Until General Motors and eBay announced they had joined forces to allow shoppers to “buy it now,” many of the automotive and RV dealers that Matt Christensen talked with believed that people wouldn’t buy big ticket merchandise, such as a car or RV, online without first touching and feeling it.
Christensen, partner and vice president of sales for Vision Selling Systems, sees mainstream auto and RV dealers beginning to understand that shoppers are approaching the buying process differently today than they did as recently as last year, and they’re beginning to follow in the footsteps of more savvy dealerships who have already turned their websites into lucrative profit centers that keep their sales centers ‘ka-chinging’ round the clock, according to a news release.
Vision Selling Systems and Vision software are products of Resurgence LLC, a privately held company with offices in San Diego and Fresno, Calif. The company specializes in Internet sales for automotive and RV dealers and manufacturers.
“Because buying just about anything on the Internet today is so easy, a shopper’s expectation for making an automotive purchase is usually much greater than what they find on most (automotive) websites,” according to Joyce Dillingham, Christensen’s partner and vice president of marketing for the company. “We designed Vision to give shoppers what they expect — the information that they want and the intelligent, interactive transactional tools that they need to essentially put a new vehicle in their shopping cart and check out.”
Christensen added, “Dealers who view their website as an extension of their sales force know that you can’t tell an internet shopper ‘A salesperson will call or email you.’ That message sends a buyer clicking off to another website without ever looking back. The Vision system invites shoppers to submit their offer to the dealer who can receive it, counter or accept the offer, and return it to the buyer on the same web page within minutes. It’s a real-time, interactive process that gives dealers an unprecedented advantage over their counterparts.”
Since the program was launched in late 2007, dealers have sold over 2,400 vehicles online using the Vision system.
The program will be exhibited at the upcoming Digital Dealers Show Nov. 1-3 in Nashville, Tenn.; the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Oct. 6-9 in Las Vegas; the California RV Show in Pomona, Oct. 16-25 in Pomona, Calif; and the National RV Trade Show, Dec. 1-3 in Louisville, Ky.