Presenting Products on Shopping Sites

I asked what seemed to be an unexpected question at the F&I conference. Every provider I have spoken with is keen to meet consumers earlier in the shopping process, but few seem to have engaged their technology partners.

All of you are working with technology partners, like menu systems and provider networks, and I would like to know what discussions you have had with them about presenting your products to online consumers.

This is what I had in mind when I wrote that system vendors should be aligning their B2C plans with product providers. I imagine that some network or menu system, somewhere, is soliciting input from its provider council, but I have not found any evidence of it.

Protection_DriverI did see one demonstration of a consumer experience designed to dovetail with an in-store menu presentation. It was impressive, but still the design was driven by the system vendor. I have to believe that providers have some untapped insights. I know that was the case with finance sources when I formed a committee to tackle online credit, back in the era before Dealer Track.

Providers Say No to Aggregation

My latest article is out in F&I Magazine, just in time for the VSCAC conference.  Thanks to Greg Arroyo for his fine editing.  The original “history and development of e-contracting” was not so pithy.  My thesis is that, while Dealer Track succeeded in driving dealers to a totally new process for online credit, this will not happen for F&I products.  With today’s technology, product providers do not need to participate in an aggregation portal.  Even the providers’ own portals are suboptimal, because they impose process change on the dealer.  The article gives additional reasons why providers won’t follow the Dealer Track model.

As I have written here before, the best place to present products is in a system that the dealer is already using.  Ideally, this means the DMS, but it could also include a menu or desking system.