As shoppers seek more and more information before transacting on a vehicle, it is no wonder that they are inquisitive, not just about the price, but about the deal. Dealers have long displayed a price, but rarely do they justify it with data.
Edmunds has been offering their assessment of “True Market Value” for more than a decade. CarsDirect and, later, TrueCar built their business around, not just sharing the price, but analyzing the price. CarGurus ranks the quality of your online price against competitive vehicles in the area and CarStory Market Reports have been confirming the legitimacy of the deal with a higher level of data insights for a couple of years now.
The survival and now success of these corporations prove that more is better when it comes to building trust with pricing data.
Now Cars.com is in on the mix. With their recently released pricing comparisons and deal badging on your inventory listings, there is one more automotive marketplace helping shoppers determine the quality of your online price. You may not realize it, but this is a good thing. The newest data suggests consumers in the car shopping phase spend roughly 60% of their time on automotive resource sites, and yet they are still surfing across a multitude of different sites, because one site doesn’t have all the information they seek.
They search vehicle reviews on reputable sites. They seek out consumer reviews in online forums. They ask around to ensure they’re choosing the right vehicle, they scour dealership ratings to do business with the right dealership and are going so far as to select their salesperson in advance of a store visit. It is only natural that the price of the product needs to be justified. They’re using all the info the Internet has to offer as a means to prepare themselves for a purchase (that fits their budget and their lifestyle). They’ve always asked “what’s the best deal?” Now they have the data to answer it. As dealers, you must embrace this.
As leads, calls, and walk-in customers flow into your store from these sites, are you using the data they’ve provided your clients to your benefit? Your team must reply back with validation of their data. You can’t say “that’s not really correct” when confronted with this information because they carry more trust in these sites than they do you at this point. You haven’t earned their trust enough to scowl at that pricing data. Instead, you need to re-confirm it. Your research and subsequent replies must include this information back to them, even if it may be redundant. Let the shopper know you’re on the same page with them regarding the professional reviews your vehicles have garnered. Make sure they’ve seen your dealer ratings. And by all means use these sites as well to justify your pricing. This will help streamline the in-store negotiation time and hopefully deliver a less antagonizing experience for every car buyer.
Just because it is online information doesn’t mean it works against you. Leverage it to your advantage. By showing you’re in-line with the online data, you’ll earn their trust and their business.