Digital auto retailing and the impact to the F+I office


As automotive sales have recovered and then outpaced previous records, a few techniques are driving market growth. The major industry trends are simple: cutting edge digital sales techniques are transforming the sales process towards volume once again. Two methods stand out: (1) fully online sales, and (2) in-store closing processes, where dealers are now transitioning to 45-minute sales.

The growth of digital retailing is broad-based in the auto business.  It runs the gamut from startups offering consumers peer-to-peer or direct-to-consumer online car-buying, to companies like Cox Automotive and CDK Global helping facilitate digital retailing at dealerships. And even certain pieces of the car-buying process are becoming more digitalized — for instance, consumers being able to get a price on their trade online.
For many dealerships, offering online pre-approved financing is the next logical step towards a complete online car-buying process. A recent study conducted by AutoTrader revealed that 72 percent of buyers (especially Millennials) want to complete a credit application and financing paperwork online to save time at the dealership and feel less pressure completing paperwork at the dealership.

As digital retailing continues to grow, it may have an effect on the F&I office, says Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Alec Gutierrez.

“I would honestly say, within two or three years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a majority of dealers having at least a buy-it-now, shopping-cart, digital retailing solution integrated into their websites.”

To find out more, contact us and we’ll send you our Online Sales White Paper to see how the market is slowly coming to receive new methods for online sales.

Bill Gerhard
Author: Bill Gerhard

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