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2022 AADA Convention - Key Takeaways to Fuel Dealership Growth

by Chris Hopkins, on Jul 1, 2022 11:40:32 AM

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The AADA convention and expo is Australia’s premier automotive event. Every year the convention workshop program assembles some of the finest minds and leaders in the retail automotive industry, delivering solutions and strategies for every facet of dealership operations.

The theme of this year’s convention was “Future Focus” and featured 40 Business Sessions with contributions from 60 Industry speakers. If you were fortunate enough to attend no doubt you came away with a host of new learnings about how the automotive industry is changing as well as an action plan to see your dealership prosper well into the future.

From the first main stage presentation by Deloitte through to the last breakout presentations on day 2, the “future focus” theme of digital transformation echoed throughout the convention. So what’s new in automotive retail sales? Here are our key learnings for dealerships.

Here’s our take on the key learnings and takeaway actions for auto dealers post-AADA 2022.

Key Learnings from the AADA

Digital-first journey

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We all know that the buyer’s journey has transformed and the future is digital-first, Traditionally the dealership showroom was the centerpiece of the sales pipeline, but times have changed. According to the Carsales report “The Journey to Vehicle Ownership 2021,” the buyers’ journey to purchase has expanded from a median time of 2 months to closer to 7 months. Both car research and finance research begin online and consumers are increasingly spending more time consuming educational content before shortlisting vehicles and visiting dealerships.

Convenient access to finance is the #1 driver of consumer purchasing decisions


According to Cox Automotive convenient access to finance trumps both value for money and lowest repayment options as the most influential reason on who to finance with. The Cox Automotive presentation showed that 45% of consumers saw convenient access to finance as the biggest driver of car financing decisions, with the lowest repayment options coming in third with 29% of consumers seeing this as the most important.

Finance needs to be at the top of the dealership sales funnel


87% of customers explore their finance options before setting foot in a dealership. (Cox Automotive AADA 2022)

In the digital buyers' journey finance is the number one consideration. According to Carsales, 27% of surveyed consumers have organised their finance 3 months before purchase. 2 months out from purchase this percentage increased to 41% with 61% of all car purchasers having organised finance within one month of purchasing.

Deliver speed of service with technology

Consumers demand instant gratification around vehicle inquiries, finance applications, and value-added dealership services. Speed of service is key to delivering a positive consumer experience and automated inquiry platforms supported with instant SMS notifications can add serious value to dealership lead generation and customer service goals.

So what does all this research mean for dealerships? Cox Automotive reported that there is a 172% increase in customer satisfaction when the purchase blends online and in-store experiences. Dealerships that can successfully align their online and in-dealership experiences will be the big winners.

AADA 2022 takeaways for dealerships

Build your digital presence

Today your showroom is an extension of your website and to sell more dealers need to provide a proactive and multi-dimensional digital presence. This is not limited to simply advertising vehicles on social media channels and placing vehicle listings on marketplace aggregation sites like Carsales, Drive or Autotrader. A multi-dimensional digital presence includes attracting potential customers with great educational content that aligns with all stages of the buyers' journey, from basic car and brand research, to finance, trade value, maintenance, and beyond. The bottom line - expanding your digital visibility and attracting buyers early in the journey is critical to remaining competitive.

Offer fast, convenient finance direct from your website

For consumers, the old-school process of completing a “contact us form” on a website and waiting for the dealer to reply simply does not cut it anymore. Consumers want instant access to finance directly from the dealership website and demand instant gratification with a fast turnaround. Convenient access to financing services is the key to increased finance penetration and sales. 

Integrate with a digital finance partner


Integrate with a digital finance partner that can deliver access to fast credit assessment and personalised lending options for all customer profiles directly from your website as soon as possible. Ausloans are experts in this space. We work with over 500 dealerships across the country and currently provide deep finance integrations for a number of marketplace aggregators including Carsales 

Expand your communication network

 Partner with digital marketing agencies, technology partners, and marketplace aggregators to maximise your online exposure, align your marketing and sales strategy with the buyer’s journey, and generate more leads.

Next Step Actions

How Ausloans can help dealerships with a digital-first strategy

At Ausloans we are more than a finance aggregation solution we offer dealerships a full suite of services to drive deeper engagement and capture leads early in the finance journey.

Zink Finance Platform

Key-Learnings-from-the-AADA-2022-07With Ausloans Zink, dealerships can offer convenient access to finance directly from their website 24/7 with our easy-to-integrate partner finance landing pages and/ or use the Zink platform to follow the traditional face-to-face finance application process in the dealership.

 Zink offers solutions for both dealerships with OEM finance and in-house finance teams, and dealerships that require a brokered solution, delivering the versatility to meet the requirements of all dealerships, regardless of size and product mix. For marketplace aggregators, we also offer full, deep integrations into their digital platforms.

 The financing engine delivers two key capabilities that reduce time, increase efficiency and deliver deeper finance penetration. 

  1. Zink’s propriety traffic light credit assessment is lightning fast and with just some basic customer information provides brokers with an instant overview of the clients' credit profile. It’s as simple as looking at the color-coded lending criteria screen. Green means the client meets all the criteria and can proceed, Orange means that finance is potentially available but more information, (usually in the form of documents) will be required for the finance application to proceed and red means that the client has some credit issues which will make it difficult to obtain finance.

  2. While fast credit assessment is a powerful efficiency measure, it is Zink’s Broker Advisor that delivers the finance solution magic and maximises dealership finance penetration. Unlike other comparison engines, for customers who qualify for finance, Zink delivers a personalise waterfall of lenders prepared to buy the loan. The lender offers are real, personalised rate offers, including the rate on offer and the maximum amount they are prepared to lend. The key difference is that Zink’s Broker Advisor assessment is based on the customers' credit information, not the lowest rate on offer from the lender. Broker Advisor also provides brokers with a highly accurate loan acceptance probability score allowing brokers to advise customers of the best loan option available. 

  3. While Zink’s’ Broker Advisor offer truly personalised credit assessments to your customers, once a lender is chosen the system delivers great communications to both dealers (via the Zink workbasket dashboard) and consumers (via email notifications and SMS) to track loan progress from submission through to settlement. 

Resources to align with the buyers' journey

Actively marketing finance and finance education is the key to generating leads early in the buyers' journey. The buyers' journey starts with finance and when dealerships partner with Ausloans we deliver digital marketing support to help save time and money. When it comes to aligning your sales pipeline with the digital buyers' journey, educational finance content is king and Ausloans provides the resources to help dealerships generate finance inquiry leads with our push-button social marketing and lead attribution platform. We’ve done all the heavy lifting so you can focus on servicing your customer needs.

 Ausloans is helping transform dealership sales and we would love the opportunity to help you.

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