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Digital Retailing: I want...

Discussion in 'Other Cool Technologies & Services' started by john.quinn, Feb 20, 2019.

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  1. john.quinn

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    One of the (very) few things I learned as a product manager for an Agile software development tech company was how to write "stories."

    Product ideas start in the backlog with a simple story; the "simple" part was what caught my attention (by necessity :)). I enjoyed thinking and starting the conversation along these terms:

    "As a....... I want...... so that....."

    My entire background was retail operations and marketing. Since I was fortuitously hired to help construct software to aide retail operations and marketing, it was easy for me to construct these stories.

    As a desk manger, I want an accurate calculator, so that I can trust the numbers I present to customers.

    As a general manager, I want a suite of solutions that compliment each other, so that I don't have to pay 6 vendors and their overlapping overhead.

    As a salesperson, I want to enter a VIN only once, so that I don't have to spend half the day typing random digits.

    You get the idea, right?

    PLEASE, take your turn as a Product Manager in the vast automotive tech space, and describe what you want for Digital Retailing.

    WAIT... actually... don't limit to Digital Retailing, since it's obvious that there is no consensus on what actually constitutes DR, beyond the BS Buzzword it is....

    As a..... I want....... so that......

    Have fun, and fill in the blanks!! :)
     
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  3. craigh

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    As a consumer I want to buy my next car online so that I don't have to visit the dealership or talk to a sales person

    For me, it's that simple. I want this for myself, therefore I want dealers to be able to offer it.
    I purchased my last 2 cars over email and by the time I got to the dealership it was ready to be delivered to me.
    This should have been a simple process, but of course that is never the case.
     
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  4. john.quinn

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    Very interesting you chose to answer as a consumer. Because all I've seen are efforts to solve this problem from the consumer standpoint.

    And if you ask 100 consumers about the problem, you'll get 100 different answers. There is no agreement about what actually constitutes a DR solution; every offering is different. Coincidence? Ha. No way.

    "Digital Retailing" is THE perfect example of a non-solution solution: what happens when you ask dealers to pay for solutions to somebody else's problem. No secret why DR never substantially moved beyond "Buzzword" status. Epic Fail.
     
  5. C Dorman

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    As a marketer I want consumers to be able to buy a car online without ever having to talk to a salesperson.

    All of which is technologically relatively easy.

    Of course there will be many points in the process where the consumer will have questions, and it will be much easier for them to talk to a knowledgeable salesperson instead of digging through all of the details online, especially on a cell phone, but at least they would be in control and have the option.

    Either way, as a marketer, I win by making shoppers happy, not wasting sales time, lowering my costs per sale, increasing sales and increasing profits.
     
  6. Eric88

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    What's a good way of building a digital retailing solution that favors dealers? What are the pitfalls? Is it the contracting? Or desking? I can think of a few ideas, but wondering what the community thinks.

    Let's say a company came along that offers a comprehensive digital retailing system, and YOU buy it. Why did you buy it?

    Alternatively, you didn't buy it, but you ended up getting deals from it anyway. How would that have worked out?
     
  7. Alex Snyder

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    Desking. Digital Retailing is not a tool for all buyers until all deals are done through it. That means an online solution has to solve for the floor before it can be everything to everybody. And then we need a cycle of purchases to go through it to make the consumer more comfortable doing it online. That is hurdle number one.

    Subsequent hurdles are much easier to overcome.
     
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  8. Chris Cachor

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    What was the email process? Ex. did you share financial information to have everything prepared ahead of time? I think a "skip the line" feature is valuable for more transactional buyers but also think some of the redundant parts of the online-to-offline process can be tightened up fairly easily for those that want to explore trims, features, and be educated about certain vehicles.
     
  9. Stevie

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    AS A BDC Manager, I WANT to see proven success with digital retailing SO THAT my customers aren't pissed and confused when they come in to the showroom and are quoted a different/much higher price/payment and the sales staff is lost on how to handle the situation.

    I learned today a few of our locations are implementing digital retailing with no true plan or process. After the conversation I had and voicing my concerns with DR, I learned it is the opinion of others, that this is where Internet sales/iLeads are headed, and quick. In the future, if we find a way to truly make it work, could it eventually be the new way of buying cars? Maaayyyyyybee - but I'm not sold on it just yet. So I posed the question, "How do we make DR work when we can't consistently follow a simple process to handle internet/phone up customers when they come in?"....Answer: "We'll just have to figure it out"
    :cursin::shakehd::dontdoit:
     
  10. john.quinn

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    Amen @Stevie@Stevie

    What if DR was actually a set of operational tools where your BDC could guide customers through a process as much or as little as the customer wants?

    What if DR was focussed on making it easy for the dealership staff to build bridges with customers vs. half-assed attempts to exclude the dealer?

    Well, duh ;)
     
  11. Stevie

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    Sure, in theory that would be great! But unfortunately, we didn't opt in to that package lol :rolleyes:

    As we were discussing DR - the idea of a process to follow is to only have people handle these customers who are product specialists and are able to desk a deal. So, you're telling me that we're going to either teach sales people how to desk a deal, or have the sales manager become product specialists? Neither one of these scenarios work out GREAT in my head. Sales managers are over loaded and don't want to stop to take the time for the constant back and forth that this tool may bring. Putting internet customers back in to the hands of the sales people who weren't attentive to them in the first place (which is why everyone has a BDC) isn't a good idea either. Could we train the appropriate people to work these customers? Sure! But the sales managers are going to have to be okay with letting go of control when it comes to numbers. Or at least set some parameters and be okay with someone else working a deal rather than themselves.

    And then...I nearly passed out...

    "Well, essentially, this is going to be so complicated that the customer will get frustrated and have to call, so then your BDC people can set an appointment for them to come in!"

    "But I thought the purpose of this was to make the customer experience BETTER?"

    "Well, this is what customers want! Industry studies show, this is exactly what they want!"

    "No man, no they don't. They want LESS frustration and more transparency that WORKS"

    I'm not against trying new things if I can see the full picture but all I'm seeing at the moment are road blocks. Maybe I need to change my way of thinking - but I'm having to work really hard to wrap my head around this and come up with a process that is going to work well for the customer and the dealership before this is implemented at this store.

    :banghead::banghead:
     
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