your customer offsite to their own bank to find their best rate?

Loan Term​

This is where customers can quickly knock themselves out of the market on your car. Old adages like “never finance for more than 48 months” still exist. Grandpa is still giving advice.

Where are the leases!!!

This is my biggest peeve with finance calculators. They can’t calculate a lease to offset that big payment the customer just saw on a loan.

And what about used car leases?

As I write this new car supply shortages are abundant and maybe on the cusp of getting worse. We’re missing chips and may soon be missing the metals required to build the cars. This means we are going to be selling more used cars and as market values continue to inflate, people are going to need to lease used cars to afford them.

Digital Retailing competition​

If you have a digital retailing solution, your finance calculator is definitely at odds with the other finance calculator inside your digital retailing solution. One calculator should rule the website! Choose one.

The legacy finance calculator that came with your website is probably not on any website company’s product roadmap for improvement. They have mostly been the same since the first dealership website payment calculator was launched over 20 years ago. Don’t feel bad about requesting your website company to remove it – I doubt they will find offense.
Customers don't like math, they want to buy a $50k car with a $300 payment :)
 

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
1,801
1,283
First Name
Craig
Here's the average completion rate that we see. About 14% of users who view a VDP complete the payment calculation. My presumption is that some people like to tinker around with something that doesn't ask for their name/phone/email. The payment calculator is one of the only tools on most dealer sites that isn't gated by a form.
That's a bit staggering to me. We've had analytics on our calculators in the past and never seen that type of engagement.
More than 1 in 10 visits to the VDP include an interaction with the calculator to the point of a calculation?
 
May 13, 2020
7
3
First Name
John
That's a bit staggering to me. We've had analytics on our calculators in the past and never seen that type of engagement.
More than 1 in 10 visits to the VDP include an interaction with the calculator to the point of a calculation?
Hi Craig! That's correct. I actually just re-ran the funnel analysis with an added exclusion of VDP views from sites that don't have a payment calculator enabled on the VDP. This new analysis shows an engagement rate of 16.61%. This model also excludes multiple completions per user, so it's basically only counting the first time a user completes the payment calculation.


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