Two years ago we launched Online Shopper℠ with the technology to take the entire car buying experience online, from customizing real-time bank offers to scheduling delivery.
Since then, we’ve been able to analyze over 100,000 users who engaged with Online Shopper℠. We learned a lot from that data, but the biggest takeaway is that digital retailing isn’t what we thought it was — at least not yet — but it still really works.
Here’s what we learned.
LESSON #1: Consumers Want To Finalize In-Store
Right out of the gate in 2016, Online Shopper℠ gave dealers the ability to become their own Carvana® with a complete end-to-end online car buying solution:
- Builds entirely personalized deals in minutes
- Powers instant trade-in estimates with TradePending™ integration
- Recommends multiple real-time finance offers for each shopper
- Empowers shoppers to customize payment options they love
- Supports real-time chats between customers and sales teams
- Enables sales teams to instantly update, progress, approve deals
- Offers dealer accessories, warranties, and F&I products to add on
- Collects 360° trade-in photos with mobile uploader
- Finalizes deals online and schedules delivery or pick-up
Out of those 100,000+ users, 99% of the engagement took place within those first four features. Consumers loved the ability to explore and customize payment options based off their own personalized data — but once they answered that all important “can I afford it?” question, they weren’t necessarily interested in providing their SSN for the credit app and buying online. That last conversation is the one they still want to have with your team.
LESSON #2: Moving Deals Online is a Big Change For Dealers
We also found that the entire concept of digital retailing makes dealers feel like they have to wake up and change their entire business from top to bottom, and build out a whole new team to work online deals, online.
Our data shows that this simply isn’t true. Our dealer partners don’t have time to use a whole other system — and they don’t need to. The more detailed leads from Online Shopper℠ still flow into your CRM just like any other lead, and our clients are getting big results by following up with these online customers through their normal process.
In the first 90 days using Online Shopper℠, our friends over at Toyota of North Miami increased sales by 80% compared to the previous 90 days.
LESSON 3: It’s Generating A Lot of Leads
Giving consumers a personalized, customizable shopping experience with Online Shopper℠ is doubling and tripling leads when we put it in on our dealers’ websites.
And these aren’t regular leads. They’re more detailed, they’re higher intent, they’re faster to close — because your customer is choosing the exact VIN they want, they’re telling you the exact monthly payment they want, they’re filling out the whole deal for you. These kind of leads are just like the referrals you would get from friends and family. When they walk onto the lot, all the details — and that trust — is already there. They’re ready to close.
Digital retailing really is that simple. It’s not futuristic, it’s a friend-of-a-friend referral.
So We’re Making it Automatic.
The entire industry (including us!) has been overcomplicating digital retailing. It’s not about buying online, and it’s not about changing process. It’s just about giving your website visitors the power to shop at their convenience, and then showing the consumer that the information they customized and worked on online is still true and accurate in-store — that their time was saved, and spent well.
Recognizing that there’s no need to over complicate digital retailing for dealers or consumers, we’ve re-engineered Online Shopper℠ to be lighter, faster and simpler. Setting up Online Shopper℠ is now as easy as flipping a switch. It gets installed on your website within 24 hours, and it’s ready to start increasing the amount of leads your website generates — no training required.
We also removed the Online Shopper℠ dashboard, so there’s no other system for you to log in to. Online Shopper℠ simply captures the users information while they select their vehicle and payment options, and then sends all those details directly to your CRM enabling your team to follow up with these high-intent leads.
That’s it. Digital retailing does not need to change your business. It just brings you way more leads, and way better leads, starting tomorrow.