Roadster, the California startup that created digital storefronts on dealer sites that allow consumers to buy vehicles online, is broadening the scale of its platform.
Roadster’s Express Storefront can now be used on sites at the dealership group level through what the company calls the Express Marketplace. It had previously focused on delivering its storefronts on an individual, store-by-store basis.
With the groupwide option, online shoppers visiting a group site can browse inventory for every store on the roster in one location. Consumers can use it as a resource to cross-shop vehicles before buying. Then, once they've decided, shoppers can select a vehicle and transact on the spot. The vehicle detail page indicates which store the vehicle is coming from.
Roadster CEO Andy Moss said the group storefronts are useful for both small and large organizations. The research component of the group sites, he said, can keep shoppers from straying.
"A lot of this is about how do you keep a consumer on the dealer group site as opposed to going off to a third party to do that research," Moss told Automotive News. The group storefront option is being launched at the NADA Show.
Consumers using Roadster's platform can get approved for credit, value trade-ins, settle on down payments and choose finance and insurance products. The vehicle can then be delivered to the consumer if desired. Many shoppers on the storefronts, however, are more interested in starting the process online and then coming into the store to test drive the vehicle and finalize the deal.
Dealer groups could leverage the shopping hubs in their marketing.
"If you look at what a lot of dealership group sites look like today, they may or may not have inventory. And, if they do, it's not commerce enabled," Michelle Denogean, Roadster's chief marketing officer, told Automotive News. The storefront is "giving them an opportunity to have a fully commerce-enabled dealer group site that they can pool their marketing dollars toward and gain some efficiencies that way. Whether you're big or small, you now have access to do that."