Why has our industry not developed more tools to change the “in store” and “on the lot” shopping experience?   As an industry, we have spent two decades converting our advertising from print to digital.  Now, we are well into spending another decade building digital retailing to assist those who want to completely manage their vehicle purchase process online.   While I am an advocate of the focus on these industry wide initiatives, I just wonder if we are undervaluing the opportunity to use technology to serve the many shoppers who still show up at the store?

I think about this stuff quite a bit.  With all of the digital progress and modernization, I still see quite a bit of paper being pushed around at dealerships.  I see shoppers on the lot who are still making choices on make and model, new or used, price point and payment.  I see them fumbling around on their phone trying to scroll through vehicles one at a time on the dealer mobile website. I also see sales associates turning their computer around and awkwardly passing the mouse  to the shopper or ineffectively trying to navigate for the consumer.  I see shoppers browsing lots at night and on Sundays with no assistance and no easy way to get info on their vehicle of interest.  I also see shoppers taking notes on paper or typing stuff in their phone, trying to remember specifics about different vehicles of interest.

At Xcite Automotive, we spend a ton of time on the lots of over 1000 dealers across the country.  We help them merchandise their vehicles by providing them software, people and photo studios to make each vehicle look the best it can online.  We are starting to invest more time in helping dealers serve shoppers at the point of sale.  Our most recent product, Xcode has been designed to help the shoppers once they arrive. 

With Xcode, we assign a unique mobile code to each vehicle and print that code either on an existing vehicle window sticker or a smaller vehicle window sticker. Stickers can be provided to you for application or you can leverage the Xcite Lot services team. Shoppers who are viewing the vehicle window sticker are encouraged to text the Xcode to a provided short code to get more information.  Text provides additional benefits to both the dealer and the shopper vs a standard QR Code

Shopper Benefits of Xcode:

  1. Shoppers are provided a handy link in their text thread to their vehicle(s) of interest.  As they text multiple codes the links stay in their text thread so they can refer back to the vehicles of interest in one place.  
  2. The text links direct to the Vehicle Detail page on the dealers website so they can get more information on that vehicle instantly. 
  3. If an interested shopper leaves the dealership without purchasing, they have an easy way to refer back to that vehicle and engage the dealer through all of those handy engagement tools on the dealer website.
  4. Night time and Sunday have a method to get information without the sales staff present 

Dealer Benefits of Xcode:

  1. Consumer Experience: Dealers win by providing a mobile experience for their on the lot shoppers
  2. Shopper Mobile Phone Number: Yep!  The dealer get the shopper mobile phone number to follow up with the dealer
  3. Affordability: Xcode costs only $99 per month per dealership
  4. Results: The consumer usage of Xcode is truly exciting.  We are adding dealers every week to this product and on average, dealers are receiving about 13 Text requests a month.  Some dealers get over 50 per month.  A six dealer rooftop group leveraging Xcode received 85 Texts request in May of 2021

1 comment

  1. September 30, 2021 at 6:45 pm
    Darren Murphy


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