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Leadership Challenge: Showroom'ing is here... forever.

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
GM's and SM's are all busy at your desks working 60+ hours a week, but I'll ask you a question that you may not have an answer for:

"Your rep is working an up on the lot. 2.5 hours later, they've test drove a few cars, got a trade-in appraisal and your rep is now standing in line looking for numbers."

QUESTION: How many times was the shopper left alone? And... how often and many minutes was the shopper "showroom'ing"?

Give your receptionist a tracking worksheet for a week, you'll be stunned.
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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In retail stores big and small, in every industry, all across America, Shoppers are at Point of Sale and using their phones to improve their purchase decision.



Look at our generations old sales process model and see how perfectly poised it is to be shredded by showroom'ing. Back in the day, we'd have the shopper sit and wait while reps waited for the sales manager. Busy days, managers can have reps stacked up giving the shopper lots of time to plan their next move. Managers liked "slowing the customer down" as a strategic move. The ROI of that strategy is now in question.

 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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This a new "threat" to your business and it's not going away. But, if you like to wack your competitors while they're in the dark, then you'll want to EMBRACE this new world.

Make a good effort to count how often this is happening. If it's real, then turn it and make it work for you!

 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
This is a chart that tracks "waves" of users coming on board to any new technology. Although nearly everyone has a smart phone, showrooming is just entering the "Early Majority" phase (IMO).


Thoughts:


  • ---Ignore the shoppers frequent use of the smartphone at P.O.S. everywhere they go = Fail.
  • ---Leave the shopper alone on the lot = FAIL.
  • ---Ignore the importance of YOUR mobile website in the final hour (while they're at your competitors lot) = Fail.

Lastly, you're not alone. All big ticket retailers are under siege.
 

john.quinn

Boss
Dec 2, 2009
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The kicker -- there is currently in-use technology that encourages salespeople to leave their customer.

Anybody ever try to log an up in a CRM system that makes you seek the manager to reassign a customer first? Ouch.
 
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Apr 10, 2011
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Manny


GM's and SM's are all busy at your desks working 60+ hours a week, but I'll ask you a question that you may not have an answer for:
"Your rep is working an up on the lot. 2.5 hours later, they've test drove a few cars, got a tradein apprasial and your rep is now standing in line looking for numbers."​

QUESTION: How many times was the shopper left alone? And... how often and many minutes was the shopper "showroom'ing"?

Give your receptionist a tracking worksheet for a week, you'll be stunned.

I need to hire that shoe salesperson! Any salesperson that can be patient enough to show a client 15+ pairs of shoes and still keep killing them with kindness is a 30 car man all day long! You can't sell everybody you talk to!
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
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This is a chart that tracks "waves" of users coming on board to any new technology. Although nearly everyone has a smart phone, showrooming is just entering the "Early Majority" phase (IMO).


Thoughts:


  • ---Ignore the shoppers frequent use of the smartphone at P.O.S. everywhere they go = Fail.
  • ---Leave the shopper alone on the lot = FAIL.
  • ---Ignore the importance of YOUR mobile website in the final hour (while they're at your competitors lot) = Fail.

Lastly, you're not alone. All big ticket retailers are under siege.

Joe, I'm surprised it's taken this long to hit the "early majority" phase.

Several months ago I was shopping for my next vehicle. It was the first time in years that I used the "normal" process for shopping and purchasing a vehicle. I won't get into all the details but it was an interesting experience as during the process I would catch myself being a statistic.

I did quite a bit of online research by visiting the OEM websites, Edmunds, Dealership websites, and a few forums. I physically visited only 2 dealers and caught myself "showrooming" at the last one, where I made my purchase. As I was in the middle of showrooming, it reminded me on how many times this happens each day on the showroom floor and the sales person has no idea it's happening - as mine didn't.

Not only did I visit the dealers website that I was currently at, but searched the inventory of a few of the other local Ford dealers. I wasn't necessarily shopping price as much as I was looking for the availability of different color options. Luckily for the dealer, not one local dealer had the color I would have considered leaving for.

This had me thinking...

When a customer is at the dealership and showrooming, where exactly do most consumers go?

- Current dealers website (using it as a tool)?
- Dealers website of the competition (looking for price and inventory)
- Classified website like Cars.com, AutoTrader or CarGurus?

What steps where taken to find or access these websites... (Google) Search? Direct URL? Mobile "check-in" app?

What a CRUCIAL time for the influence of online reviews -- What's your dealers reputation look like via local mobile search?

All these questions... :)

What if we could change the message, CTA or even incentivize the customer based on their location, perhaps while standing in the showroom of the competition and visiting your dealerships mobile website...

"Thanks for visiting ABC mobile website, we see that you're currently at XYZ Dealership - we commend you leave now and come visit us, only 15 minutes down the road. Oh, and here's a small gift for stopping in and test driving the vehicle your most interested in"
- something like that. :)

Maybe you wouldn't even need any type of GEO tracking capabilities for this to be effective. Keep your message or incentive on the mobile VDP only.

Whatcha think Joe?
 

Billfred

Rust & Dust
Oct 20, 2009
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Billfred
What if we could change the message, CTA or even incentivize the customer based on their location, perhaps while standing in the showroom of the competition and visiting your dealerships mobile website...

- something like that. :)

Maybe you wouldn't even need any type of GEO tracking capabilities for this to be effective. Keep your message or incentive on the mobile VDP only.
I'm not Joe, but I suspect you'd need location to really stick it to another dealer...and I don't know about you, but every time a newspaper website pops up on my iPhone with "podunktimes.com would like to access your current location", I decline because I don't see an upside to share it.

Now, how do you convince me there's upside to sharing it without telegraphing it to another dealer?
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
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Joe
Billfred is right where I am. Browser Geo-Awareness requires opt-in and the LAST thing I'll do is let a dealer know where I'm at ;-)