How far will you take transparency?

11 februari 2018, Paul

Does the customer want real transparency or not?

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Last week, Autoscout24 launched the price comparator. An instrument that examines how the price relates to the competition for every car and adheres to a qualification. This qualification can range from a Top Offer to No Data. However, is this the right way to offer transparency to the customer? After all, isn’t it true that each used car is so unique that it simply cannot be explained in an ‘excel’?

What qualifications do you have?

The qualifications that Scout uses are the following:

  • Top offer
  • Good offer
  • Favorable offer
  • Expensive
  • Too Expensive
  • No data

Is this really what customers want? In all the studies it shows that it is. Customers who go online, and so almost all customers, want more information, more data, more of everything. The best performing website in the US, Cargurus.com, has been very successful in introducing this. Our sister company Mobile.de (also from eBay) recently started in Germany. You will then rightly have a discussion about the balance between what you want to do for your customers, visitors, and for the other paying customer: the car company. The past few days I am overloaded with emails from car companies that are not happy in the way transparency is now explained.

Expensive?

After all, definitions such as ‘expensive’, ‘too expensive’ and ‘no data’ are negative for the provider, whichever you think of it, the customer will simply take less notice of it. You give transparency in advance. It can therefore happen that when a car that is new, and the manufacturer has determined the price, the car gets the qualification ‘too expensive’. This is obviously deadly for the conversion. With used cars I now see examples that cars get the qualification of ‘top offer’ while a dealer-maintained, officially imported car, with the same mileage has the qualification as ‘too expensive’. Indeed the price is up by 1000 euros, but justifiable. However, you take away any chance of a dialogue with an interested person. After all, the search results page has to sell the next click to your product page. That is where the conversion takes place (call or online lead). I will certainly check the statistics of a number of car companies that I supervise to see if these cars get fewer VDP pages indeed, or fewer leads (call and online), of which I now have the assumption.

Execution

The way Autoscout now handles this is not in the interest of the car company, the paying customer and now also not the consumer. The qualification has to be correct. A new car cannot be ‘too expensive’, at least that is not the job of a car portal. On the other hand, car companies must also understand that their customer, the buyer of a used car, demands transparency. This is what the customer demands of the provider, but also of the website that shows the offer. This is a balance and everything is in the execution of showing that transparency. The customer, and by that I mean the individual, must be properly served by both parties in the hunger for more and more accurate data. I like to talk to a number of car companies about how you can give more transparency to the customer, where you also consider the interests of the car company.

Orginal article

About Paul de Vries

Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marktplaats) after selling Nieuweautokopen.nl to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW Academy and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ is Paul’s new book, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at: DCDW.nl.