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3 key elements car dealers need to focus on for digital retailing

On the latest episode of Straight to the Point, host Frank J. Lopes sits down with Client Success Director of AutoFi, Michelle Taylor. Lopes gets straight to the point and asks Taylor, what part of digital retailing should you be focused on and how do you make money off it? And, is it just a passing fad?

Digital retailing is the current buzz phrase of the automotive industry. Taylor says what dealers should focus on is true leadership buy-in. The general manager should be putting action plans together, so on day one, the team is set up for success.

Related: VAS’s Hugh Hathcock and dealer principal Troy Duhon discuss the power of transparent and seamless digital retailing

Customers have spoken. Taylor has seen customers 24 hours, transacting online. She believes if dealers don’t adapt, they’ll more likely be selling their dealership to a group or more consumer-centric dealership. In order to adapt, leadership needs to be bought into a true partner that’s going to help them, serve up what the secret sauce of success looks like.

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Online and offline buy-in needs to be bridged together. The dealers that don’t have website clarity, and don’t have a process from a smooth transition online to offline, Taylor says they won’t be successful with digital retail. The only one-size-fits-all attribute is that you want to be consumer-centric.

She says, from a process perspective, we can adapt to our dealers’ partners’ process, which hinders a customer experience. You should have a digital retailing platform that powers every entry point or adapt to how your customers want to start and end their car buying process.

The best three habits Taylor says dealers should be exercising are leadership buy-in, end-to-end solutions or website clarity, and connecting the dots from online to offline.


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Frank Lopes
Frank Lopes
Frank has more than 20 years of experience in auto dealer marketing and has created multiple award-winning campaigns for various retail and e-commerce clients. He also is a frequent writer and speaker at industry events.

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