How Sanderson Ford Wins Over Digital Shoppers with Price Transparency

Sanderson Ford knows how to give customers what they want – transparency, efficiency, and convenience when shopping for a car. 

Located in Glendale, Arizona, this growing dealership has been in the car business for almost 65 years. An early adopter of digital retail, they chose AutoFi as their provider.

Sanderson Ford - Dave Tedder

Dave Tedder, internet director at Sanderson Ford, had a solid technology background from the United States Air Force before joining the dealership. With 25 years of experience in the automotive industry, he had a specific vision in mind when he set out to grow internet sales and serve the online shopper.

To drive internet sales and engage customers on a new level, Dave brought in a SaaS, digital retail system from AutoFi. Getting up and running was a breeze. A team of eight internet salesman collaborated with AutoFi’s engineers and configured the system in real-time. Afterward, a simple refresh of the computer screen delivered their digital retail solution. It was that easy.

Sanderson Ford’s website slogan tells it all: Shop from Home. Buy from Home. We Deliver.

Powered by AutoFi’s digital retail solution, Sanderson Ford can cover a vast geographic territory. With over 50,000 monthly website visitors, they’ve extended their brand to include Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and parts of Utah. They’ve even delivered cars to California!

The program – Shop from Home. Buy From Home. We Deliver. currently transports (via truck or trailer) 30-35 cars each month to the customer’s home or office. This is an increase of 10-15 units per month with incremental growth continuing to climb.

 Changing the Traditional Model

Dave explains how Sanderson Ford changed the traditional automotive business model and leaned into addressing customer needs first. 

Sanderson Ford migrated its salespeople to technologists and trainers. The technologists, not a salesperson, explain the various vehicle features and options. An iPad makes it easy for customers to sign paperwork. Digital retail lets customers configure pricing options and customize deals. They can receive real-time offers in 90-seconds from many lenders, including Ford Credit.

Rather than a time-consuming in-store price negotiation process, Dave’s internet team generates a price quote and sends it directly to the customer via text or email.

The speed and quality of interactions improved with customer-specific correspondence. Improving the communication process saves time for both the customer and the dealership. More time can be spent on managing the daily business and building a network of happy customers.

Texting a Real Offer

Follow-up interactions with customers were previously limited by answering machines and impersonal email responses.

Using AutoFi’s platform meant elevating price transparency to an entirely new level.

With AutoFi’s dynamic customer engagement feature, a salesperson can personalize interactions with each online shopper. Through text or email, salespeople can follow up by sending a link with both a picture and details of the actual vehicle. 

Previously, potential customers had to visit the dealership in order to learn about the car details, price, and terms. Eliminating layers in the buying process removes wearisome back-and-forth for both the salesperson and the shopper.  

Price Transparency Wins

The team at Sanderson Ford took customer satisfaction to the next level. They eliminated many friction points in the car buying experience. For digital retail to work, vehicle pricing had to be completely transparent. That meant listing the bottom-line price, including rebates and discounts. The same price had to reflect both online and in-store.

Dave explained that his team couldn’t be afraid of the price. Averaging over $2,000 per car, dealership sales representatives could discuss prices – without back-and-forth haggling, including cost structures and discounts. 

“To make all of it work you’ve got to have a realistic price for the customers, so we price all of our inventory competitively online.” — Dave Tedder

The WOW Factor Turns to WOM

Building trust is an integral part of any dealership’s business model. Creating a WOW factor builds customer appreciation, the main ingredient in trust-building. 

Sanderson Ford has the WOW factor. They pull up curbside to deliver the customer’s vehicle from a truck or trailer. A technologist provides a thorough feature walkthrough to ensure the car is in perfect condition and exactly as ordered.

Excitement is contagious when neighbors and colleagues gather around during a car delivery. The best word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising and referrals occur when a dealer puts the customer experience first.  

Finding Customer Compatibility 

“Competition whose motive is merely to compete, to drive some other fellow out, never carries very far. The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.” — Henry Ford

With formidable competition all around, Dave explained the magic of successful automotive retail business – make it compatible with what the customer wants and continue to adapt. 

Customers care about price transparency. They want to see the real cost. They also care about having the convenience to shop where, when, and how they want.

Impressive Results 

Giving customers what they want matters.

Having happy customers is Sanderson Ford’s guiding force. They do this by making the car buying experience transparent. 

It’s working! 

Through AutoFi’s end-to-end digital retail platform, Sanderson Ford averages 230 to 250 internet-derived sales per month. 

Car shopping is simplified by connecting together all transaction points in a car sale. Price, terms, credit decisions, and after-market packages all integrate into a seamless purchase path

  1. Transparent price
  2. Trade-in value
  3. Real Lender Offers
  4. After-market pricing
  5. Personalized delivery 

Once the customer completes the online process – in minutes not hours, he or she can receive credit approvals online. All that’s left is to finalize paperwork and pick up the car in-store or have it delivered to their home or office.   

Sanderson Ford is already ordering more delivery trucks as they continue to expand their reach and delight their customers.

To build your internet sales and create a seamless purchase path for your dealership, set up a demo today with AutoFi.