The Digital Dealer Conference & Expo took place at The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on October 11-13, 2022. Thousands of professionals from leading dealerships and from all facets of operations as well as OEMs attended the conference. Speakers delivered over 75 actionable sessions presented by industry thought leaders and subject matter experts across dealership sales and service.
Key takeaways from the Digital Dealer conference:
- Inventory and human capital management are hot: Dealers remain actively focused on inventory sourcing even with recent supply and price stabilizations. As felt across the broader economy, talent recruitment and retention remains a key pain point in dealerships. Expect human capital management to remain hot as dealers have perennially struggled to find and keep good people, particularly technicians.
- Customer acquisition spend is returning: During pandemic vehicle shortages, dealers made cuts to advertising and adtech spends since additional customer demand could not be fulfilled without supply. Dealers are now looking forward over the next few months to return to a more average vehicle supply and a need for additional customer demand. More interesting is the shift for leads further down the sales funnel and, ideally, for sales fully completed online. The early pandemic saw dealers quickly shift to selling virtually, and we saw a number of digital retailing technology companies rapidly grow and be acquired. We are now seeing a consolidation of these digital retailing players with the strongest players able to complete the entire sales and F&I process online to deliver a fully booked deal to the dealership.
- Asset tracking and lot management are expanding technologies: The technology that started with vehicle recovery for theft and buy-here-pay-here has significantly advanced allowing for tracking within the dealership. Imaging technologies and IoT connected car systems are allowing dealers to track customer movements and behaviors to optimize variable operations and vehicle and other asset locations to optimize fixed operations. Expect this space to remain hot through and beyond any recessionary period as key efficiency and cost cutting applications within the dealership.
ComCap has also published its Automotive Retail Software Market Activity Report that covers key themes, market landscape, recent transactions, and a list of the most active investors within the sector. Please find our Auto Report here.
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