As dealership technology rapidly evolves, countless vendors are trying to get in on the action. Dealers receive a multitude of pitches daily. Sorting through the clutter to get to the offers that could help their business is a time-consuming challenge.
So, how can effective vendors let dealers know they truly understand their business? Partner with them. Rather than assuming what dealerships want or need, vendors should work with them on product offerings.
That's what AutoGravity did with Fletcher Jones Automotive Group last year.
Fletcher Jones "workshopped what the ideal experience would look like for the customer while still making that conducive to the dealership process," Andy Hinrichs, AutoGravity's CEO, told Automotive News. "With dealers, we had a direct feedback loop to make sure we were going in the right direction."
Fletcher Jones has a dealership-branded AutoGravity app called FJ Drive. Customers can shop for and finance vehicles through the platform and view real-time inventory at Fletcher Jones' dealerships.
In less than two years, AutoGravity has added 2,000 dealerships to its client base, including those of public retailers AutoNation, Penske Automotive Group, Sonic Automotive, Lithia Motors and Group 1 Automotive.
So far, AutoGravity seems to be on the right track, not only with technology but with its relationships. Vendors that complement dealerships' existing operations, rather than fight them, and recognize dealerships' strengths and expertise will likely be the ones that stand out.