Dealerships must prepare for online F&I

We've said it before and we'll say it again: dealerships must prepare for online F&I!  Presenting your F&I products and offerings along with an explanation of their values and benefits online is imperative. Consumers are increasingly making their car buying decisions before ever stepping foot into a car dealership.  Having your F&I lineup online where customers can review and educate themselves in the comfort of their homes is increasingly necessary.  Don't believe us? Automotive Assurance Group is here to assist dealers with creating an informative and effective F&I presence on their existing websites.  Contact us to to learn how we can help. Here's what AutomotiveNews has to say on this topic:

Dealers must prepare for online F&I

The prospect of U.S. consumers making vehicle purchases completely online without setting foot inside dealerships raises many issues for auto retailers, but especially for finance and insurance managers. 

Their concern is straightforward. Can they effectively sell the F&I products so vital to most dealerships' profitability without face-to-face contact? 

The worry is that price-conscious consumers scrolling through a long list of online purchase options will bypass F&I products without giving them much consideration. "Everybody is scared about the loss of profitability online," says Jim Maxim, president of MaximTrak and chief digital officer at RouteOne. "Once you go that route, there's nothing to retain those F&I profits." 

Maybe. One study found that consumers purchased more F&I products from the comfort of their living room than after multiple hours in the dealership. 

Resisting fully online vehicle purchases misses the bigger picture. Ultimately, some buyers will choose to skip the brick-and-mortar environment. Dealers must bow to those buyers' preferences. 

Such a shift won't happen overnight, but it's coming. Cox Automotive expects 10 percent of the auto industry's transactions to be online by 2019. Many consumers are accustomed to completing much of their day-to-day purchases online. Whether they'll feel differently when it comes to car buying is uncertain. 

Electronic contracting has been part of the auto industry for years. Some automakers' captive lenders already handle most of their contracts electronically, and most F&I product providers offer e-contracts. 

Dealers know they cannot insist that prospective buyers bow to their existing sales process. Auto buyers have too many other choices for that approach to be sustainable. So dealerships must figure out how to present the benefits of F&I products to prospects who prefer to purchase online.

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