A Dealership’s Digital Ecosystem: Insight into Technology of the Modern Franchise Dealer

Did you know that the average car dealer needs 7 different technology solutions to run their dealership? The once simple and straightforward business of selling cars has transformed into a complex ecosystem of interconnected and interdependent parts. And while technology has certainly become indispensable, there’s also room for improvement at many dealerships.

Dealer Dissatisfaction

In a recent survey of more than 200 senior leaders at different franchise dealerships, only 20% of respondents had no complaints about their current technology. That means 8 out of 10 car dealers are at least somewhat unhappy with their technology.

The Value of Technology

Nearly every dealer uses a dealer management system (DMS) or customer relationship management (CRM) software. In fact, almost 99% of dealers use a DMS and nearly 93% use a CRM. And, unsurprisingly, nearly all surveyed respondents said that their DMS and CRM were the most important systems to their businesses. Still, dealers expressed the lowest satisfaction and loyalty rates for these two systems.

Considering an Upgrade

With so many dealers expressing at least some dissatisfaction with their technology, 53% of respondents said they evaluate their systems and consider a technology upgrade on an ongoing basis. About 25% said they consider upgrading with declining value or persistent problems. And 18% said they evaluate when contract expiration is approaching. Only 4% perform such evaluations on an annual basis.

Selecting Software

In selecting new software, dealers tend to look for vendor familiarity first. They also consider contract terms, ease of training/implementation and vendor reputation. Surprisingly, only 1.7 out of 7 dealers said they look for product benefits and features of new technology. When asked how they’d like to see their technology improve, dealers named integration, ease of use, support, reporting, and flexibility as the top five factors.

Time to Consider an Upgrade 

Overall, survey respondents felt that merely improving their current technology wasn’t enough. Rather, they’re looking for the future of technology with more enhancements and mobile capabilities.

If your technology is slowing you down, it’s time to rise to the challenge of integrating new technology. To read more dealer survey insights and learn about the role technology plays in the modern franchise dealer, check out our infographic.

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