A Tin Hat Opinion

I hate digital retailing (Part 2)

Written by Alex Snyder

Written on May 28, 2020

For Part Two (part one here), we must first acknowledge that car shoppers are irrational and emotional. More often than not, we make purchase decisions based on what looks good and feels cool instead of choosing vehicles with adequate comfort, decent gas mileage, and the lowest price tag. Further, we need to recognize that the current offerings for car dealership digital retailing tools do not account for human emotions. There is no opportunity to react or adjust our approach when a second pass is warranted. This leads to astronomical abandonment rates, and overall failure of the digital retail experience.

Enter my sales pitch.

At FRIKINtech, our mission is to remove the friction between customers and car dealers.  It’s right there in our name; FRIKINtech is short for FRIKTIONLESS technologies. Our concern for the dealer’s experience is unique among digital retail efforts. Typically, the tools have only focused on the customer interface and entirely neglected the dealer’s process in the store.

Simply put, the car dealer must control the deal in order to make a profitable sale.  Maintaining control while offering the illusion of transparency is a sticky wicket, but it’s not insurmountable. When car dealers focus their customer’s attention on monthly payment options, instead of price, it’s a win-win.  Monthly budgeting is a more comfortable way for customers to consider vehicle purchase options. For dealers, flexibility is achieved by considering all available finance programs instead of lowering the price.  See? Win-win.

For maximum payment option flexibility, dealers must have access to ALL AVAILABLE LENDERS PROGRAMS. That’s the secret sauce to success with illumiQUOTE. Instead of focusing solely on captive lenders or a combination of one or two credit unions, illumiQUOTE considers ALL LENDERS. In addition, all the rebates, incentives, markups, fees, taxes, and everything else dealers need to construct a profitable deal are literally at their fingertips. On desktop or mobile, every option accurate and accessible, all the time.

Louder for the people in the back: Dealers need ALL the lenders. ALL the programs. ALL the incentives. ALL the information. ALL the time.

But wait, there’s more. Dealers need a way to identify who the customer is when they engage with the digital payment experience (within legal reason). We need to show HOW the customer entered the tool and where (and why) they dropped off. Understanding your customer’s motivations, and monitoring their behavior within the tool, are crucial preliminary components of surmising their emotions. Their Digital Body Language.

I was lucky to have Win Hunter as my first GSM. He didn’t say “there’s an up, go get ’em” on my first day. He made me sit in his glass office that overlooked the entire lot (it was the best manager office in the company) and watch all the body language happening between customers and sales people for a whole week. He explained the differences in arm positioning and making eye contact. It was one of the most valuable weeks of my life.

Typical digital retailing deprives car dealers of these vital communication insights. But it doesn’t have to. Customers click on things that, when monitored, reveal deep insights about their psyche. It could be argued that the things they click on are more telling than folded arms or eye contact avoidance. When someone repeatedly clicks on the $3,000 down payment option but later submits a request with $0 down, every seasoned car professional knows what’s going on. And what about those people who play with payment options on multiple cars, but submit an ePrice form?

When your online retailing tool (notice I didn’t say digital retail tool) can show you how the customer interacted with your first pass you gain one hell of an advantage! You get to be you – a FRIKIN car dealer!

I hate traditional digital retailing because it strips car dealers of our identities. With illumiQUOTE, we empower car dealers to find creative paths toward profitable and frictionless car deals – online and in your showroom.

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