According to a study by ACI Worldwide, 56 percent of bills were paid online in 2016. Over 50 percent of Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers all participated in digital bill pay. The world has shifted from paper transactions and paying by snail mail to E-signatures and digital documentation. Digital transactions have created a world where consumers can rapidly transfer funds, check their banking histories, or monitor investments. The advent of smartphones and high-speed internet has raised expectations about what consumers should be able to access and manage online.

Digital transactions involve various components of the consumer buying process. Companies like Venmo and PayPal allow customers to do away with having sellers see their credit or debit card numbers, acting as digital wallets. These tools also give sellers the capabilities to seamlessly integrate providing an invoice to vendors or a receipt to consumers during the transaction process; something car dealerships know all too well. Dealertrack, a dealer management software owned by Cox Automotive, allows car buyers to begin the purchasing process online before they step foot onto a dealer lot.

For service and repair management and customer relationship management, software like ELEADONE or DealerSocket allows dealers to schedule service appointments easily, manage repair progress, and maintain relationships with customers to keep them coming back. Both enable dealers to handle processes that involve a lot of moving parts and communication between various departments in one place, erasing the need for paper records.

The car buying process involves a lot of paper, many which needed to be signed by buyers. The place where this applies the most is in F&I. While it may not be possible to move the whole process online or complete the entire process on a smartphone, but there are some ways auto dealers can begin integrating digital transactions into their car buying process to meet the needs of buyers who want more flexibility in purchasing automobiles. Here are four ways dealers can examine how digital transaction tools can work for them.

See Where Adopting These Tools Will Help Your Dealership

Consumers are looking for convenience and flexibility in their transactions. So, are there any ways to utilize digital transaction software to benefit customers? Can invoices be delivered to vendors during the purchasing process? Programs like PayPal or Acrobat Reader can produce invoices and purchase documents at the time of the sale. Are you looking to increase service center sales? Consumers remember when they receive fast and excellent service. Software like ELEADONE can decrease the amount of time it takes for repairs by streamlining the communication process between technicians and advisors to speed up project approvals or part orders. Need an easier way to track the acquisition of vehicles? DealerSocket handles the appraisal, pricing, and merchandising process for used vehicle acquisitions. There are so many options out there, but it is first essential to research what your dealership can utilize.

Discuss Concerns With Your Team

Before adopting any major software or tool, it is crucial to see what other key players who will be interacting with the technology feel about its adoption. While technology can make specific processes more convenient, there are understandable concerns about the security of digital transactions. Companies like PayPal, Venmo, and others have security standards concerning their product, but it is essential to discuss a plan B if something were to go wrong with these tools. Others may not feel as comfortable interacting with new technology that will become an integral component of their jobs, ELEADONE conducts onsite training and workshops at their offices in Florida to help with adoption. Dealertrack offers webinars to train participating dealerships on the depth of their services. When security or implementation concerns are out in the open, it is easier to move to the next step of setting up a plan to deal with any hiccups.

Look At What Others Have Done

There is nothing wrong with taking a look at what other dealers have done to effectively and efficiently implement digital transactions into their car buying process. Also, each customer is different, there are some who want the full car buying experience, and do not mind the paper, while others have no problem completing the process online with a full deposit. General Motors created an online database of dealers that consumers can search by location. Potential buyers can then conduct the majority of the car buying process online from locating a vehicle to applying for credit and scheduling a time for pick up or delivery. This is a bold step, but could some dealers implement a simplified version of this where the only thing consumers do when they walk in is pick up the car?

Train, Train, and Train Again

The more people who have time to work with the tools you choose to adopt, the better. Sites like Lynda.com and Udemy.com have training materials for those who want to learn more about E-Commerce website technologies, PayPal, and Acrobat Reader Invoicing software. While ELEADONE, Dealertrack, and DealerSocket all provide training or support for dealers who are using their services. From F&I to the service staff, everyone should be aware of how these tools can be implemented in their respective departments.

As of 2017, 218 million people had active PayPal accounts, while a survey by Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, revealed that 75 percent of the 10,000 people they surveyed would instead like to conduct the whole car buying process online. Digital transactions play a considerable role in this shift, and becoming familiar with options can create more flexibility for dealers to take care of the evolving needs of consumers as well as their own.

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