As inventories begin to return to pre-pandemic levels, dealers must
continue to find ways to improve customer experience and
personalization in the car buying experience. One often underutilized
tool available to dealers is the prequalification, or soft pull.
Traditionally, auto sales entailed a “credit last” approach. However,
a “credit first” approach enabled by a prequalification allows the
consumer and the dealer to better understand what they can afford, and
to tailor their shopping journey accordingly.
However, soft pull is actually much more than just a credit
score. So let’s dive into 5 things you should know about soft pulls
that can help you grow your business.
1- Soft Pulls can help turn browsers into buyers.
Knowing which customers are ready to buy now is important,
but knowing a consumer can afford to buy now is a game-changer. 31%
of consumers are more likely to buy a vehicle in 30 days or less
when they get pre-qualified.* With record-high vehicle prices and
rising interest rates, identifying consumers who are truly
in-market and likely to buy in 30 days can help the dealer quickly
identify vehicles that best fit their customers’ needs and close
2- Soft pulls can help drive better consumer engagement.
Consumers want to perform more of their car shopping and
buying process online. In fact, 84% of auto shoppers say increased
online engagement can provide a seamless experience.⭑ Providing
tools and resources online that provide insight into what a consumer
can afford can help personalize the shopping experience to help keep
consumers more engaged throughout the customer journey.
3- Prequalification can help reduce consumer abandonment.
Historically, traditional online credit applications have
close to a 40% abandonment rate and the lead conversion to sale is
very low. Our studies show that sales can increase 16% when car
buying begins with a soft pull prequalification.* Soft pulls are a
low impact way to interact with the consumer, while still
providing quality information about a consumer to the dealer. It
also increases the consumer’s confidence in their shopping and
understanding what they can afford, and in turn helps dealers match
the right vehicle for the customer.
4- Prequalification can help create a more positive user experience.
We know that 64% of customers want to complete most of the
purchase process online. Credit and financing are at the top of
their list. Prequalification can create a seamless online shopping
process by giving a consumer a simple, easy tool to help them
understand their financial capacity and ultimately help them
confidently find the vehicle and deal that is best for them.
5- Prequalification gives you more than just a credit score.
Yes, a prequalification is a simple way for consumers to
understand their credit score and what they can afford, but the
reality is that there's a ton of useful information that can help
ultimately support them in finding the right vehicle and deal that
fits their needs. Using a prequalification can help dealers ensure
that when shoppers come into the dealership they have key insights
to help get them into the vehicle that is right for them.
Prequalification allows dealers to understand insights that
can help accelerate the sale, for example, if the consumer is
actively shopping, have they made auto inquiries in the last month,
the terms of their other auto tradelines, interest rate, and how
much longer do they have on their existing loan. These insights can
help a dealer structure the deal that converts the shopper to a
If you’d like to learn more secrets to getting more out of a
soft pull, check out our Webinar
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automotive study 2021