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Question on Digital Retailing.. Could displaying payments on your website scare off customers?

Could displaying payments on your website scare off customers?


  • Total voters
    14

mikesayre

Refresher
Jul 11, 2009
110
89
28
First Name
Mike
Example: Interested shopper looking at a vehicle online, wants a $450 payment, but sees $550 on your website, is appalled.. leaves, never comes back.

This is a big concern for some dealers. The argument being why display payments and risk losing a sale when you don't have to?

If the vehicle is competitively priced online, the customer will be happy enough to contact or walk-in.

If the payment, rate, or lease options are not what they want, you will be at risk of them not pursuing a purchase, never contacting.

What do you think?




I have this posted on linkedin if you'd like to view discussion there too:
 

Brittany

Getting Refreshed
Jun 25, 2019
53
42
18
First Name
Brittany
Just a thought, but how many people are "scared away" because of the lack of pricing?

There's just too many people who want to do all of their own research, who want to make decisions without an influencer (such as a sales person), and too many options for customers to pick from to settle for having to visit in person anymore. You might scare away a person or two because of the pricing, but how many people are giving up on your dealership because of the lack of pricing? Or, how many people are trying to find pricing options via various Google searches and walk into your dealership thinking something wrong?

I don't know if providing prices is the answer, but I think you have to see the entire picture while trying to think about this.
 

mikesayre

Refresher
Jul 11, 2009
110
89
28
First Name
Mike
Just a thought, but how many people are "scared away" because of the lack of pricing?
Good point. I would think some shoppers are scared away. It would also depend if every other dealer in your market is pricing new inventory and you aren't, I don't think that's optimal.

I know for me with online shopping, if I don't see a price or get a weird vibe about trying to get helpful information my red flag trigger goes off and I find another product.
 

john.quinn

Sr. Refresher
Dec 2, 2009
988
602
93
First Name
John
Hmmm... is it better to Scare the customers, or Piss them Off?

If the $450 scares them away, then what happens when they think the payment is $299 and it is actually $450 after tax and tags (and without to small-print down payment?).

I think the real question is: is "REAL" scary? It IS! These friggin cars are expensive!

To be sure, I would NEVER lock-in to one payment. Maybe the unit is $450 for 60 months, but $395 for 72? Or even better... $425 for 66? Customer probably didn't even know he/she could do 66 months...

And if my $450 looks like alot, it makes that $349 Lease presented right next to it look aaaawwwwfffuuuulllly interesting. :)

Don't make it about the PAYMENT. Make it about the payment OPTIONS. You'll talk to a lot more people!
 

mikesayre

Refresher
Jul 11, 2009
110
89
28
First Name
Mike
If the $450 scares them away, then what happens when they think the payment is $299 and it is actually $450 after tax and tags (and without to small-print down payment?).
Don't make it about the PAYMENT. Make it about the payment OPTIONS. You'll talk to a lot more people!
Yes agree, more options are better!
The fear is losing or reducing conversions by displaying any payment option or tool on the website.
If 3 competing dealers around you have payments but you only have price, all being equally competitive, does it help, hurt, or matter at all?
 
Reactions: Marc Lavoie

Marc Lavoie

Refresher
Jan 3, 2019
125
72
28
First Name
Marc
Just a thought, but how many people are "scared away" because of the lack of pricing?

There's just too many people who want to do all of their own research, who want to make decisions without an influencer (such as a sales person), and too many options for customers to pick from to settle for having to visit in person anymore. You might scare away a person or two because of the pricing, but how many people are giving up on your dealership because of the lack of pricing? Or, how many people are trying to find pricing options via various Google searches and walk into your dealership thinking something wrong?

I don't know if providing prices is the answer, but I think you have to see the entire picture while trying to think about this.

I've been part of teams & strategies pulling up to 8 X leads (qualified yes) on keeping some information vs online, detailed pricing.

If you tell me scare 1 away, get 8, I'm all in!

Sure the occasional customer might be offended, but if you really want to be transparent, your pricing structure might as well show 300 different scenarios per car (not even enough), because every car/customer/financial situation is different. The price you're showing is never what they're going to pay.

As far as information, most people already visited the OEM site so why would you do the exact same tactic, when they didn't convert over there.

Why give the wrong information for customers when we already know this is how it works? Because we ....can?

Build a bridge first, then serve your customer, not the opposite.


Still skeptical? Play a game, find two transactions at the same price in a year. I won't hold my breath :P
 
Reactions: mikesayre

Tallcool1

Sr. Refresher
Mar 17, 2014
331
195
43
First Name
Clint
I have very mixed feelings about this. We have a Payment Calculator on our website. The challenge is that the customer doesn't understand how to us it, and why would they? So we get inquiries or even dealership visitors that have calculated a $200 payment on our website, and the actual calculation ends up being double because of Credit, Term, Vehicle Age, or any number of other variables. We get a shopper, but unless the individual is very flexible...we may not end up with a sale.

Yes, you will scare some customers away. You may not sell them anyway.

I believe giving the customer all of the information reduces lead count, but increases lead quality. It is a balancing act and comes down to the culture of your store.
 

Marc Lavoie

Refresher
Jan 3, 2019
125
72
28
First Name
Marc
I have very mixed feelings about this. We have a Payment Calculator on our website. The challenge is that the customer doesn't understand how to us it, and why would they? So we get inquiries or even dealership visitors that have calculated a $200 payment on our website, and the actual calculation ends up being double because of Credit, Term, Vehicle Age, or any number of other variables. We get a shopper, but unless the individual is very flexible...we may not end up with a sale.

Yes, you will scare some customers away. You may not sell them anyway.

I believe giving the customer all of the information reduces lead count, but increases lead quality. It is a balancing act and comes down to the culture of your store.
Great point, you might scare them away PLUS they leave with the wrong information... And you have nothing, no leverage, no contact information. Very dangerous!
 
Reactions: Tallcool1

Brittany

Getting Refreshed
Jun 25, 2019
53
42
18
First Name
Brittany
@Marc Lavoie I don't think it will ever be about exact payments. If you're going to include payment options, you're going to have to make it very clear that these are estimates, and not exact payments.

I think the bigger point is that people can get an idea, and not only that, but you're not looking like you're hiding anything from them.

There's plenty of financing estimates in other industries as well. I'm shopping for houses, and both the Zillow and Trulia app ask about my credit score so that I can get an estimated monthly payment from every house I look at. It's estimated, and houses have plenty of other factors that go into payment options, but it gives me an estimate and a comparable number that I can at least attempt to plan around myself.

I would imagine that thought process is very evident given the increasing importance of the internet.
 
Reactions: mikesayre

Marc Lavoie

Refresher
Jan 3, 2019
125
72
28
First Name
Marc
@Marc Lavoie I don't think it will ever be about exact payments. If you're going to include payment options, you're going to have to make it very clear that these are estimates, and not exact payments.

I think the bigger point is that people can get an idea, and not only that, but you're not looking like you're hiding anything from them.

There's plenty of financing estimates in other industries as well. I'm shopping for houses, and both the Zillow and Trulia app ask about my credit score so that I can get an estimated monthly payment from every house I look at. It's estimated, and houses have plenty of other factors that go into payment options, but it gives me an estimate and a comparable number that I can at least attempt to plan around myself.

I would imagine that thought process is very evident given the increasing importance of the internet.
MSRP has to be displayed for sure, and maybe a "from $XX per week" is great, but as far as handing out a calculator, with flexible APR rates & everything, I think this is bad especially for the customer.
 
Reactions: mikesayre