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Building the future of auto sales

Why Putting the Customer in the Driver's Seat is Good for Your Business

By 2020, customer experience is predicted to overtake price and product as the key differentiator between brands. Companies like Amazon and Zappos continue to raise the bar by delivering better checkout, faster delivery, and greater convenience for customers. 

As a result of this focus, customers have more control than ever. They choose what content they see on social media and in marketing emails. They have on-demand access to TV shows, radio, and other media. They can even control when they receive online orders and grocery delivery.

Traditionally, dealerships have completely controlled the car-buying process, and customers have, in many respects, simply been along for the ride. This method is becoming less and less effective in the changing market. Dale Pollak, Executive Vice President at Cox Automotive and Founder of vAuto, said:

“The world today is very consumer-centric in that consumers have access to control. If they can’t have it, they’re not interested.”

He recommends that dealerships adopt a customer-centric mentality to ensure their future success. Newcomers to the automotive industry, like Carvana and Vroom, are winning over customers by giving them more control. How can traditional dealerships win customers back? Put them in the driver’s seat.

At first, this may sound a little scary. Dealerships have tons of experience and expertise, so in many ways it makes sense that they’ve lead the car-buying process in the past. But the market is rapidly shifting. Consumers now spend hours online researching vehicles and learning the car-buying process inside and out. They’re more informed and they want dealerships to provide more transparency.

You may be worried profitability will suffer if you offer customers more control and transparency. Won’t customers always want the lowest price, no matter what? Not at all. Studies show that 86% will pay more for a better experience. In fact, providing realistic payments and pricing online increases total gross-profit per car by $785.

Give customers more control by letting them order their next car on your website. When you put customers in the driver’s seat, you’ll earn their trust, and they’ll be more likely to add F&I upgrades and become loyal customers. Many of the dealerships we partner with have increased PVR by $500-$700 with online orders. So, go ahead. Put your customers in the driver’s seat. They’ll be more satisfied, and it’s better for your bottom line.

Want to learn more? Download your free ebook, Let Customers Couch Their Own Deals.

Let Customers Couch Their Own Deals

Drive Motors offers seamless ecommerce for dealerships. To learn more about how we can help your dealership become an online shopping destination, request your demo here.

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About Author

Matt Weinberg
Matt Weinberg

Matt Weinberg is the SVP of Consumer Experience at Drive Motors. With 20 years of leadership experience in the automotive industry, he has consulted for more than 100 dealer groups on internet sales processes and ecommerce and is a trusted advisor for Wards Auto Top 10 dealer groups, including Lithia, Asbury, and Hendrick.