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Car-buying process designed for women’s shopping habits

April 4, 2009/Steve Tackett

MOTOR MATTERS FREEWHEELING BY HOLLY REICH

According to documented research, statistics from the Essential Guide to Selling to Women noted that women influence the purchase of 83 percent of all consumer products, including 95 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States — and they buy 50 percent of all new cars. Yet the truth is for many women buying a car is a huge stress.
Taking that emotional factor into account, Car Buying Her Way “is an online buying experience just for women,” launched by WomenCertified and AutoNation Direct and designed to make the process stree-free.
“Eight in 10 women … won’t visit a dealership without a male companion,” said WomenCertified’s founder Delia Passi.
Passi explains how women have a different buying process than men. Typically, they take more time with their decisions, “Seventy-three percent of women buyers will spend time online researching a car before buying.” Women also visit an average of three dealerships before buying.
Passi who has done extensive research in women’s communication and shopping habits notes that men see, think and act.
“Women see, think — think some more — feel good and buy. They collect information and referrals from other people,” she says.
“Is that why I like to look around Bloomingdale’s until I’m ready to faint, go to lunch with my friends and then go back in for the big buy?” I asked.
“That’s right,” she replied. “While you’re eating you collect information. It’s called the collaborative buying experience. We talk to others, collect thoughts, and justify our actions.”
Passi’s company, WomenCertified, focuses on attentive customer service, active listening, effective gender communications and building trusting customer relationships. Clients are “anyone who interfaces with a woman customer,” which includes real estate offices, vets, Trek Bike and Harley-Davidson.
As explained, “WomenCertified is creating a customer service revolution for women by setting the standard for excellence in service, adding that “We love to shop but we hate to buy a car.”
For that reason CBHW cuts right to the heart of what women need: Vehicles are offered at pre-negotiated pricing to take the haggling out of the equation; and to get that one-one-one interaction, customers are guided through the car buying process (over the phone and web) by a Personal Auto Shopper trained to deal with women’s concerns.
When I asked about some of the other car sites, Passi suggested that a lot of them are lead generation: they capture information and lead them to a company.
“But women are more savvy than that. We go to Match.com because we know that we want a relationship,” she offers.
In the same way, women can go to Car Buying Her Way to get what they want and on their terms. I wish matchmaking were that easy.
Visit: http://womencertified.autonationdirect.com/BuyOnline/

Copyright, Motor Matters, 2009