Today’s eCommerce landscape is so pervasive that a customer can simply click-to-buy any sort of product including buying a car online. From shoes to tools to computers to food, any item you desire is just one click away.

In my click-to-buy case, I purchased a car. The experience of buying a car online via mobile phone has created a cognitive dissonance. The car buying process - arguably the most traditional, ‘American,’ shopping experience - is forever disrupted. 

In today’s eCommerce-dominated world, there’s no longer a need for face-to-face negotiations. Customers can save money, a lot of time, and even stress when they bypass in the in-person buying experience.

The Test Drive

Recently, my wife was looking for a vehicle for her commute needs. She quickly zeroed in on Tesla. So a traditional test-drive led us to a showroom that is run by the company and not a local dealership.

To my shock, the dissonance of the shopping experience began just after the test drive was completed. The Tesla employee simply asked us for our email, and told us he’d be happy to configure the car or send us a link. 

There was no car dealership push, no hard sell, no “close the deal now for a better interest rate” pitch. He even informed us that we could finish configuring the link online and send them an email afterwards.

It was very apparent that their business model is geared for a product-focused sell without any salesperson pressure to sign the paperwork. This is incredibly refreshing.

The Buying A Car Online Experience

A few days later, we decided to configure the link on our own. We did it on our mobile phone, and selected the car options that we preferred to order: driving range, color, base of wheels, autopilot. The entire configuration experience was very smooth. The car price updated as we added and altered options.

The process of buying a car online felt no different than buying custom clothing, or any other customizable item on an eCommerce site. Finally, when it was time to checkout, Tesla charged a booking amount that can be fulfilled through a credit card. 

Once we selected that option, they asked us how we planned to finance the rest of the purchase. Telsa provided choice buttons that included: a cash offer, a lease, and a loan. So we made our financing selection, placed our order, and completed our transaction. It really was that simple! 

With the car order completed, we were told to expect a call from our local Tesla agent to determine the best mode of delivery. We then received a booking/order number, which we forwarded to the person at the car showroom. 

The Shift in Customer Satisfaction

Thanks to Tesla’s product-focused sales process, the role of the car salesperson moved from sales to service.

Our Tesla agent informed us that he’d stay in touch regarding the readiness of the vehicle and would coordinate a delivery or pickup service. True to that promise, the Tesla team asked about financing, worked with our bank, and then readied the entire car for a pickup on a scheduled date.

The best part of all? We never had to discuss or haggle over pricing. We didn’t even have to deal with an internet sales department. Rather, we accomplished all of our purchasing on a mobile phone

We bought our car on a website over a phone - a literal click-to-car - and the entire experience was delightful!

The Future of Online Car Sales

Regardless of your industry, there are lessons to be learned from Tesla’s simple, smooth, and satisfying customer experience.

Their digital approach made the dreaded chore of shopping for a new car fun. My wife and I completed the task from the comfort of our home while on our mobile phone, all while receiving real-time, transparent pricing.

So how can your brand deliver a similar customer experience?

It’s time to assess your company’s digital transformation. What would it take for your business to be click-to-buy, and what pain points can you remove from the process? 

My family’s experience with Tesla has certainly made us vocal fans of their brand. In today’s eCommerce environment, ambassadors are marketing gold. Is your brand developing these relationships?

If not, reach out to the team of experts at Object Edge and learn more about a digital transformation to increase customer satisfaction. 

About the Author

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Sarah Falcon

VP, Marketing Global

Sarah is a nimble and creative marketing leader with 15 years of experience in a mix of agencies, B2B, and B2C enterprises. She brings a background in building and driving impactful marketing practices and processes for growing businesses. Sarah has expertise in brand, content marketing, lead generation, and marketing operations. She’s a co-author of the 2019 book on B2B eCommerce Digital Branch Secrets: eCommerce Playbook for Distributors.

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