Used-car retailing giant CarMax Inc. is expanding its online offerings for consumers who want to limit — or even eliminate — time spent at a dealership buying a vehicle.
The Richmond, Va., company for the past few years has piloted initiatives such as online vehicle appraisals, preapproved financing, home delivery and expedited pickup at the dealership. Now CarMax will combine those into an online experience that it says will provide the same level of service customers receive in its stores.
"Because customers are now able to do more digitally before they come to the store, we're also empowering our associates with new tools and training to leverage the customers' digital progress — making it simpler, easier and faster for them to complete their purchase," CarMax CEO Bill Nash told analysts on a June 22 earnings call.
Over the next several months, CarMax will implement the program in new markets and hone operations to scale the approach more widely across its network, Nash said.
With 90 percent of customers starting their shopping online, CarMax has improved its website and mobile shopping app to include features such as 360-degree views of vehicle interiors. Also new is the ability to put a vehicle on hold or to have one transferred to another location.
The company will be able "to deliver as much or as little of the car-buying experience online as our customers want," spokeswoman Claire Hunter wrote in an email.