In some recent studies, both Ford and Lincoln websites haven’t fared terribly well compared to the competition, ranking below their respective industry averages in that regard. However, the same can also be said for automotive websites in general, as J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Automotive Finance Digital Experience Study recently found that most shoppers are unsatisfied with auto finance websites and apps used to manage auto loans and leases in general. As it turns out, much of that dissatisfaction may stem from the fact that those same vehicle shoppers want to complete more of the process online, according to Automotive News.
This bit of information stems from a new study conducted by auto finance software provider eLEND Solutions, which polled 350 automotive dealers last July and August. That study found that a whopping 94 percent of retailer stores believe consumers and dealers define transparency differently, and also discovered that 98 percent see “a gap between how dealers want to sell and how buyers want to buy,” according to eLEND Solutions.
“They want to know transparently that, ‘When I come into the dealership, everything that we negotiated online is reality,’ ” said Pete MacInnis, eLEND CEO. “The customer’s mindset is, ‘You give me the final terms of the deal … I’ll come to the store and authenticate the expectation.’ But the dealership approaches the deal as, ‘I’m going to give you enough information to get you to the store … Then I can sell you and I can close you.”
As a result, 93 percent of vehicle shoppers polled in this study said that they want to know what the final sales price of their vehicle and their monthly payments will be before they visit a dealership, though only six percent of dealers say they prefer to give customers those payment estimates prior to meeting with them and obtaining information from lenders, which creates a bit of a problem for both. “So, with lenders as an obstacle, dealers overwhelmingly are finding themselves caught between a rock – customers’ demand for deal transparency – and a hard place – less transparency from lenders,” eLEND wrote.