Walmart is Selling Cars…Who Does It Better?


April 1st, 2018: Walmart launches a car-selling program through a partnership with CarSaver. 

Starting with four stores in Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Oklahoma City, Walmart will now be able to offer discount sweatshirts, toilet paper, groceries, and vehicles all in one location. 

At the dealership level, that might not seem like a big deal at all. CarSaver sources vehicles from local dealerships anyway, so why worry about a few units blown out at a deeply discounted rate?  

The concern isn’t about Walmart’s success rate for selling cars. Rather, it’s a problem that extends further down the line, after the sale is complete. 

Of Course, the Dealership is Better at Selling Cars

Walmart is best known for two-dollar Rollbacks and an alternative to name-brand mall shopping. People who are spending tens of thousands of dollars on a vehicle will, in large part, visit a dealership to decide on the vehicle they want. 

The dealership has specialized product advisors and knowledgeable service personnel. But if a car buyer knows that they can save thousands on a car by purchasing at Walmart, it could impact in-dealership sales eventually. 

How to Be the Best Choice

Dealerships do a bunch of things better to sell cars than Walmart. The most important part of the sale is what can differentiate the dealership from Walmart and secure the sale: the people.

Customers are willing to pay extra for a positive experience. A dealership with highly-trained, expert salespeople, F&I specialists, and service personnel will out-class the big box stores and be much more attractive to the customer. 

Ted Ings, Customer Experience expert, sees it this way. “Picture asking someone where they bought their car, and they respond with ‘Walmart’. Then ask them how the sales experience was. The answer will be almost exactly the same: ‘It’s like dealing with someone at Walmart’. 

“They aren’t product specialists. They don’t know customer needs and they don’t have inventory on hand. It’s a glorified order desk. All it takes to sell cars better than Walmart is to give customers a better experience than Walmart. If you can’t do that, there are bigger problems to address.” 

The real competition in car sales isn’t from Walmart – it’s the other local dealers. Strive to offer the best customer experience and Walmart and other big box stores selling cars will be a non-issue. 

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