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How digital retailing can help auto dealers compete with industry disruptors

After the events of 2020, dealers understand that modern retailing will involve much more technology and digital offerings to compete with industry disruptors like Vroom and Carvana. Today on the show, we welcomed Max Zanan, Founder and CEO of MZ Dealer Services and Author of the book, Effective Car Dealer: Selling Cars, Parts, and Labor After COVID-19

Zanan begins the conversation by talking about the process behind writing his book. He began writing the book in the middle of the pandemic, as he tried to maintain his sanity through a tumultuous year. The book focuses on how consumers are changing in light of COVID-19. This includes the rise of Carvana as a true threat to dealers across the U.S. Zanan says that the pandemic opened many dealers’ eyes to see that Carvana and other online retailers are quickly growing in popularity with customers. To fight off this competition, dealers must be willing to continuously enhance their online shopping experience.

Zanan uses the analogy that car dealers are like smokers when it comes to digital retailing.

“They know smoking is bad for them, the same way they know that digital retailing is unavoidable,” said Zanan. “Somebody has to sit them down and say, guys the longer you ignore this, the easier you make it for Carvana and Vroom.”

Zanan concludes the conversation with a warning to dealers. While many dealers believe the summer of 2021 could be very profitable, Zanan reminds dealers not to think with a short-sided mindset. Though additional stimulus and the COVID-19 vaccine distribution are certainly helpful for the industry, Zanan reminds dealers to think ahead to prepare for both the highs and the lows of selling cars.


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For over 10 years, CBT News has been informing and helping automotive retail professionals grow their businesses and thrive in their careers through an awarding-winning, on-demand streaming platform. With exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest trends, CBT News is your #1 source for auto industry news and content.

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