Creating a Modern Retailing Workflow
Brendan Dougherty
| 14 October 2020

Creating a Modern Retailing Workflow

Just as the internet changed the landscape of traditional advertising and media, COVID-19 and social distancing requirements are changing the way consumers expect —and need — to buy a car. Consumers perceive car buying as a painful process, so this can be quite a challenge. The only way to truly improve consumer perception and meet their expectations is to make sure that your end-to-end retailing workflow is smooth and consistent for all shoppers — regardless of how they interact with your dealership. Specifically, it’s not just how you bring the showroom to the shopper’s living room, it’s how you digitally transform the entire dealership experience — from the negotiation desk to the F&I Office to contract signing and delivery.

Today, you need to think about how all of these things fit together to create one integrated customer and dealership-centric workflow.

Here are some steps your dealership can take to build a modern retailing workflow by accelerating your retail transformation through an omnichannel approach.

Build Consumer Trust

It sounds simple, right? However, the auto industry has proven over time that this is more difficult than it sounds. To begin building customer trust, you have to meet their expectations by providing accurate pricing, incentives, trade-in evaluations, and local taxes and fees on your website. This first step is critical when building your own modern retailing workflow. If the price the customer builds online is the same at the end of the transaction, then you’re building the consumer trust that every dealer longs for. Accuracy, customer trust and transparency need to be at the forefront of your decision when considering an online retailing tool.

The customer built the vehicle online. Now what?

Continuing the selling process past the online retailing tool is the next step. Think about this step as the intersection between the customer and your dealership. If the customer’s data and vehicle they built doesn’t make its way to your CRM and desking tool, a dealer risks employee keystroke errors, and takes additional time to complete the transaction. The customer gets frustrated by having to provide the same information again, and they lose their trust in you. The data and information that the customer provided online needs to be in the dealership by the time both parties meet.

Moving from Desking to your F&I Office is the next step. Ask yourself these questions:

  • •Are you able to present menu add-on options remotely?
  • •Are you presenting personalized menu add-ons?

If you answered “no,” you’re not alone. This is where many dealers fall down in this process. Look at your menu tool options and find one that can accommodate personalized and remote selling options. This allows customers to open an email or click a link to choose the options they want and immediately communicate that back to the dealer. Providing full transparency like this for your customers throughout the entire journey helps to build their trust.

Contract Signing

Signing all of the paperwork is the final step. Due to many legalities, this may be the trickiest part of the modern retailing workflow. This was typically done in the dealership even before most of the country was under shelter in place. To effectively complete remote transactions, you need a solution that can email or text customers a link to sign the final paperwork. A Digital Contracting, or eSign, solution built into your workflow will ensure that the vehicle purchase is handled securely and accurately from start to finish with all the legalities in place. No more missing forms or missing signatures — every document and signature is accounted for before the customer sends them back to the dealer.

When thinking about digital retailing solutions, you need to think about all of the downstream connection points associated with it. If your modern retailing workflow doesn’t provide a smooth selling process that is controllable and profitable, you’ll struggle with meeting the customer’s expectations. The actions you take now will not only help you survive during the recent pandemic, but also thrive once things are back to “normal”.

To help you get started with your own modern retailing workflow, CDK Global is offering Connected Store, our digital retailing tool, free to all customers through December 2021.

Brendan Dougherty
Brendan Dougherty

<strong>Brendan Dougherty</strong> is the Product Marketing Portfolio Director for CDK Layered Applications. He is responsible for leading a team of Product Marketers and the go-to-market strategy for non-DMS products, including Fixed and Variable Operations solutions. He has 15 years of experience in product marketing, sales and product strategy in the Automotive industry. In his spare time he enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and three kids and rooting for most Chicago sports teams.