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Unpacking the digital retailing work flow during low inventory with Kevin Frye of Jeff Wyler Auto Family

Topping the list of issues facing many of you today is tight inventory. With no relief in sight, according to the experts we speak to, this could mean some serious long-term effects at the dealership level. On today’s edition of Inside Automotive, anchor Jim Fitzpatrick welcomes back Kevin Frye, Marketing Director for Jeff Wyler Automotive Family, to discuss inventory and other trends in the market worth noting.

First and foremost, a limited supply of new vehicles, almost 1 million fewer than anticipated, ultimately means fewer used cars when the next model year rolls around. Frye adds that while profit margins are favorable right now, he suspects that the industry will start to see more customers fail to meet the higher premiums.

Frye agrees with many analysts who say that the market is reaching a peak and used car pricing is starting to flatten. From the dealership perspective, Frye says he watches two particular KPIs. The first is total dealership website traffic and the second is total showroom visits. There are typically 120 touchpoints in any online car buying experience, however, almost of the journeys end at a dealership website. With that in mind, Frye can see the immediate demand for the cars that are selling. 

In fact, Frye says the dealerships saw tremendous growth earlier in the year, but over the last two to three months, website traffic has declined. Showrooms visits follow this pattern as well. Right now there is still strong demand, but Frye believes the upward curve is over.

Frye thinks that the decline in digital sales may have more to do with low inventory. However, car buying using a hybrid, online to showroom model personalized to the customer will be seen even more in the future.

The digital retailing strategy is a tool dealers can use to win the battle to get customers to buy. Digital retailing answers three timeless questions: How much is the monthly payment? How much for my trade-in? Can I get pre-approved?

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