The Covid pandemic changed automotive retail in 2020, and whether you consider the changes bad or good, many are staying with us.
Digital retail became all the rage in 2020, never mind that several DR companies have been around for years. Heck, CreditIQ has help clients sell (fully funded and contracted deals) since 2017.
2020 also helped expand the definition of ‘Digital Retailing’ as well. The majority of ‘Digital Retailing’ companies pushed the idea that any calculation-based lead process on your website constituted ‘Digital Retailing.’ Dealers were stuck making the sale remotely with the same processes they were using in the showroom before the pandemic. Some had solid success doing this and sped up the sales process for the customer while increasing the number of sales per person.
A year into the big DR (digital retailing) push, many dealers are starting to see that putting a ‘Buy Now’ button on their website is not delivering actual DR sales. The buttons have changed the way consumers begin the buying process, but the dealers are still managing the sales process much the same way they did 1, 2, or maybe even 5 years ago.
The advantage of the ‘Buy Now’ button is that customers provide more information upfront, which allows the dealership to do a lot of backend work before the customer has to work within the sales process. For customers, it seems faster, but the dealership is still manually doing the work.
The next step in ‘DR’ is to move beyond the lead tool. Dealers need to eliminate much of the manual process the sales and F&I team do to finalize a sale. The new DR platform is for both online and in the showroom. It automates the processes and eliminates much of the manual labor in the current process.
New DR also includes automated loan/lease decisions from your lenders. Whether the deal starts online or in the showroom, the F&I team can analyze decisions to maximize profits and get the deal funded much faster, even instantly, in some cases. If your DR platform stops before the customer receives approved funding, then you have a lead-focused platform. Lead-focused platforms will not deliver sold vehicles and will limit a dealership’s DR growth as customers become comfortable with finalizing a deal online without help from the dealership staff.
A sales and F&I team can manage more deals and get higher F&I profits with automated lender decisions in a complete DR platform. Dealers finding it challenging to fill sales positions should look at DR to maintain/grow sales without adding headcount.
CreditIQ clients deliver hundreds of contracted sales every month with our platform because we are fully integrated with lenders for instant loan/lease approvals. Many are seeing their sales per person jump 30%-50% and PVR increase as well. Plus, our clients own their DR process and use it as a branded benefit they promote to their customer base.
Whether you love it or hate it, DR is here to stay. As a dealer or dealer group, you need to look at whether your current platform delivers a fully funded DR process and how you can own the new retail customer experience. The longer it takes dealers and dealer groups to provide this to their customers, the higher the risk they will lose ownership of the digital retailing customer experience to OEM’s or industry vendors.
If you are a dealer group with ten or more rooftops interested in learning more about CreditIQ’s enterprise software that can provide a customized DR experience for your customers, please reach out to us at – firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a smaller group or individual dealership and want a DR solution with complete funding integration, please reach out to us at – email@example.com to discuss our service platform.