It's no secret that the internet has changed how consumers research, shop for, and buy products. Our industry is no exception, as shoppers are more informed than ever before about the vehicles they want to purchase.
This has driven down the average amount of dealerships shoppers visit, but has also changed some of their expectations about how the buying process should go.
Shoppers have become accustomed to going online, finding the lowest-priced seller for a product they want, and placing an order right then and there. A common desire we hear from consumers is that they want more "transparency in pricing from dealers," or that they want to know how much their car is going to cost before they come in to the dealership.
With third-party sites such as KBB and TrueCar, shoppers can find the average price of a new vehicle in seconds.
As a result, many shoppers think that dealers are withholding information or trying to "trap" them into coming into the showroom if their prices are not found easily on their website.
However, it is not always in a dealer's best interest to have their prices displayed for their entire new inventory. For example, this makes it easier for your competition to know your exact price point and leverage it against you.
So how can you protect your best interests and also satisfy a customer's desire for transparency?
One solution is to use third-party pricing sites to your advantage by citing them as your price point: "You already know what the prices are, we will be at market value or maybe even below."
By changing your messaging and communications in this way, you protect yourself from your competition using your prices against you while also satisfying shopper's demand for more information.