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Analysis: What does the digital future of car sales look like?

To properly say goodbye to the hard selling and haggling, you need to change the name. “Even the word ‘dealership’ tells you a deal is about to take place,” says Matthew Warrener, founder of auto-retailer Auto Atai. “It tells you how to act.”

Instead, merchants are being renamed stores, but to achieve that name change they have to think like stores too, argues Warrener. He paints a pretty grim picture of the average showroom, with its hard tile floors, understaffed parts desk, sad little “shop” with branded mugs and the eager sales force on the customer side within the prescribed time frame of 63 seconds so they don’t escape.

Instead, dealerships should act more like stores, and especially Apple stores. “You need this department store model that customers can just walk in and browse,” says Warrener. “Service departments have to be seen like Apple Genius Bars. They solve problems, they know their way around, they create super fans. “You choose software updates that make your car better, but if you ask for them, they’ll tell you about paid upgrades.

Instead of the dealer tying you up at the end of a sales funnel, business becomes “just another touch point,” says Francois de Bodinat, chief product officer of ZeroLight, a UK software company that is redesigning automaker websites and configurators to make them more user-friendly -friendly. “The idea is to say that the customer is free to decide. You have the freedom to start at the retailer or online or on Facebook or wherever, ”he adds.


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