How to Structure your Dealership for Online Auto Sales in 2018

online auto sales

Joe Gumm speaks with Mark Rikess, the President of The Rikess Group about heading into 2018 dealership structure for online auto sales.

What is the absolute dealership structure for online auto sales?

“The best way to structure is working backward from the customer. What do the majority of customers want, and then how do I build processes to fulfill those needs? Most dealers don’t do it that way. Most dealers look internally and say, ‘What do I want to accomplish; how am I structured internally. Should I get prices online? Should I use the BDC?’ So dealers are looking to make things better for themselves and then build a bridge for their customers. So they’re doing it backward.”

BDC Transparency is Needed with Online Shoppers

If dealers show a little more trust and transparency and open up by showing available vehicle information online and making the shopping experience personal, then they will do better with online shoppers. Customers want to know vehicle pricing, trade-in value finance approval and the BDC’s don’t have the ability to do that.

“The majority of dealers, especially bigger ones use BDC’s. we’re very anti-BDC because BDC’s don’t provide all the needed information. So they are withholding information. What we want to do is trade information,” says Rikess.

Salespeople with the right skills sets are needed that are trained to handle text, chat, phone and internet and be able to get it fulfilled what dealers are looking for.

Online Car Buying

More and more consumers are buying new and used cars online, and that is where dealers need to focus in 2018 in car buying and car selling.

“I think that there is much more demand then dealers recognize. Carvana is selling thousands and thousands of cars each month, used cars, sight unseen,” Rikess says.

Dealers who understand online sales and want to increase their footprint, and who are flexible about bringing their cars to customers have to be transparent enough to provide all of their information will have a great competitive advantage in 2018.

Dealers who are dedicated and make it easier to buy from them almost like an shopping experience are going to sell more cars online in 2018.