"What it's been for us so far is more of a tool that puts people lower in the funnel of buying and capturing a lead or customer that might have bounced off your site before," he said. Buyers who click on the online process have to provide only minimal personal information to continue, and that more easily turns them into leads.
Since starting the pilot program, Zamora's dealership has averaged about eight sales a month that started on the Shop Simple tool, including 12 in November, eight in March and five in the first half of April. Additional customers have started on the tool but then shifted to a more traditional buying experience: test drive, negotiation, paperwork, etc.
"Overall, it's a way to sell a few cars right now, and it's a way to generate more lead traffic," said Zamora, who normally sells 200 to 250 new vehicles a month. The online deals being made aren't particularly lucrative for the dealership, but they do inspire trust, making buyers "more apt to purchase a vehicle service contract, a GAP protection plan, maybe a paint-protection policy because the hard part [of pricing and financing] didn't take so long," he said.
Zamora, whose family's auto group has 18 dealerships and two under construction, said he plans to pay for the service once the pilot program runs out and bring it to a smaller Honda store in the group. "I'm happy with Modal, but I really hope the level of service continues to be like it has been" as more dealers sign up, he said.