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Findings from Cox Automotive's Future of Digital Retail Study

Dealerships must change to meet web-savvy, consumer expectations

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Article Highlights

  1. Dealers must streamline the in-dealership car-buying experience and change to allow web-savvy consumers to complete one or more steps of the purchase process online, according to Cox Automotive’s “Future of Digital Retail Study.”
  2. Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive, said the survival of OEMs is contingent on car dealers who must invest in technology and processes to bring the car buying process more in line with consumer expectations.
  3. “Dealership staff are in fact, valuable consultants so it’s not the death of the dealership or the car salesman, just the way we buy cars,” Mike Burgiss, vice president, Digital Retail, Cox Automotive, said of the study findings. “Dealers can gain a significant competitive edge if they will move into the new digital way of selling.”

DETROIT — Dealers must streamline the in-dealership car-buying experience and change to allow web-savvy consumers to complete one or more steps of the purchase process online, according to Cox Automotive’s “Future of Digital Retail Study.”

The study was released Jan. 14 as part of a press briefing just prior to the opening of the North American International Auto Show.

Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive, said the survival of OEMs is contingent on car dealers who must invest in technology and processes to bring the car buying process more in line with consumer expectations.

“Think about what needs to get better today in car buying,” he said. “Unless things change drastically, those OEMs are not going to survive without the car dealer and the ecosystem that is out there today. That dealer is really important.

“We are focused on the long-term, and we are very, very focused on the short-term, what’s going on today and how we can make the buying experience faster, less expensive for the dealer.”

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