The Emergence of the Digital Dealership

Over the years I’ve helped numerous sales and service departments evolve to meet the needs of today’s tech savvy digital shoppers. While none have been bold enough to launch a completely digital sales process, it’s certainly on their radar as most of them realize they will have to change in order to survive.

So why isn’t F&I evolving?

Want to make enemies in an F&I department, just try and change something. As a matter of fact, the mere mention of changing the F&I process to provide a better consumer experience is met with resistance the likes of which has not been seen since Kodak chose to ignore digital photography.

Once upon a time a “Kodak moment” defined a sentimental, charming or interesting point in time, worth capturing in a photograph. Today it describes businesses that fail to adapt to changes in their industry and fall from a dominant position into bankruptcy. The irony is that Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975, but chose not to pursue it for fear of cannibalizing their film business. Kodak was right, digital photography would kill film and their refusal to change allowed competitors to crush them by providing user-friendly digital solutions.

Will F&I have a Kodak moment or will it evolve?

F&I managers love to trumpet the fact that their departments are, on a per square foot basis the most profitable in the dealership. NADA substantiated this in 2014 when they reported that while F&I only generates 3.6% of the average dealerships revenue, it produces 22.9% of their profit. No dealership can afford to lose this profit centre and since many F&I managers refuse to change, they are forced to drag customers kicking and screaming through a process they hate.

Consumers want change and if you don’t deliver, someone else will

  • Dealers and automakers need to shift toward an “omni-channel strategy.”

Ernst and Young: The Future of Automotive Retail Report

  • Consumers used to omni-channel experiences in other industries are now expecting the same experiences when buying their next car.

Deloitte: The foundation of automotive retail

  • 84% want to spend less time in dealerships and would prefer a more transactional experience online.                                     Source: Trust Factor Study
  • 87% want the buying process to be more transparent.           Source: CDK Global


  • 71% of Millennials would prefer to do F&I research at home before they purchase.                                                                                       Source: MakeMyDeal

Digital Disruption: Be the disruptor or be disrupted

Sonic One Experience and Lexus Plus listened to the negative feedback and responded with customer centric sales models that promote the fact that you no longer have to visit an F&I department in order to buy a car. These companies are giving people choices that are disrupting the traditional sales model and will eventually force conventional dealerships to adapt to in order to remain competitive. Will a disruptor force your dealership to respond by building a new sales model and eliminate your F&I department or will you take control and disrupt your old model to develop a superior one?

Omni-Channel F&I is the solution

Imagine a customer centric F&I process that increases profitability by offering transparency, eliminating No T/O’s and shortening the time customers spend in dealerships. Omni-Channel F&I does just that by delivering equally effective presentations across all channels of communication (i.e. in person, on the phone, via text, email, video or by screen sharing).

Digital menus go mobile

Omni-Channel F&I only requires a digital menu and a willingness of F&I managers to go mobile. Once they do, their presentations can be delivered anytime, anywhere and be viewed on any device. They can share videos, seamlessly link to websites and document share. They can change amortizations, interest rates and down payments on the fly. Omni-Channel F&I is completely transparent, engaging and needs based. Digital technologies like GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts and Join.Me allow presentations to be delivered to customers while they’re in the comfort of their home, office or anywhere. Properly applied it will change the perception of the F&I process, lower resistance, increase sales and profitability.

Trust + Transparency + Saving Time = Sales

Consumers use three key factors when determining where to buy their next car: Trust, Transparency and a respect for their Time. Omni-Channel F&I delivers all three. Leaders must think less about improving their F&I process and more about reinventing it. Omni-Channel F&I is the simplest and most effective way to avoid being caught in next Kodak moment.

Jim De Luca

Vice President

Digital Road to a Sale Inc.

905 865 8734


Views: 67


You need to be a member of to add comments!


Latest Activity

Dane Saville posted a blog post

How Your Dealership Can Have Social Media Mania, Brother! | KPI Cafe Season 3 Episode 3

Host Dane Saville conjures up the power of Hulkamania to talk about a remarkable paid social media…See More
Scot Eisenfelder posted a video

CarMax is winning by Playing Moneyball

Scot Eisenfelder explains how CarMax enjoys tremendous market value by levering its data in every single operation.
Jim Flint posted a blog post
Mike theCarGuy Correra posted a video

Can New Technology Make A Dealership Less Efficient?

Mike Correra shares how dealerships can adopt new technology more efficiently.
Richard Keeney posted a blog post
Damian Boudreaux posted blog posts
Lehel Reeves posted a video

3 Types of Video that Lead to Increased Lead Conversion

Lehel Reeves shares three types of video responses to send to your customers that can increase show rate and lead conversions.
Rob Gehring posted a blog post
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

#WittsWiseWords: You Can Still Be The "Go-To Person" for Digital Retail

Digital retail opens new possibilities and responsibilities for engaging with today's connected car shopper. As Bill Wittenmyer explains, being the "Go-To" p...
Adam Swanson posted a blog post
Scot Eisenfelder posted a blog post

Auto Groups Overlook $230K Per Store in Used-Car Service Opportunities [PRESS RELEASE]

Study reveals that auto groups could significantly increase customer pay revenue by marketing to…See More
Reynalda Lor posted a discussion

Need Suggestion About Tesla 3 Floor Mats

Greetings!We recently got a bunch of Tesla Model 3 vehicles via a private dealing with the sellers…See More
Dec 2
Timmy D. James posted a blog post

Flick Fusion Introduces Dynamic Marketing Videos (DMVs) for Auto Dealers

New platform offers cost-effective, fast solution for creating videos that promote auto…See More
Dec 2
Mike Esposito posted a blog post

Auto/Mate Integrates Dealership Management System (DMS) with Storm Kiosks Inc.’s Express Service Kiosks

Albany, N.Y. – December 2, 2019 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems announced today it has successfully…See More
Dec 2
Aadam Alford posted a blog post
Dec 2
Ryan Holman posted a blog post

Why Servicing Your Car Timely,Is An Important Thing To Marked In a Calendar

A car is similar to any other machine that requires regular maintenance. The cars are getting more…See More
Dec 2
Zoe Sewell posted a blog post

What Are The Different Types Of Truck Alarm System: Understand Their Importance

Do you own a truck? If you have one, in that case, you need to make sure that it is safe and secure…See More
Nov 28
Dave Anderson posted a blog post

The Golden Rule for Game Changers

It's not just what you don't do to someone, but what you proactively do for them that creates…See More
Nov 26

Get Newsletter

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service