We've been doing online car sales since 1993 thru the Cars forum on Compuserve.
Brian Pasch has labeled me the digital retailing contrarian so allow me to opine on my contrary stance. You may be teasing, but I believe you threw me a giant softball. Thanks Zach!
1-12 has been solved and you are missing a few, like MMR. When we launched LeaseCompare.com in 2000, we had leasing licenses for every state. We had to collect and pay sales tax for each State and do all the titling and plates. This without ever seeing the customer. We built our own loan origination system (LOS) that had a direct pipe into RouteOne . We created our own decisioning engine and credit applications, along with deal structures (including F&I products), were submitted thru RotueOne to our indirect lenders and a response (final credit decision) was sent back into our LOS. Any required supporting documentation (POI, Drivers License, Insurance, etc) was uploaded to our system and all documents were automatically created as a PDF for customer to print, sign, and return (before electronic contracting).Here are some problems on accuracy to start:
- The digital retailing tool does not use the same calculations the dealer does, so (mostly lease) payments don't match
- Dealers have different policies for how down payment money is applied to the lease cap and many developers don't know how to work with that
- Taxes can vary significantly from one zip code to the next in some states - hell, tax rates can vary within the same zip code! A lot of dealers can't even explain how it works. Techies need expert desking people on staff with an aptitude for algebraic equations.
- Some states have different ways trade equity is handled
- Some states tax differently depending on the purchase price, contract price, or monthly payment amount
- Many states tax differently depending on how the car is paid for
- Incentives from OEMs can vary on SO MANY different terms and variables it will make you sick (I'm looking at you GM)
- Inventory feeds are not always accurate
- What equipment is actually on a new car determines what incentives apply and we know how often that is 100% correct
- What equipment is actually on a used car impacts the book value needed to figure out what the advance is
- Which book value to use can vary by lender
- Not all lenders publish rates to remain competitive - in those cases, payments cannot be displayed for those lenders without a full credit app
Some other technical things people don't think about on the surface
- Storing PII data (even if for a nanosecond) requires SERIOUS security
- Keeping a web service fast for all devices at speeds down to 4G is incredibly limiting (have you seen how slow your dealership website is these days?)
- Can you tell people that Microsoft doesn't even support Internet Explorer anymore?
- Fusing good technology into someone else's bad technology is on par with having unprotected sex in warlord-controlled parts of Africa
And lastly, there are the operational parts of car buying that take 4 hours in the store - this is the part that truly makes digital retailing fail. And here is the golden statement: If the CRM or DMS is used as the desking, paperwork, and/or contracting piece it is the center of the dealer's operational process. If the digital retailing solution is not working directly with at least the CRM it is a process burden on the dealership staff. So many issues come into focus once this is realized.
They are absolutely not solved Tarry. There are solutions that have done a better job than others at taking care of some of them, but there are 50+ digital retailing solutions that are not doing all of those 12 items properly. If you are not one of those solutions, here's a cookie1-12 has been solved and you are missing a few, like MMR.
Sorry, you are correct. for the now 50+ digital solutions they are absolutely NOT quoting correct monthly payments. Almost ALL of them do not do their own payment quoting and NONE of them are based on real credit. Not one company has ALL the data. We currently use multiple data sources plus our own data generation efforts.They are absolutely not solved Tarry. There are solutions that have done a better job than others at taking care of some of them, but there are 50+ digital retailing solutions that are not doing all of those 12 items properly. If you are not one of those solutions, here's a cookie
Some of the most utilized digital retailing solutions are not showing the same payments dealers are showing in their stores.
There are certain CTAs that do engage shoppers on a particular car to move forward. It's NOT usually a "Start Your Deal" or similar CTA. There are a few pieces that need to be solved along the way. Nobody believes generic info on a dealer's website.Has anyone ever asked the last 10 car shoppers they talked to whether or not they were excited to buy a car online? I have. But like everyone else, my GM suspected online retail would sweep our town. Ha. I can tell you we were 100% all in for about 15 days a few years back, but decided to bail after all leads imploded on our CDK platform, lead traffic stopped, nobody wanted to play, or buy online. Panic set in, since we need volume, not onesies and twosies. As soon as we dropped the buy it now program on the website, the leads started flowing. Soon as we replaced CDK, the sun came back out and all the creatures of the world rejoiced.