Survey: Auto Dealers Disconnected about Solving Digital Retailing Disconnects

Vast majority acknowledge disconnect between online/instore buying process and that digital retailing can speed up sales process, but half think 80% of process should be handled in-store, according to new eLEND Solutions survey of auto dealerships

 

Foothill Ranch, Calif., March 9, 2022 – A new survey of auto dealerships from automotive fintech innovator eLEND Solutions, confirms that dealerships are experiencing a significant disconnect between the online and instore process, one that they agree must be solved to shorten transaction times and improve the customer experience. But, while the majority indicate that digital retailing (DR) offers a solution by speeding up steps in the traditional sales process, the survey results reveal that dealers remain reluctant to fully embrace DR.

 

The snapshot survey was fielded by eLEND Solutions among auto dealers in February 2022 to find out why time spent by customers with the auto dealership has only decreased by five minutes in the past five years (as reported by Cox Automotive),[1] even as adoption of digital retailing buying experiences has increased as a result of the pandemic. 

 

“We were stunned at this small reduction in the amount of time spent in the dealership over the past years. As our survey indicates, the disconnect between the online and instore process, and the lack of more holistic digital retailing adoption – especially when it comes to digital finance - is hampering process efficiency.  This continues to stand in the way of auto dealers and consumers realizing DRs true benefits,” said Pete MacInnis, CEO and Founder of eLEND Solutions

 

MacInnis noted that, in the survey, the vast majority of dealers agreed that unrealistic initial finance terms presented online can slow the process down, but that if more realistic payment terms were initially presented online, 60 minutes-plus could be knocked off the transaction time. This is significant given that 53% of dealers think that less than 20% of the sales process should be devoted to negotiations and final terms of finance.

 

However, when it comes to a capability that could help solve the issue of unrealistic terms - i.e. customer information such as driver license verification, credit application data, credit data and supporting documents being submitted online – over half think that 80% of that information should only be submitted in-store. Similarly, one in two dealers think that 80% of traditional in-store processes should remain exclusively in-store versus online.  Less than 1 in 3 think that 40% or more of traditional in-store processes should be enabled online via digital retailing.       

 

“Car buyers who engage digitally are more satisfied with the overall purchase experience and the time spent transacting,[2] yet dealers remain ‘disconnected’ about digital retailing disconnects,” said MacInnis.   “Until auto dealers have access to, and the will to fully embrace, tools and processes that are able to solve information disconnects from online to instore, it is unlikely that the time spent in the dealership is going to improve any time soon.”

 

Key Survey Takeaways

  • 89% of dealers agree that there is disconnect between online shopping and instore buying
  • 95% of dealers agree that this disconnect must be solved to shorten transaction times and improve customer experience
  • 95% of dealers believe that digital retailing eliminates/speeds up many of the steps in traditional sales process
  • 64% believe 20% or less of the traditional in-store sales processes are now handled through online digital retailing in dealerships who are using DR, with only 25% saying over 40%
  • 50% of all surveyed dealers think that 80% of traditional in-store processes should remain exclusively in-store. Less than 1 in 3 think at least 40% of traditional in-store processes should be enabled online via DR.       
  • 54% think that that 80% or more of all required customer information/supporting documentation should only be submitted in-store; only 29% say that over 40% should be able to be submitted online
  • 96% believe that unqualified or unrealistic payment terms presented to consumers online negatively impact the efficiency and timeline, i.e. time spent on the transaction, of the car buying process
  • Majority agree that transaction times can be dramatically accelerated if realistic terms are presented
  • 95% say that at least 30 minutes could be knocked off transaction times… with 58% saying an hour or more could be saved.
  • 53% of dealers think that less than 20% of the sales process should be devoted to negotiations and final terms of finance.

 

To download the infographic: “Auto Dealers Still Disconnected about Solving Digital Retailing Disconnects” click here.

 

About eLEND Solutions:
DealerCentric Solutions® Inc. (dba eLEND SolutionsTM) is a privately-held automotive FinTech company focused on deal generation solutions – that power transactional digital buying experiences for the retail automotive industry.  The platform specializes in digital credit, identity, and finance solutions for remote and in-store shoppers, designed to accelerate conversions of digital end-to-end purchase experiences concluding with fundable, transactable deal structures.


For more information, please visit www.elendsolutions.com.

 

Contact Media Relations:
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (424) 603-4340, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com
Crystal Hartwell, mWEBB Communications, (714) 987-1016, crystal(at)mwebbcom(dot)com

 

[1] Cox Automotive 2022 Car Buyer Journey study - the time consumers spent with the auto dealership dropped only five minutes in five years: from 2:42 minutes in 2017 to 2:37 minutes in 2021 https://www.coxautoinc.com/news/2021-car-buyer-journey-study/

[2]Cox Automotive 2022 Car Buyer Journey study https://www.coxautoinc.com/news/2021-car-buyer-journey-study/

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