In Depth: Hyundai Express Shopping

I guess that I have become one of those people who expects to do everything online. I buy everything from clothes to food online. Thus why shouldn’t I be able to buy my car online?

We’re not there yet. But Hyundai Canada is in the neighborhood of being able to buy a car online as they’re introduced a concept called Express Shopping. By going to Hyundai Canada’s website, a customer who wants a new Hyundai vehicle can:

  • Build and price the car of their choice right on the website
  • Request a trade-in appraisal from their local Hyundai dealership
  • Apply for credit approval for financing or leasing
  • Schedule an appointment at the dealership of their choosing.
  • Customers will receive a final price in their digital shopping cart so they know exactly what they will pay for their new vehicle before visiting a dealership.
  • Accurate inventory will be available.

Now let me focus on these six items. Seeing as from experience I already research and compare cars on line, once I’ve made my decision I can expedite the process of getting that car. On top of that, the fact that I can schedule an appointment at the dealership of my choice is pretty cool as it makes the whole process of buying a car go a whole lot faster.

There’s a second update coming later in 2018 that will allow the customer and dealership to agree on a price before the customer visits the dealership. That minimizes the one thing that I hate most about the car buying process which is the negotiation process. It can be stressful and anything that can be done to make that process less stressful would be welcome.

I had a quick word with Lawrence Hamilton who is the Director of Marketing for Hyundai Canada about the thinking behind this effort and how it’s been received in the marketplace.

The IT Nerd: What sort of thinking went into this based on customer needs?

Lawrence Hamilton: Hyundai Express Shopping was first launched in mid-June 2017, accessible through our corporate website. We know consumers are already going beyond traditional brick-and-mortar stores and are researching more goods and services online, and this includes cars. We wanted to bring more of the vehicle shopping experience online to help customers save time and offer them more convenience.

What we announced on February 15th, is that we’re now going to be providing this digital platform to dealerships across the country so they can use it on their websites. In doing this, we are offering dealerships the capacity to service their customers in a more modern way, and enabling them to become omni-channel businesses with this online portal.

Hyundai Express Shopping aims to make the buying experience more transparent so customers will know exactly what they’ll pay for their chosen vehicle even before going into their local dealership. It also makes the sales person’s job easier as the paperwork is complete and they can focus more attention to educating customers on the benefits of the Hyundai vehicle.

Hyundai Shopping Express does not replace the dealership sales model, because customers will still visit their local dealership to test drive their chosen vehicle, and to sign the contract — at which point they would arrange for delivery and pick up of the vehicle. It really enhances the dealership model.

 

The IT Nerd: What has the reaction in the marketplace been?

Lawrence Hamilton: We’ve heard far more from dealers that are interested and excited by the prospect of having Hyundai Express integrated into their websites. More and more, businesses in the consumer goods sector are recognizing how much the consumer shopping experience is taking place online and it’s time for the automotive industry to embrace this trend. We already have dealers in various stages of enhancing their capacity for online communication with their customers, Hyundai Express will accelerate that natural development and create a universal set of capabilities for dealers nation-wide.

The Hyundai Express Shopping platform is modular, so customers can use as much (or as little) of it as they like. We believe that with Hyundai Express Shopping, the buying experience can be much more streamlined, transparent and pleasant for both the dealer and the customer.

Regarding rollout, we currently have 217 dealerships in Canada. This spring, we will pilot Hyundai Express Shopping with approximately 10 per cent of our dealer network across the country before expanding it nationally later this year.

 

When it comes to the car buying experience, it goes beyond horsepower, fuel economy and how close the dealership is to your house when you need service. It is also about the ease of actually buying the car. An initiative like Express Shopping is something that is really going to tip the scales in favor of Hyundai Canada because car buyers like me who leverage online tools for anything and everything will really appreciate what Hyundai Canada is serving up to car buyers. Not to mention those who just want an easier car buying experience when it comes to their next vehicle.

 

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