In my travels there’s always lots of conversation about where the business is heading and what should be done to get ahead of the curve. In most cases, the conversation will revolve around conventional selling vs. a more non-conventional way, such as more of the selling process being done online.
Most dealers have come to realize the majority of their customers are doing online research, but many dealers haven’t come to the realization that the consumer wants to do as much of the purchase as possible online.
We could debate this, but I believe Carvana has set the tone for online buying and the likes of CarMax, AutoNation and other big players are following their lead. Today’s buyers, and I’m not just talking the Millennials, want to spend less and less time with you jacking around about a price and a bunch of paperwork.
The consumer of today is all about their time, and it being convenient for them. If there’s one bit of inconvenience within your selling process you are either going to lose the deal or for sure you’re going to lose gross.
You may not be ready to accept this, but more time with the customer does not equal a sale and more gross. Does anyone remember the days of wearing the customer down with 2 or 3 TOs until they finally said yes? Rock star, those days are coming to a close.
Sure, there’s someone reading this thinking it still works great at my store. Good luck with that over the next five years.
Take a look at the below screenshot from a recent Facebook post. All the person posted was “Car shopping is fatiguing.” Here’s the first three recommendations from friends: CarMax, Tesla, Carvana.
Do you not see the trend here?
1. They are making it convenient.
2. Purchase can be consummated online.
3. They don’t negotiate.
We can agree that without promoting it to the public, more and more dealers are being forced into one-price selling. You can’t post great prices on the Internet and give much of a discount when they show up.
I think we can also agree that most dealers haven’t made the switch to more of the transaction happening online.
I’m going to quote a friend of mine who purchased a car from Carvana. “I found the car I liked. Did the paperwork online and the car showed up at my front door. I had to sign two more pieces of paper when they got here, and I was done. Loved it!”
Are you ready? That’s all I’m gonna ask, Tommy Gibbs