Sramana Mitra: The next question I have is that your assumption, it sounds like, this is going to be used by a human sales representative interacting with another human potential buyer around an iPad. Is that a correct observation?
Josh Koppel: That’s correct, yes. We think that that’s the most effective type of sell. When you think about all the other types of content, everything is vying for your attention. We think that a face-to-face interaction is the most successful.
Sramana Mitra: Not all products warrant, price point wise, that kind of sales. I don’t see why the experience that you’re describing cannot be done over a phone conversation as well.
Josh Koppel: It can. I’m leaning into the type of selling that we do. You’re right. There’s a ton of other ways in which you can have a conversation.
Sramana Mitra: Absolutely. The scenario that you were describing about the new car from GM, I don’t see why I wouldn’t just go to their website and want to see that same thing instead of somebody actually sitting there with me and showing it to me on my iPad. I don’t need somebody to handhold me. I can just look at it.
Josh Koppel: But you are going to end up in a dealership without question.
Sramana Mitra: Eventually. I may or I may not because I get a new car every three years. I lease my car. Every three years, I’m in the market for a new car. I just do my research online and I call my broker.
Josh Koppel: You’ve never walked into the store.
Sramana Mitra: I never go to the dealership.
Josh Koppel: I don’t think that’s how everyone does it.
Sramana Mitra: No, but that is the direction in which things are going to go. Since we are having this conversation in this trend analysis mode, I think that is a much better way of buying a car than getting educated about a car in a dealership. I’m not even a digital native. I’m a Generation X, but I’m a highly technically-oriented Generation X. If you’re thinking about digital natives, they will be more and more along these lines I think.
Josh Koppel: I think you’re right. But I think there are a lot of experiences where you’re dealing with a person that is going to engage you in the future. I think that’s things like real estate. I think that’s things like retail. As much as we might like to fresh direct it all or seamless web it all, I think that the ability for us to have conversations with people that are selling us things and the addition of sales assistants is a trend that we are going to see.
Sramana Mitra: Yes, but I don’t agree with the trend that you need to actually drive somewhere and talk to somebody. I fully agree with you that that trend is a reasonable trend. It is a very reasonable trend from the point of view of the experience of what you can see becoming richer and richer in an online and highly multimedia interactive environment. What I refuse to do is drive around everywhere. I think that’ s going to be more and more cut off, even for real estate.
Josh Koppel: You’re never going to be able to actually know what it feels like in a space without actually going into that space.
Sramana Mitra: I agree with you. I will not go into 20 spaces. I’ll probably go into five and I’ll do plenty of online research before I go into any of them.
Josh Koppel: I agree with that but you’re still going to have a real estate agent with you.