In the Covid19-ravaged business environment, car dealers are suffering particularly hard, as sales of both new and used vehicles have been reduced to practically zero, so anything that can help car dealers in these extremely difficult trading conditions is to be warmly welcomed. Step forward appraisee’s ‘Price My Car’ app and website widget, a very useful tool that allows dealership staff and prospective customers alike to quickly and reliably assess the up to date market value of any UK or Irish-registered car.
appraisee is the brainchild of Galway native and entrepreneur, Colm Murphy, who established his start up in 2017. With a background in financial services software, Murphy developed the Price My Car (PMC) product following a extensive experience working within the car rental and leasing tech industry.
“With my expertise and experience of the car buying and financing arena, I saw that there were outdated paper processes that could and should be brought online, immediately improving the efficiency and profitability of the car buying process”, said Murphy. “For the consumer, so much of that process has moved online, so developing the PMC solution was a logical step that benefits both the consumer and the car dealer, streamlining the whole process for all parties”.
The current Covid-19 epidemic has had a seismic effect on the industry and has propelled the need for every retailer and independent to re-evaluate their online business model. This is particularly true in relation to ensuring that they can provide reliable part-exchange valuations for both the benefit of Dealer staff and consumers alike.
Research by Google has shown that 92 per cent of Irish consumers who are interested in buying a new car begin their search / research online, spending on average 14 hours online over 1.3 months before they visit an actual a car dealership.
For the consumer, the benefit of PMC is that, during that online research phase of their car search, they have access to an accurate valuation of their trade in quickly and safely at a time that suits them, giving them a clear picture of their likely budget when looking at prospective new or used car purchases. The ease of use of PMC means that it can all be done online in under two minutes saving the consumer the time and hassle of driving to various locations, paying tolls, finding parking etc.
For the car dealer, PMC speeds up and hugely simplifies how they evaluate trade ins. It removes the need to depend on the traditional paper-based model which in the past has been responsible for issues around accountability and traceability. The PMC app and widget can digitally connect and integrate all elements of the sales cycle for the dealer, including negotiations on price while ensuring an accurate record of the process through all stages.
Users also benefit from the inbuilt Trader Bid function that allows every appraisal to be instantly sent to the trade where traders can return bids on the vehicle. All communications, prices, estimated repair and actual repair costs are recorded in appraisee ensuring: accountability, traceability and an audit trail on every appraisal – all secure in the cloud. The ‘Trader bid’ feature has been shown to cut the communication time by 80 per cent.
“appraisee’s Price My Car solution provides immediate access to all the key data points about a vehicle and ensures the salesperson can identify the margin potential before a price is agreed on,” Murphy added. “With retailers making approximately 1.5 per cent net margin on a new car sale, maximising profits on part-exchanges is critical to a business’s profitability. Undervaluing and miscalculating the condition of the vehicle at the appraisal stage can be the difference between a profit or a loss for the dealer.”
The versatility of the PMC application has Covid-19 related restrictions benefits, as it is accessible from any internet-enabled device, it means that dealership staff can carry out the trade in pricing function while fully respecting social distancing protocols with both customers and other team colleagues.
Analysis of the benefit of the PMC self-appraisal tool with a number of customers shows that it was instrumental in providing a 33 per cent increase in more qualified leads which resulted in a 33 per cent conversion rate of PMC leads who actually went on to make a purchase.
Each dealership gets a unique PMC link that can be included in all CRM outbound communications and responses.
Brian Downes, general manager at MSL Grange Motors said: “For the duration of the Covid-19 lockdown, the PMC tool was the driving force for us to continue selling used cars via our website. Thanks to the benefits that PMC provided for both our customers and our sales team, I am proud to say that our closing ratio during the period was 43 per cent – a huge thank you to the appraisee and PMC team!”