Mark Vallée’s Interview – SHOWROOM 360: a revolution of the customer journey.

mark-vallee-original
Mark Vallée
Senior Vice-President
Business Development
Showroom-Logo-150px
Showroom 360 is a revolution
in the way people buy cars.
Showroom-Logo-150px
Showroom 360 is a revolution in the way people buy cars.

These days, some people associate SHOWROOM 360 with digital retailing which is probably the biggest mistake right now because this is not about selling a car online.

Let’s say that you have a huge building to sell cars. Of course, your objective is to sell cars, but why do you have a coffee stand in your dealership? Why offer your customers a waiting room with a TV and some magazines? Why do you do that? In fact, you just want people to feel comfortable. You want to sell cars, but you also want your customers to experience the atmosphere. It is the exact same thing we want to provide online.

Showroom 360 is a revolution in the way people buy cars, but it is even more a revolution on the customer journey, more precisely when your customers will visit your website.

These days, some people associate SHOWROOM 360 with digital retailing which is probably the biggest mistake right now because this is not about selling a car online.

Let’s say that you have a huge building to sell cars. Of course, your objective is to sell cars, but why do you have a coffee stand in your dealership? Why offer your customers a waiting room with a TV and some magazines? Why do you do that? In fact, you just want people to feel comfortable. You want to sell cars, but you also want your customers to experience the atmosphere. It is the exact same thing we want to provide online.

SHOWROOM 360 is a revolution in the way people buy cars, but it is even more a revolution on the customer journey, more precisely when your customers will visit your website.

"SHOWROOM 360 gives transparency to the client."
"SHOWROOM 360 gives transparency to the client."

We know that all the sales representatives have had a bad reputation over the years because they were hiding costs, fees and administration fees. On the other hand, SHOWROOM 360 is allowing dealerships to show transparency to their customers.
Let’s illustrate that through an example. When you buy something on Amazon, you know how much freight it will cost, the price of the item, etc. So you know everything about your purchase. Therefore, when you click on “buy”, you know it’s going to cost you $38.74 cents.
When you want to buy a car today and you start shopping for it, nobody is going to tell you exactly how much it will cost to you every month. With SHOWROOM 360, our customers can now go online, look at a vehicle and start their buying process. They can save vehicles in their “garage” section so they can compare different vehicles and trims among them. It may be a Cruze LS and a Cruze LT that the customer wants to compare.

We need to keep in mind that most people are on a monthly or weekly budget. Today, some dealerships are just displaying the MSRP on their website. Knowing there’s only 2-5% of people that will come in to a dealership to buy cash or know right away that the vehicle will cost them $37,584. We wonder why everything online only provides the MSRP. It doesn’t make sense.

“Switch from virtual to physical, or from physical to virtual.”
“Switch from virtual to physical, or from physical to virtual.”

What we want is to remove the difference between online and offline so that the experience becomes the same. Customers can go online, start shopping, find the car they want, apply for financing, and from there, have all the finance, insurance and warranties they need.

When you buy a vehicle, you spend a few hours in the dealership, you test drive the vehicle and spend some time with the sales representative. You then need to apply for financing which will last another hour. In the end, you will probably spend four hours in a dealership on the same evening.

Dealers want to cover all angles and upsell what they have to sell, but for the consumer it is unpleasant. What we wanted to do is to find a way where consumers can say “Hey, you know what, can I save my quote? I will drive back home, sit with my wife and review it, maybe change some things, do some research online and finally drive back to the dealership to do the test drive.” We wanted to remove that online-offline experience. We wanted to combine the two. In fact, it is the same today.

"With SHOWROOM 360, we want to remove that online/offline experience: we wanted to combine the two.”
"With SHOWROOM 360, we want to remove that online/offline experience: we wanted to combine the two.”

Everyone has heard about a certain type of retailing where people shop online, go to the store to try some clothes and then buy them there, or they order the item online for it to be shipped the next day. One of the biggest success right now in Montreal is Ssense which is a super high end clothing store. All they have done is open a store where customers can just come and try the sizes of the clothes and then go back home to make their purchase online. We have to adapt to the industry.

"SHOWROOM 360 helps dealers to keep their market share."
"SHOWROOM 360 helps dealers to keep their market share."

And at the same time, we are trying to revolutionize the customer experience. The OEMs, the manufacturers are trying to sell directly online. We already have that with Genesis, Hyundai and also with Tesla and all the new OEMs that are trying to sell directly to consumers.

As a retailer, the car dealerships have to make sure that they keep their market share because they are the only ones that have something to lose right now. Here, we talk about their right to sell directly to the consumer. Remember that Amazon and eBay want to sell cars online. There is also all the other new OEMs that are trying to sell directly online.

SHOWROOM 360 helps dealers to sell more cars

Let’s find a way to keep the dealerships in the mix. That’s what SHOWROOM 360 is doing by offering a better experience to consumers. It’s a revolution for them, but also for the car dealers. We need to step up to make sure that the dealers stay in the mix over the next few years. SHOWROOM 360 will help them stay in the mix. SHOWROOM 360 will put transparency in your transactions, and your SHOWROOM 360 will definitely help you sell more cars.

41 %
of your clients are ready to buy online*.
41 %
of your clients are ready to buy online*.
Want to stand out from your competitors and increase your sales? Offer your customers the opportunity to buy a new or pre-owned vehicle from A to Z and 100 percent online and start generating results.
Want to stand out from your competitors and increase your sales? Offer your customers the opportunity to buy a new or pre-owned vehicle from A to Z and 100 percent online and start generating results.
*The 2017 Think Auto Google report reveals that 41% of new vehicle owners in 2016 would have bought their vehicle online if the option was available. (2017 Think Auto Report)

Sandra Blondeau

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