Transparent Digital Retail is a Win for Dealerships and Customers

Consumer apprehension toward car dealerships likely goes way back to the first sale at a dealer. It’s no surprise that people joke that they would rather go to the dentist than the dealership.

Salespeople in any industry are met with a touch of skepticism by consumers. For auto salespeople, however, this skepticism has evolved into an unproductive lack of trust. Salespeople carry this negative connotation as pushy, duplicitous, and selfish because, unfortunately, consumers interact with them while trying to make the most favorable purchase possible. Movies and television reinforce the pushy auto salesperson stereotype as well.

According to the 2016 Dealership Action Report (DAR) by DealerSocket, distrust toward salespeople is the No. 1 reason why customers dislike the sales process. Additionally, a study by (formerly Beepi) states that 61 percent of customers surveyed felt like they were taken advantage of at some point at the dealership.

Dealers can influence and eradicate the negative perception of salespeople and dealerships. They must make a concentrated effort toward being transparent by putting confidence (the decision) back in the customer’s hands.

Dealerships are no different than any other sales-oriented business. The fundamentals of customer service apply. Fortunately, technology can make it easier.

The right digital retail tools improve cost transparency and are key to improving the dealership experience and regaining customer trust.

Transparent Digital Retail Puts Trust Back in the Sale

Digital retail tools have been around for years. Unfortunately, many have unintentionally worsened transparency at the dealership, eroding trust — cost inaccuracies and pooled, generalized data being the biggest culprits. As digital retail stands, customers can receive a rough estimate of costs, but they often are surprised by the actual cost after the taxes, fees, and service agreements are tacked on in the store.

Advanced digital retail tools, such as DealerSocket’s Precise Price, feature greater accuracy and transparency, allowing customers to see the exact cost of a vehicle — without surprises — during a simple visit to the dealership website. Precise Price presents a seamless, transparent cost calculation that benefits both customer and dealer.

Transparent digital retailing tools allow the customer to:

  • Structure an accurate deal online, including the dealership’s exact taxes, fees, add-ons, and incentives
  • Easily understand “added” or “hidden” costs, no surprises
  • Take advantage of quicker negotiation times at the store by automatically teeing up deal structure at the dealership via CRM integration
  • Navigate a unique web experience that conforms to the layout and branding of the dealership website
  • Enjoy a seamless and simple online-to-store experience
Digital retail tools also benefit the dealership, allowing it to:
  • Set the value of trade-ins and accurately price inventory
  • Automatically receive customer information, preferences, and cost structure (not just glorified leads) via CRM integration
  • Improve the desking process by aligning customer and dealer expectations
  • Deter customers from shopping around a pool of competitive data and pricing like some third-party apps
  • Help win the sale by providing current incentive offers online during price structuring
Many third-party digital retail tools do not offer the branded, accurate data and/or seamless CRM integration along with the other benefits mentioned above. Only DealerSocket's Precise Price offers a truly integrated, timesaving, mutually beneficial digital retail experience.

The advantages of a digital retail tool is a win-win for dealers and customers alike, opening the door of trust with cost transparency and improving the digital-to-store experience. It’s not just a stepping-stone toward full online vehicle purchasing, digital retail is the right choice to begin improving transparency, cultivating trust, and reversing the negative perception of the sales process.

To learn more about Precise Price, DealerSocket’s fully integrated digital retail tool, visit

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