Dealers Report Increases in Consumers Using Online Tools Resulting in Higher Sales
CHESTERFIELD, MO – Protective Asset Protection, a leading provider of F&I programs, services and dealer owned warranty company programs, announced today results of its latest industry survey which shows how COVID-19 impacted auto dealers and their efforts to quickly implement digital tools and resources available to consumers shopping for vehicles and F&I product options.
Protective commissioned an online survey of nearly 400 automotive dealership executives and found that the COVID-19 pandemic forced many dealers to quickly implement digital retailing options, resulting in 68% of respondents saying they’re now offering F&I product selection and pricing online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many dealers to quickly implement digital retailing options. Only 58% said they were making these F&I options available online before the pandemic. Another 68% said they’re now offering financing options/loan applications online, compared with 55% before the pandemic.
Digital tools now made available to customers online has certainly had a positive impact for many dealers. Roughly one in five dealers said their sales have increased as much as 10% since the pandemic went into effect, with dealers leveraging more digital tools. Looking forward, while 19% of dealers believe their digital retail sales will remain flat, nearly a third (29%) said they believe their digital sales will increase slightly.
With more digital retail resources now available, dealers say they will plan further updates and implementations in the coming months:
- Research/review F&I products/protection plans online (65%)
- Purchase F&I products online (55%)
- Select F&I products online (55%)
- Complete the F&I process (all paperwork) online (54%)
- Complete loan application online (47%)
(% of dealers)
Of those dealers saying they have implemented digital retailing tools online for F&I products, the majority say their customers purchased exterior appearance protection, and tire and wheel protection (63%). Another 59% say their customers are purchasing GAP and vehicle service contracts.
“Creating a digital retailing environment with access to F&I product options is paramount to the success of any online retailing strategy,” said Rick Kurtz, senior vice president distribution. “Customers today are accustomed to shopping online, and even leveraging online channels for researching financing options for a variety of other purchases. It’s important that dealers realize that better online availability will lead to a more educated and comfortable customer earlier in the shopping process, which ultimately improves the chance of a sale.”
ABOUT PROTECTIVE ASSET PROTECTION
Protective Asset Protection provides vehicle protection plans, limited warranty programs, GAP, and ancillary products through vehicle dealerships. Protective Asset Protection has been serving dealers for more than 55 years and currently provides products and services to automobile, marine, RV and powersports dealers. Protective Asset Protection is part of the financial services holding company, Protective Life Corporation. For more information about Protective Asset Protection call 800-323-5771, or visit www.ProtectiveAssetProtection.com.
ABOUT PROTECTIVE LIFE CORPORATION
Protective Life Corporation provides financial services through the production, distribution and administration of insurance and investment products throughout the U.S. Protective traces its roots to its flagship company, Protective Life Insurance Company – founded in 1907. Throughout its more than 110-year history, Protective’s growth and success can be largely attributed to its ongoing commitment to serving people and doing the right thing – for its employees, distributors, and most importantly, its customers. Protective’s home office is located in Birmingham, Alabama, and its 3,000+ employees are located in offices across the United States. As of December 31, 2019, Protective had assets of approximately $121 billion. Protective Life Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. (TSE:8750). For more information about Protective, please visit www.Protective.com.