The past decade has taught us that anything held sacred will eventually go. Economic disruption isn’t unique to companies like Apple or Facebook; from food service to car buying, technology is changing the way we buy. Our favorite brands are becoming customer focused and committed to creating experiences that are seamless, convenient, and increasingly digital.
In recent months, we have seen a serious evolution in how we buy. It started with Amazon when a new standard was introduced. Consumers could order anything and it would magically show up at their doorstep. Industries have been disrupted to the extent that whether we realize it or not, we value efficiency. We’re constantly asking ourselves, “Should we go grab it right now or just order it on Amazon.”
The next step in this evolution was food service. DoorDash, Grubhub, and UberEats have not only convinced us that our time is valuable, but also that it’s ok to pay a premium for convenience. With the tap of a finger, anyone can visit a digital “food court” and find what kind of food they want and have it delivered to their home. The experience and the convenience outweigh the premium delivery fees.
Something else amazing came from this breakthrough. For years, fast food has had a monopoly when it comes to speed and convenience. If you wanted something quick and cheap you had better plan on a burger and fries or a taco that a national chain whipped up while you waited in your car at a drive thru line. Food delivery changed this. We no longer have to settle for greasy, national fast food brands. I can DoorDash McDonalds just as easily as I can go through the drive through. If I want a gyro from the local greek place and am willing to pay for delivery, I can have that without having to go out and wait in line. The new standard of ‘digital dining’ has changed the way we buy food, and also from where and when we buy.
The pandemic forced Americans to question traditional grocery shopping. Many feared exposure to the virus, and didn’t hesitate when faced with a whopping grocery delivery fee. Many still prefer to buy their groceries on their porch; all national chains offer contactless grocery delivery.Companies like Instacart and Amazon Fresh are spending hundreds of millions of dollars are being poured into a race to make that 2 hour delivery lag and take it down to 20 minutes with drone powered delivery.
Another thing that’s changing is customer interactions. When you look at big ticket items especially, the relationship between the customer and the person who is “selling” the product has changed. There was a time when sales professionals who could get you to “sign on the dotted line” were trained and high-pressure tactics could get you to do just about anything. Stock brokers feel threatened by automated algorithms, mortgage officers battle with cheaper and more efficient software systems like Rocket Mortgage, and realtors fear replacement by buying and selling systems like OpenDoor and Homie.
The conventional consumer has been educated so much and can understand quickly when they are “being sold.” And large companies are running the numbers and realize that a product that produces value can literally sell itself. As long as the consumer is provided with a transparent opportunity to return the product if it was misrepresented, then they can avoid the back and forth with a salesperson and just give it a go.
Zapmoto was born from these two developments. One is convenience and the currency of time. Time is money. We’ve all heard that. And rather than wasting time in a car dealership talking to someone who is literally paid on their ability to get you to sign something should not be the price you pay to test drive a vehicle. Along with that, a customer should be able to see that product when and where they want to, and not be constrained to a dealership when the vehicle will spend its life outside the dealership.
Zapmoto brings the test drive to the customer without a salesman. The communication between the sales staff and the customer happens on the customers’ terms and not on the timeline and process of whatever dealership they happen to be at. Zapmoto will be punctual. If there are any delays in the valet getting to the address they need to be at, there will be ample communication so the customer knows. The windows of arrival are 15 to 30 minutes, not 4 hours because we need to be precise. Time is money. And we can’t ever get back time.
It makes sense to us that you should be able to take a test drive without a salesman. If you have questions on how something works, we can help you talk to that expert. But let’s get them on the phone on your turf. That’s what Zapmoto feels should happen.
We buy groceries, dinner, technology, and everything else from our homes. You can buy a mattress and try it for a month and return it if you want. We think you should be able to buy any car from your driveway without a salesman too. And you should be able to summon it whenever you want and see it in an hour and not three weeks. That’s what Zapmoto is about. Your driveway is the showroom.