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Cox executive advises taking it step by step with car-buying proc

Ease consumers into online sales, Cox exec advises

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While consumers purchase many items online without a second thought, the prospect of a “click to buy” button on dealership sites “scared consumers to death,” says Cox Automotive COO Mark O’Neil.

“They weren’t thinking of it as ‘quick and easy,’ but ‘handcuffs and shackles,’ ” he said. They feared getting locked into a deal or having $30,000 withdrawn from their bank account seconds after clicking on it, he said, citing the company’s research.

So if Cox wants to help dealerships take more of the buying process online, particularly the parts consumers don’t enjoy doing at the dealership, O’Neil says, Cox needs to introduce consumers to this experience gradually.

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