Many companies, along with ours, now support your dealership with back-end, e-commerce solutions. Others are introducing emerging technologies, like the collaboration between e-commerce providers and distributors that sell direct to consumers, then ship those sales to a dealer automatically for consumer pick up.
This technology offers you, the dealer, the opportunity to capture a vendor’s retail direct sales. By investing the time to better understand these programs, your dealership can realize additional sales and more importantly have the chance to recapture lost sales that may have gone elsewhere, possibly to your competition’s Web sales.
Sadly, most dealers have yet to investigate or take advantage of these virtually free technologies to increase ROI and add sales. If you do not at least explore these emerging technologies, you are losing the profits that your vendors are trying to hand back to you. You have to look no further than the consumer electronics or the automotive industry to see the drastic changes that have occurred. There is a lesson here in that these industries’ retailers often did not adjust to the changing buying environment and while the value of their collective storefronts continued to decline, many failed to make the adjustments needed to survive. The stores that did pay attention have captured the lion’s share of sales. All had to reinvent themselves with a Web presence, some merged with other like stores to survive while others became virtual storefronts.
The reason we’re making this investment and offering up these e-commerce sales is dealers are critical in our long-term strategies. Consumer demand will drive what happens in the future, but you too can play a critical part in determining the consumers’ purchasing habits. In turn this will ensure your store’s future value to the consumer, your distributors and the manufacturers of our industry. If you are worried about the direction of our industry and your business, don’t passively resign to change, decide instead to play an active role in influencing this change.