Be careful, that is a trick question!
In my opinion, "Transparent Pricing" is the virtual version of the real world's proven value of earning a customer's business with honest, full disclosure relationship based selling by giving him a fair price without any hype or sales pressure; or at least that is the definition that I am using to pose this question!
In literal terms, it could mean up front price disclosures on a website - not necessarily tied to the market or even a competitive price - just the best one that you are willing to post without asking for his social security number or first born.
That is the trick to the question. Technically, for a transparent price to be effective it must exist in an equally "transparent" - or confidence building - environment. In the absence of comparables it isn't clear - transparent - as to wether or not the price is good enough to make a buying decison so an Internet shopper may have to check other virtual showrooms to gain the confidence he/she needs to be willing to give you the "key to their vault."
That is a bad thing since the last site is often the winner even though they got the keys to the vault by confirming your honest efforts to offer a fair price in the first place. Hey, no offense but you aren't the only nice person on the Internet and we all pay the same for the vehicles. (Technically, that may not be true given certain "push-pull" programs and internal packs or other anomolies but - I am getting off the point!)
Also, before you reply with something that will distract from "price" as the key to this question - I know that there are many ways other than price to build confidence - and I will discuss those in another forum - but for now, let's address the "price shopper" since statistics confirm that the price offers the highest "conversion" rate on the World Wide Web.
Sites like EveryCarListed.Com
rely on "one site shopping" with over two million vehicles posted so a direct price comparison can be researched to satisfy the need for "transparency" to make a decision without leaving the site - again, we are only talking price for now!
To build the relationship that it takes to convert to a real world deal EveryCarListed.Com
also offers upgraded packages to allow a dealer to develop his "personality" and separate themselves from the masses to improve the "transparency" of the whole transaction - but, it all started with the price since that is often the "first filter" that the site visitor uses to drill down to the vehicle and the dealer.
Other solutions for "price transparency" are being developed with new inventory based sites getting ready to enter the US market like DealMaker.Com
.. They offer a market driven "transparent pricing" strategy that works like a stock market report that organizes ALL of the vehicles for sale on one side of the screen with exact "granular" comparisons and initial prices set by the dealers with ALL interested buyers invited to set a price that they are willing to pay. Once the buyer and the seller have had a chance to see where the market has set their "best price" and both parties are confident that the price is the best one - at that time - in that market, they have the confidence that they need to make a deal and the site allows them to do it with their online transactional capabilities!
There are dozens of other applications and processes to develop transparent prices that can consumate a deal on the first site visit. That is why I started this forum.
I am looking for applications to develop transparency for my affiliated automotive advertising agencies and dealer clients to apply to their virtual showrooms. If you know of one, or - better yet - if you represent one, please reply with your solution to what I trust you agree could be the keys to the vault for future online sales.