Editor's note: This story has been revised to reflect updated data released from Roadster on what percentage of dealerships surveyed are open for business, and open only for online sales and/or by appointment.
Dealerships have operated at varying capacities amid the coronavirus pandemic, with some locations restricting vehicle sales to online only and others opening showrooms for customers. Regardless, customers spent more time online to execute a car purchase and completed more of the finance and insurance process online than ever before.
Customer adoption of digital tools is contingent on what a dealership offers and also on how they promote those features, said Michelle Denogean, chief marketing officer of digital retailing platform Roadster.
Denogean said she was surprised results of a September study found elements of the vehicle finance transaction, such as F&I product selection and price negotiation, had higher adoption rates than virtual trade-in assessment tools, which have been around longer.
"It is a huge indicator of where we're moving," she said.