When I was still with Caterpillar, we had developed e-commerce and worked our way through the online parts piece. Many dealers today have capable online parts systems.
A couple of years ago, we’d started working on selling Cat wholegoods online, starting with small construction products. Every once and again, I go out and poke around to see if they’re making any progress on that.
Last week, I went out and took my latest run through it and chose Wagner Equipment the Cat dealer in Colorado (I think Chad Nielsen their marketing manager is here.)
I went out to Wagner's website to see how far I could get with a 3035E2CR mini-excavator online. Then I thought, “Now, it’s going to break. Now the fabric of the universe is going to rip.”
But it didn’t, and I went into the billing screen. By the way, I was Mickey at Mouse Construction, so Chad could remove a false lead from his database. When you go out and try this, use Donald at Duck or Power at Rangers or something so the dealer knows you’re trying to see how it works (you're welcome, Chad).
“You’re asking yourself whether you should show pricing online, I’ll strongly recommend yes and now…”
So, I’m wondering “Now what are they going to do? Ask for my credit card number?” Well, it popped me over to a Cat Finance DocuSign approval process that I got all the way through, to get a reference number that I could bring back into the Cat site, and choose where and when I wanted to pick up the machine.
So, if you’re asking yourself whether you should show pricing online, I’ll strongly recommend “yes and now.” As marketers with our dealerships and with our OEMs, we now need to reach the level that Chad Nielsen has at Wagner. It’s a great opportunity and something to be excited about. We tend to debate and instead think of all the reasons why we shouldn’t do these kinds of things.