Blame it on Bezos. Jeff Bezos’ Amazon has conditioned all of us to shop online and got consumers accustomed to the (almost) instant gratification of ordering something online and having it delivered to our homes.
It’s a trend that’s not going anywhere and will continue to expand in the auto retailing business, said Steve Greenfield, CEO/Founder of venture capital firm Automotive Ventures. And, auto dealers will continue to adapt, innovate and diversify along with the industry, Greenfield said during his Sunday session on the Live Stage, part of Affinitiv’s Digital Daily series.
“Any given dealer is effectively running seven different P&Ls,” Greenfield said, ticking off all the businesses found within a dealership, along with all the other factors dealers must navigate, including supply-chain issues, inventory shortages, and shifting regulations and rules. “And they still have found ways to drive more revenue and profitability. They’ve come up with a business model they’ve effectively diversified into several different P&Ls under the same rooftop.”
So dealers will continue to thrive with online retailing and future electric vehicle (EV) products. The real opportunity for dealers, as Greenfield sees it, is embracing technology that compliments the customer experience and creating communications to let them know about aftermarket software and apps that can unlock new performance features or enhance the car’s cabin experience.
Greenfield said dealers should think of the car as the hardware and vendors and manufacturers will provide a whole host of software that they can keep consumers aware of. “We are going to see a new world where as soon as they are able to innovate new solutions on a car, customers are going to be able to unlock and download those features to their car,” Greenfield said.
“The dealer model is incredibly resilient. There are a lot of changes coming, but I’m hopeful for the resiliency of the dealer model, especially for dealers who embrace change and technology,” he added.
Check out the video below to see Greenfield’s thoughts on service as a profit-driver, creating a “Genius Bar” in a dealership and what dealers can do to keep up with the incredible pace of change coming.