Dear Dealer Community,
Read no further if your business felt no impact from the events of 2020.
However, if you are still navigating the sea change of digital adoption and working to maintain profitability, please read on.
Cox Automotive’s latest COVID-19 Impact Study indicates that half of dealers are considering going back to ‘old’ non-digital methods once shelter in place mandates ‘go back to normal’ despite overwhelming consumer preference and increasing gross profits associated with a more digital process. 1
The truth is there is no ‘normal’ to return to. Digital adoption is an imperative for dealers, because consumers now expect a faster, more convenient, digital experience when they buy or service a vehicle. Eighty-nine percent of consumers found service pick-up and delivery offerings appealing even before COVID-19. Seventy-one percent of consumers want to do more of the purchase steps online compared to the last time they purchased a vehicle.2
There’s a silver lining.
The last few months were painful, but also instructive. The recent crisis taught us dealers need more interactions with customers, not just more tools and platforms. And digitally forward dealers have a clear advantage. Over the last 8 weeks, dealers using video to present additional service recommendations to customers earned more than $4.4 million in incremental Fixed Ops revenue.3 The number of shoppers submitting digital deals increased 108% from January 2020 to May 2020.4
Inspired by interviews with more than 500 dealers, Cox Automotive’s portfolio of dealer software solutions (Dealer.com, VinSolutions, Xtime and Dealertrack DMS) recently published a set of playbooks (dealerplaybooks.com) focused on three business essentials: Marketing, Sales and Fixed Ops. These playbooks offer encouragement and more importantly, step-by-step, tactical guidance to help dealers stay the digital course and reap the benefits.
Let’s reimagine; not regress.
Transforming an industry is hard, but you CAN do this. You did it in 1999 when you met the information age head on, in 2008 when affordability hit a wall, and in 2016 when recalls crippled the industry. You’ve shown great agility to implement new tools and adapt your operation to meet car buyers and service customers wherever and however they want to engage you.
Dealers are born and bred entrepreneurs. We love how you look at challenges, even unprecedented ones, and see opportunities. We see them, too. In the coming weeks and months, we are doubling down on efforts to inform, inspire and expand your digital capabilities while streamlining and simplifying how we show up to do business with you. Check in regularly for the latest resources here.
Let’s move forward together,
Mandi Fang Tracy Fred Wayne Pastore
Mandi Fang is Vice President of Operations, Back Office and Fixed Ops, Cox Automotive Dealer Software Solutions.
Tracy Fred is Vice President of Operations, CRM Sales and Service, Cox Automotive Dealer Software Solutions.
Wayne Pastore is Vice President of Operations, Dealer Marketing, Cox Automotive Dealer Software Solutions.
1 2020 Cox Automotive COVID-19 Dealer Impact Study
2 2020 Cox Automotive COVID-19 Dealer Impact Study
3 Analysis performed using 1700 Xtime Spectrum INSPECT dealerships
4 Internal Consumer Use Data, Cox Automotive Product Analytics