Nowadays, you may feel that buying a car is a pain. You are faced with a series of verification process and complicated document requirements. With the coming of Shift app, car-buying process will be as easy as ordering pizza. What? Imagine what you when ordering a pizza. You just need to dial the phone numbers on your phone, and the pizza will be delivered to your house, right?
How can buying can procedure be as simple as ordering a pizza? Shift car buying app offers the platform. Being around since 2013, Shift has not shown significant performance in car industry. The company actually has tried many ways to join automotive startups in the effort to change the status quo in car selling market. However, the company seems to face some problems to achieve its targets.
How Shift App Works in Car-Selling Market
Shift is offering a new way to buy a car without you even having to leave the house. Yes, ordering a car is just like ordering a pizza. Call the phone number and the car will be delivered to your house for test-drive. With Shift app, you can schedule a test drive. If you find that the car fits your needs and style, you can make a purchase on-site by using the delivery person’s iPad. By using Shift for car buying, you need no driving across the town, no pushy sales, no financing salesperson, and so on.
Actually, Shift is not the only player on the market. Other startups also offer almost similar concepts with differences in some aspects. For instance, Carvana also delivers the car to buyers, but it requires you to buy the car first. In other words, car delivery is done after you make a deal.
Beepi also did the same thing as Shift did. However, the company finally ended up being absorbed by another startup, namely Fair. Beepi disappeared at the end of 2016. Fair continues the business. It offers alternative payment options, such as loan and lease payment system. In other words, Shift app is now the only player that delivers the car to your house and let you test-drive it before making a purchase decision.
Main Problems That Hindered Shift App from Success
After being around for over 4 years, Shift car buying app has not shown a great share in car-selling market. The company has been facing some competitive and regulatory problems, which have hindered it from entering the market in a full way. The following are some of them:
There is no reason why an automaker cannot deliver the car itself to the customers. An automaker can build its own delivery app and do what Shift has done. Building such app may not too costly for the established automakers. The case may be different for automotive startups that have limited financial capability.
The company can surely do car delivery on its own. However, it must be prepared with other requirements, besides the app. For instance, the company must be backed up by experienced delivery persons to cover the whole town and surrounding towns. For automakers, which also concentrate on the car production and marketing, dealing with delivery and on-site test-drive can be too overwhelming. Therefore, using a third-party service like Shift is a good choice.
It is true that Shift receives orders online, but the remaining procedures are done in a brick-n-mortar way. Therefore, the delivery company needs to open its branch offices in some areas to make sure that it can cover the whole orders. Opening branch offices requires more money. So does recruiting human resources for them.
Choosing the right targets for Shift app may not as simple as it sounds. Studies showed that 50% of Shift’s customers are millennial. In other words, the company must get in line with the potential customers and keep itself on the radar of any automaker or dealer. You need to learn the customers’ characteristics to make sure that the marketing strategies are effective.
Like any other services that involve car in traditional or modern context, Shift should have a defined umbrella regulation. In fact, each state has different regulations related to online transportation service. Few, if any state, have such regulation. There is a potential that Shift faces lawsuits related to the unregulated online services.
Overall, Shift app has a huge chance to get into the car-selling industry. In the future, Shift may develop into an online app that works just like what a delivery food store does. Of course, the company still has to deal with many challenges.