Arguably, the most discussed topic at this year’s NADA convention in New Orleans was Digital Retailing—how automotive buyers are performing more of their shopping online, and how dealers are looking to meet that demand by delivering more advanced, dealer-controlled shopping tools. And this trend wasn’t just anecdotal “shop talk” on the NADA show floor.
According to a Deloitte Automotive report, consumers want to complete their vehicle purchase transactions quicker, with nine out of 10 consumers stating that they desire an “extremely efficient” buying process. And dealers “overwhelmingly” share this sentiment with 80% saying that the “ideal sales and financing process” should take two hours or less compared to the four hours or more it takes today. Which is why I am so proud to announce Dealertrack Canada is partnering with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Trader Corporation with the roll-out of our exciting new Digital Retailing Solution.
As dealer expectations rapidly move from treating Digital Retailing as a niche experiment to a foundational part of their online presence, our new Dealertrack Digital Retailing Solution demonstrates a clear vision of how dealers can change their processes to take full advantage of this rapid shift in consumer behaviour. This new partnership makes Dealertrack Canada the exclusive reseller of a website plugin built for FCA and Trader.
Backed by our parent, Cox Automotive Canada, our existing clients already know Dealertrack’s breadth of services and access to data makes us uniquely positioned to provide dealers with both services and insights. We enhance efficiency and profitability for not only the automotive but also the marine, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and power sport retail industries. From robust desking tools that enrich the in-store experience, to the largest lender network in Canada, Dealertrack serves dealers, lenders, OEMs, third-party retailers, agents and aftermarket providers. And now, during this era of online retail transformation, our Digital Retailing Solution addresses the changing needs of both the consumer and the dealer.
For example, from a consumer’s standpoint, the Dealertrack Digital Retailing Solution offers more transparency online about their vehicle purchase and saves them valuable time at the dealership. On the dealer side, they benefit from the digital integration of the Dealertrack Credit Application Portal — the largest in Canada — into their existing process, differentiate their shopping experience, and build instant trust and rapport with their online shoppers.
As our clients have told us, online buyers put more thought into the process. These are hot prospects, already visualising the purchase of the vehicle.
There’s little doubt the “Amazonification” of automotive retail is a trend that is here to stay. And I expect that by the time NADA rolls around next year, the show floor chatter of dealers adopting Digital Retail practices will graduate from “Do you think we should give it a try?” to “How fast can we implement it?”
Based on what Dealertrack Canada has to offer, and what partners like FCA and Trader have to offer, I strongly feel that our new Digital Retail Solution positions us well to manage the changing needs of both the automotive consumer and dealer.
Richard Evans is the Vice-President and General Manager of Dealertrack Canada.