“I’d like it fully loaded with extra cheese,” said the car buyer standing at the kiosk. Acknowledging the obscure horse power reference, this scenario is not far from today’s reality where consumers can order, purchase and test drive cars out of high-rise vending machines. The latest offering is from Alibaba, the Chinese internet commerce giant.
Earlier renditions of car vending machines include Carvana, a domestic service where car buyers shop and purchase online, then take possession by inserting tokens into glass machines located in cities such as Atlanta, Nashville, Houston, Austin and Jacksonville. Carvana will subsidize $200 in airfare for out-of-town car buyers.
Next, Autobahn Motors recently opened a 15-story facility in Singapore holding 60 cars. Consumers can purchase on the spot via a touchscreen on the ground floor of the building to browse through cars. Purchases arrive within one to two minutes and Autobahn Motors staff can “supervise the full experience” for car buyers.
The Alibaba ritual is rendered through its Tmall ecommerce platform and is all about the test drive, even on a “Sunday … Sunday.”
The Tmall Super Test-Drive is touted as being “the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience for car shoppers,” with consumers following a buying progression:
- Use the Mobile Taobao app to scan any car on the street.
- Find the car in the app to schedule a test drive.
- Enter basic user information.
- Snap a selfie (if they are Alibaba Super Members, then their test drive does does not require a deposit).
- Schedule a test drive.
- Visit a Tmall Auto Vending Machine, view a 360° 3D model on the kiosk screen, and use facial-recognition technology to pick up the car.
- Press a button to start the test drive.
- Spend three full days with the car, driving anywhere.
- Upon completion of the test drive, schedule another test drive, or purchase the car directly through Mobile Taobao.
Alibaba closes its pitch by stating that the Tmall Super Test-Drive provides “help finding the right car for you.”
If all of this sounds too futuristic, consider that American car buyers can make down payments in the here and now with the help of CrossCheck’s Multiple Check service. Multiple Check is a win-win for auto dealerships as well as consumers, and is very easy to use.
Car buyers write 2 – 4 checks with the same date to cover the down payment, then select dates for dealers to deposit the checks in a 30-day window. Dealers receive guaranteed funding with each deposit while consumers drive home the car of their dreams without delay. Learn more about Multiple Check by downloading the free Multiple Check Insider’s Guide.
Tags: Auto Dealerships