Innovation comes in many flavors – we often think of innovation in the context of something new, groundbreaking or a concept so radically impactful that we have a hard time relating to a life without it before it existed. The problem with this mindset is that innovation has a risk of never starting or thinking that innovation is simply not a feasible objective in the automotive dealership roadmap.
We need to have an honest conversation about innovation in the automotive industry. There are innovative jumps all around us with the rise of electric vehicles, autonomous driving and the list goes on. But let’s be honest – our innovation as dealers is pretty limited. We still have archaic tactics on our websites, we have sales interactions in the store that our prospects consider buying a vehicle from a vending machine rather than visiting our stores.
We need to set the bar lower in regards to how we define innovation so we can set the bar higher and celebrate innovation at the granular level. Let’s face it and be honest about it – processes, technology and overall strategy in our automotive space has considerable room for improvement.
Innovation becomes a lot more digestible if you appreciate innovation for what it is at the granular level – if you are improving the experience for your customers, and your employees – You are innovating.
What Holds Us Back?
It’s a difficult answer, but the honest perspective is the main thing holding dealerships back is ourselves. Let’s take a moment to unpack what is holding us back from innovation within the dealership. The list may be pretty long, but we will focus on three.
1. Change is Hard
Change is very difficult in the dealership context because there are so many moving parts. Staff to set expectations with and train, holding everyone accountable to the desired outcome and fear of the unknown are the main contributors. Introducing a new technology in the dealership is hard also because automotive tech deliberately is not simple or connected.
2. Manufacturer Restrictions
Because change is hard, some manufacturers can use force to implement innovation in our stores. This could come in the form of having required technology for dealer sites from intermediaries in our space such as Shift Digital. Bonus money, inventory allocation and strikes are the consequences of not innovating – on their terms. The difficult part about this is when new players emerge that offer innovation – they can often end up not being considered because they are not in the COOP program or blessed by the manufacturer though the intermediaries. This one is frustrating because if you do want to innovate, you are in the spectrum of progressive that is not accounted for in manufacturer to dealership relations.
3. We limit our definition of innovation to websites
The encouragement we want to leave you with is that you have the power to innovate and that your innovation choices should be in-store first. This is our turf, this is where we want to improve and we want our in-store innovations to translate to online innovations – not the other way around. Reducing the tools to transact with customers, optimizing the sales process to reduce the time of a car deal. These are examples of innovation – this is what matters to your prospects and this type of mindset ensures that you create raving fans on your rooftops.
Innovators Choose A2Z Sync
A2Z Sync was built for in-store transactions first. We integrate with the essential tools in the dealership to deliver excellent customer experiences. A2Z is the platform that brings the essential tools to one simple and connected platform. Built in-store first, our online utilities are built to enhance the in store experience. This is our innovation journey that we want to be one of the characters in your innovation story.
A2Z empowers dealerships to transact with more efficiency, and increase customer satisfaction with the platform that progressive Automotive Groups rely on to optimize their sales process.
Let’s talk, our team has real world dealership experience and can talk through your innovation plans and see if A2Z can help you achieve them.
Let’s talk innovation together – booking a demo is the first step.