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Jeff Wyler Automotive’s new online car buying experience is an industry first

New vehicle customers have been calling for a 100% online car buying experience in the for many years, citing the heightened convenience and speed of digital retail. They may not have to wait much longer.

On this episode of CBT Now, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Kevin Frye, marketing director at the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family, and Paulo da Silva, vice president of operations at Cox Automotive Ecommerce. Earlier this month, Jeff Wyler Automotive oversaw a fully digital new vehicle purchase, making history as the first dealership group to do so. Now, Frye and da Silva discuss the advantages of online car buying and how it could change the face of the industry.

Key Takeaways

1. While other retailers like Carvana and Tesla have conducted parts of the sales process online, Frye explains that, up till now, every digital vehicle purchase has required some level of human interaction, whether by phone or email. This new process is 100% online, thereby allowing sales to take place even when the dealership is closed. While this technology has existed for some used car retailers, this also marks the first instance of a new vehicle being sold digitally.

2. There is growing consumer demand for online car buying options, evidenced by the increasingly significant portion of transactions occurring outside traditional dealership areas. By making digital retail available, dealers can expand their market reach and cater to customers beyond their geographical location.

3. Cox Automotive is enhancing the car buying process through advanced technology and automation, integrating AI to streamline various steps of the online purchasing journey. This has improved efficiency and consumer experience while also addressing fraud and compliance concerns.

4. Both companies are moving towards a blended retail model that combines the flexibility of online car buying with the traditional showroom experience. This approach aims to meet the diverse preferences of all shoppers, whether they prefer to complete the purchase online or in-store.

5. Looking ahead, the industry must further refine the online car buying experience, merging both digital and traditional leads to offer a seamless customer journey and leveraging technological advancements to enhance in-store transactions. Ultimately, dealerships should aim to use digital retail as a means to increase efficiency, profitability, and consumer satisfaction.

"You know, ecommerce is always on. You know, you have to to close a deal at any time, even at 11:15 p.m. on a Wednesday, like in Wyler's case, and the consumer needs to be able to basically work through the whole deal on their own. So we built a lot of tech in AI to automate steps of the journey that would never normally be done by the dealership." — Paulo da Silva | Cox Automotive

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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