DETROIT -- Online car shoppers want enough price information from dealers before they get to the showroom to feel assured that a fair deal will result, said Edmunds.com President Seth Berkowitz.
In Detroit today for a press luncheon, Berkowitz said Edmunds.com has responded by launching a price-guarantee plan that allows shoppers to lock in a vehicle price online quoted by dealerships participating in the program.
Since beginning the rollout of the Edmunds Price Promise in February, the third-party vehicle shopping site has had about 600 of 6,400 subscribing dealerships sign up for the premium service, Berkowitz said.
He said the cost of the price program to dealers varies by geographic market and expected volumes of leads generated. Leads are obtained when a shopper leaves contact information for a dealer.
Edmunds.com, which has been predominantly a vehicle researching site, said a 2011 study found shoppers wanted a price at which they could reliably buy a vehicle when shopping online, Berkowitz said.
They weren't necessarily looking for the lowest price, but an upfront, fair price that would make the experience at the dealership easier and faster, he said.
Edmunds.com attracts about 18 million unique visitors to its site monthly. But only about 10 percent view actual vehicle inventory listed by dealers, he said.
The new price feature is expected to drive visitors more directly to vehicle inventory because they can get a guaranteed price.
Beginning in October, Edmunds.com for the first time expects to launch a national television advertising campaign to promote its pricing feature and other content, including spots during the Major League Baseball playoffs, Berkowitz said.
SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information, today presented to the Automotive Press Association its new Price Promise(SM) program, which is designed to give shoppers a convenient and reliable way to know exactly what price they'll pay at the dealership.
"According to our research, which included talking with over 10,000 car shoppers, the biggest unmet need of car shoppers has been getting an actual price for a car. Edmunds.com's Price Promise resolves that issue by offering an instant, locked-in price that the dealer will honor,"
stated Edmunds.com President and Chief Operating Officer Seth Berkowitz in his presentation to Detroit-based media.
Berkowitz went on to explain that a car shopper who is interested in a car listed on the Edmunds.com Web site can instantly receive the dealer's guaranteed price for that car by simply entering three basic pieces of information: name, phone number and email address.
"This is about a feel-good car shopper experience. It's about high satisfaction, no stress -- making things smoother at the dealership for both shopper and salesperson," said Berkowitz.
Dealers who participated in the Price Promise pilot earlier this year reported impressive engagement among car shoppers. They also noted that these consumers seemed more interested in saving time in the process than getting the rock-bottom price, unlike consumers who request multiple price quotes.
"Since signing up for the Edmunds Price Promise program I have received 10 times the number of [inventory] prospects and have closed them twice as often as other prospects," noted Michael Bailey, E-Commerce Director at Portland, Oregon's Town & Country Auto Group.
Edmunds.com plans to roll out a national television advertising campaign in the fourth quarter of this year to raise further awareness of the program.
Car buyers and dealers can learn more about Price Promise at http://www.edmunds.com/price-promise.html.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our acclaimed Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.
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