Giving consumers the option to purchase vehicles online can do more than simply add convenience to the buying process. One digital retail startup believes it can open up revenue opportunities for accessory sales.
Roadster, a California startup that allows consumers to buy vehicles online through so-called digital storefronts on dealer sites, is adding an accessories menu to its shopping experience.
Offering factory accessories through the Roadster storefront adds a fresh dynamic to the selection process.
Instead of feeling rushed to make a decision in the store, shoppers can sift through accessories on their own when making a digital vehicle purchase, Roadster officials say. The tool allows shoppers to see how the vehicle price is impacted when items such as spoilers, LED fog lights or moon-roof visors are added.
Roadster is rolling out the accessories menus now. Its Honda and Acura dealer clients are the first to get it, but Roadster plans to make the menus available soon for dealerships selling other brands that use the company's Express Storefront platform. These include Volvo, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota stores.
Roadster launched its digital storefronts for dealer sites in California last summer. The company's user base has grown to nearly 80 dealerships that encompass around 20 brands across the country.
Roadster implemented the feature after getting questions from its Honda and Acura clients about adding factory accessories to the shopping process, said CEO Andy Moss. Honda says its genuine accessories are "engineered to seamlessly integrate with your specific Honda."
While the accessories menu is new, Roadster has already been presenting finance and insurance products to online shoppers through its storefront. The accessories menu follows the same format as the F&I section, which includes products such as tire and wheel protection along with prepaid maintenance.
The accessories menu shows users pictures of how the various parts look and includes descriptions for each.
"The goal really is to make it so that online, when the consumer is looking at their vehicle and playing with the numbers, they can also see what happens when they add the protection package or trailer hitch or other items — both during the exploration and checkout phase," Moss told Automotive News.
He added: "The advantage of if you buy a dealer accessory when you buy the car is it can be financed. It's able to be covered by the manufacturer warranty."