Cox Automotive’s Kevin Filan on how dealers can best meet today’s consumer demands

More and more, car buyers expect a flexible, streamlined experience, whether that’s a mostly in-store purchase, a fully online process, or in most cases, a combination of both. Dealerships have made tremendous strides and continue to look for insight and guidance as they shift toward a more digital marketplace. On today’s show, we’re joined by Kevin Filan, Vice President of Marketing for Cox Automotive, to discuss dealers meeting today’s consumer demands.

There’s a lot that’s been happening in the digital space and it’s kind of the birthplace of Cox Automotive says, Filan. In retail, their position today is to help any dealership be successful, with any consumer, on any deal, from anywhere. Filan says it’s helpful to think of digital retailing as a spectrum. You have to have consistency and understand where the consumer is in the process at all times.

car buyingFilan says part of the reason why it has been so difficult to quantify that transition to online car buying is that there are so many purchase paths. This isn’t just about software and tools but about the process, the people, and understanding how to measure success.

Current Cox Automotive research found that 81% of consumers want to be able to do at least part of the car buying process online. Secondly, they see satisfaction with the car buying process has increased with digitization. In 2019, satisfaction with the car buying process was at 60%. During the pandemic, in 2021, satisfaction with the car buying process went up to 72%.

Related: Where to focus the online journey for pickup truck buyers

Dealers may look and say, they aren’t as impressed as they would hope to be on the number of transactions that are happening digitally. Filan says this is where the growth is going to come from. He says the dealers with a VinSolutions CRM are five times more likely to get a lead submission from a car shopper. Closing rates on those leads are 46% higher and dealers are seeing 24% more gross profits.

The time is now for the automotive industry to understand what will happen with e-commerce. Filan says to make sure the building blocks of digital retailing are well understood, so you’re ready for the rapid growth you will see in e-commerce in the years to come.

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