Vehicle pricing and specification information on auto websites is more inaccurate than it was last year, according to CNW Marketing Research’s second annual Online Vehicle-Pricing Accuracy Study.
The study says the average price inaccuracy increased from $444 last year to $630 this year. The results do not bode well for the consumers who use the Internet to obtain dealer invoice pricing and the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).
Ten third-party information providers are included in the study – AOL.com, Autoweb.com, CarsDirect.com, CarPoint.com, Carprices.com, ChromeData, Edmunds.com, Intellichoice.com, KBB.com (Kelley Blue Book) and Vehix.com.
The study ranked ChromeData first in accuracy for the second year in a row. ChromeData showed a decrease of $60 in average pricing error from $84 last year to $24 this year.
ChromeData also scored a 100% in vehicle configuration resulting in zero “unwinding” for dealers. Consumers are able to configure online the type of vehicle they want to purchase. Unfortunately, much of the configuration technology allows the consumer to configure unbuildable and unorderable cars. Dealers then have to “unwind” or correct the configuration resulting in wasted time for both the consumer and the dealer.
Both inaccurate pricing information and faulty configuration technology can hurt the dealer-customer relationship, says Art Spinella, President of CNW Marketing Research. He adds, “With half of all new vehicle buyers using the Internet as a research tool, data accuracy is no longer an option – it’s a requirement for customer satisfaction and dealer success.”