AE spoke with DealerSocket’s director of product management, Eric Giroux, following the company’s presentation at the 2018 Technology Challenge.
WHY DID YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGE?
After years in the making, the Technology Challenge was a perfect forum for us to unveil our new web development platform: Engine6. We’re excited about the breakthroughs we have made in automotive website usability and dealership control.
WHAT DID YOU FEEL MADE YOUR PRESENTATION STAND OUT WITH THE INDUSTRY SUMMIT AUDIENCE?
Dealership websites are nothing new. What stands out about Engine6 is that we’ve completely raised the bar and changed the industry standard for what a website platform in automotive ought to do for manufacturers, dealerships, and consumers alike.
"Ultimately, we’re trending toward increased transparency and the availability of self-service when it comes to vehicle and F&I sales."
Now, as the presenter, I may be just a bit biased, but I think the audience was particularly impressed with two things: One was the ease of customization capabilities that anyone — not just technical folks — has within Engine6. A finance manager, for example, can securely make instant changes to their own credit application form. Second was the side-by-side page load speed comparison videos were pretty impressive, as we are cutting industry-best site and page load times in half.
WERE YOU IMPRESSED BY ANY OTHER PRESENTATIONS?
One presentation featured a new product that had some really innovative applications. The product was a physical device that plugged into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port. When equipped on every vehicle a dealership has for sale, it could be used not only for lot management and vehicle location tracking, but also for receiving vehicle statistics post-sale.
This, in turn, enables dealerships to send more relevant service marketing communications to customers based on vehicle use, mileage, and driving behaviors. I thought that was pretty cool.
DO YOU BELIEVE THIS SIGNALS A GROWING INTEREST IN DIGITAL SALES AND F&I SOLUTIONS?
Absolutely. Almost all other retail industry verticals are proving this point. Many products you purchase online are now offered with available protection plans during “checkout.” Though the purchase of a vehicle and its protection plans is far more complex than that of, say, a television and protection plan purchase, this online retail trend gives us, in automotive, an awesome opportunity to “cheat off our neighbor’s paper,” so to speak, and learn from successes realized in adjacent markets.
Ultimately, we’re trending toward increased transparency and the availability of self-service when it comes to vehicle and F&I sales.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOUR COMPANY?
DealerSocket will continue to drive the future of automotive by offering innovative and increasingly frictionless ways to buy and sell cars.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO OUR READERS?
Be on the lookout for exciting new software advances set to release later in 2019 that will deepen integrations between manufacturers and their franchise stores’ technologies.