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4 Industry Trends to Consider for Auto Dealerships Selling Online

Most dealerships are aware of the benefits of their online efforts, including steady leads streaming in from online sources, yet might lack a deeper vision of their online business with future industry trends. Not everyone is an online marketing and tech expert, so this is understandable. In an effort to help, here are 4 industry trends to consider for auto dealerships selling online.

#1. Advancing Online Technology:

This is a two-pronged trend to consider, the rapid pace of technological innovation affecting consumers and business systems. The ways consumers shop and buy merchandise has changed with the development of smartphones and mobile devices. Software has been developed to take advantage of the mobility and functionality of mobile devices.

In order to take advantage of this trend, dealerships need to develop effective online marketing strategies. This may entail adopting new software and hardware solutions, optimizing a website, and/or partnering with expertise with ongoing support. Whatever strategy, the end result should be: increased leads, streamlined processes to facilitate more sales, and boosting the bottom-line. Utilizing advanced online technology is how to meet customer expectations.

#2. Shifting Consumer Behaviors and Expectations:

This trend is the result and cause of advancing online technology; mobile devices are being designed to meet customer expectations, and customer expectations are being formed by the mobile devices. Either way, this has a big impact on auto sales, especially, with younger generations. Dealerships that can meet and exceed their customers’ online expectations will benefit from more: leads, sales, and satisfied customers.

For instance, consumers in today’s fast pace world don’t have the attention span to endure hours of waiting to get through the F&I process. Some customers may enjoy sitting back and relaxing for an afternoon, especially, if retired or are from an older generation, yet most customers would rather the process be quick and efficient – before, during, and after they purchase the vehicle.

There are affordable and effective online solutions for dealerships to integrate into their enterprise systems, giving them the ability to meet and exceed customer expectations. eLEND Solutions’ innovative SaaS products allow auto dealerships to optimize and streamline the entire auto buying process – from online shopping to F&I. When sales and finance processes are reduced from hours to minutes, customers will be satisfied and more sales can be made with fewer salespeople.

#3. Green Economy:

This is a significant trend auto dealerships need to pay attention to, as the green economy is a growing market with sustainable long-term growth projections. Modern consumers are interested in: conserving energy, saving gas money, using alternative fuels, and reducing their global foot print. Auto dealerships can take advantage of this by highlighting the greenability factors of their vehicles and business model.

A long-term shift toward energy and fuel-efficient vehicles (even if selling large trucks or SUVs) would align marketing strategies with this long-term trend. Most auto dealerships in the future will sell a mixture of: gasoline, diesel, alternative fuels, electric, and smart cars.

#4. IoT and Smart Cars:

This trend relates to the green economy, as smart everything becomes the norm in the future, where different technologies and systems can communicate with each other. Auto dealerships should monitor the pace of innovation with smart car technologies, in order to know when to invest in this emerging trend.

Already, there are driver-less cars being used in metropolis cities in the U.S. with beta testing. More commonly, smart cars are able to connect to drivers’ smartphones, allowing drivers to plug-in their mobile devices into the vehicles’ computer systems. Humans may still be driving, yet operating a smart car in the future will be like signing on to a personal computer.

Summary

These 4 trends show the direction the auto industry is moving, which is toward innovative technological solutions. The types of vehicles being produced and the ways consumers’ shop and buy them, are set to change significantly with online technologies. The transition toward these trends has already begun, and is sure to continue into the future.

While it’s hard to predict exactly how the auto industry will look in the future, dealerships will benefit with mobile optimized websites and innovative software solutions to streamline marketing, sales, and F&I processes. The type of vehicles for sale and the marketing approach may differ, yet tapping into the green economy and offering innovative smart car technology are sustainable ways to take advantage of these future trends.

eLEND Solutions innovative SaaS products are designed to give auto dealerships the tools needed to stay competitive in the future. Credit Plus and ID Drive will: streamline the sales and F&I processes from hours to minutes, optimize sales funnels with pre-approvals online, give sales teams the tools to close sales faster, and much more. If interested in learning more please contact us today.

Author: Pete Maclnnis

Author Bio: Pete brings over 37 years of experience in automotive finance and technology as Founder and CEO of eLEND Solutions.  Founded in 2003 as DealerCentric, eLEND Solutions is an automotive FinTech company specializing in online and in-store digital credit, identity and finance solutions designed to create a more efficient and profitable vehicle purchase process for the retail automotive industry. 

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