Does your dealership have a key executive that’s responsible for digital merchandising?  It could be a VP or Director of Ecommerce, Marketing, Web, or Internet.

CarNow talked to their top five dealers to learn what made them successful in Key drivers of digital retail momentum in auto.  The number one factor was having a champion at the dealer.

Auto dealers are now in the ecommerce business.  60% of the  sales process now occurs online from car and truck research to vehicle  photos and videos to price comparisons to even the actual sale. Dealerships are not just competing for buyers with the dealer next door or the same brand on the other side of town.  They’re hustling against billion dollar companies with deep pockets like dealer supergroups and Carmax.  They’re also competing for the sale with strictly online retailers like Vroom and Carvana that focus 100% on Internet merchandising.

“Somebody’s got to own it,” said Tim Cox, a founder of CarNow.  “I have a pre-owned manager, I have an F&I manager, so whether it’s my tool or somebody else’s, they’ve got to have somebody that comes in and looks at that dashboard every day.  And then they have to respect what the customer did through the process … and then when (the customers) come in, it’s a different VIP process.

“That’s the main thing: If dealerships get that right, game-changer.  We’ve seen it.”

Paul Hennessy, Vroom CEO, also pointed to choice, pricing and transparency as other key retailing success factors.