By Desiree Homer
The Digital Sales Process Continues to Take Hold
Carvana, the company behind the car-buying vending machine, has made a pivotal move to join forces with Ally to offer an entirely digital F&I process. In the current pandemic environment, many dealers began adopting remote and digital options for the sales process. However, when it comes to signing in the F&I office, there were some signatures required in person. Executive Vice President of the MSADA (Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association), Robert O’Koniewski, brought up this e-signature point in a recent podcast with Dave Cantin. The touchless delivery service model is taking hold, and now with this latest partnership between Carvana and Ally, the digital finance side of the sale is becoming a reality.
Buying a Vehicle Without Ever Setting Foot in Showroom or an Office
Carvana led the charge initially as a 100% online shopping experience for car buyers. It’s now partnering with Ally, a digital financial services organization that is pledging up to $2 billion to Carvana. Created out of the recent need for remote solutions during a pandemic, the two companies are on a mission to design the safest way to buy a vehicle. The company provides what it calls touchless delivery for vehicle returns, trade-ins, and home deliveries. Now, with the commitment from Ally, Carvana can adapt to include F&I solutions as a digital extension of their touchless platform.
Digital Tools for Dealers
In the spirit of ‘staying home’ and keeping everyone safe, dealers are leveraging unique digital tools and apps that help customers shop, buy, and take delivery. DealerRetriever has one such app that uses QR codes to connect customers with vehicles in dealer inventories. GoIDit is designed to allow car buyers to scan a QR code on any car, a code that is linked to VDPs. Dealers can then identify the vehicle on the lot, and digitally connect to follow up on the lead.
Rodo is another app that has committed to helping dealers with processing new leases digitally. Nathan Hecht, founder and CEO of the company commented recently in response to Governor Cuomo’s approval of digital vehicle sales in New York. Hecht says the loosening of sales restrictions allows dealerships to take advantage of Rodo’s online leasing capabilities, to keep reaching those who need lease renewals as well as maintaining revenue channels in the safest way. Rodo allows customers to view live inventory with monthly payment information and process the delivery from home.
Dealers Hungry for Resources
Right now, many dealers are actively searching for ways to stay in operation within the guidelines of their states and markets. The automakers are lending their support by offering a myriad of buying incentives and payment deferment plans. The NADA is routinely rolling out webinars for dealers to get actionable and reliable details about the latest guidelines and available government-funded support. Those dealers who are allowed to engage buyers digitally are quickly adopting some of the apps and online resources to keep a line in the water. Mark Schienberg, President of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, shares how dealers in New York are faring, with last week’s state approval of digital sales, during a recent podcast segment with Dave Cantin.
Carvana and Ally are teaming up to create a touchless solution to F&I, and it may be the first of many industry partnerships to come. As you evaluate your operations options, make use of the various resources and tools available to you as well. You can keep the sales in motion, permitting the guidelines in your state, at least in a digital process.