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Philip Williams, Managing Director of auto finance provider Oodle, provides insight into how the industry must evolve in order to meet changing consumer demands …
A new era of car buying
There is no doubt that over the past two years the car buying journey has transformed, partly accelerated by the pandemic and partly due to the continued digital shift, customers are turning to turning to online to do more of their own independent research.
We are in an era of used car buying where customers are taking an omnichannel approach – whether it’s buying in person, online, or more generally, a mix of the two. And regardless of how people buy a car, almost everyone (91%) starts their research online.
To go even further, 54% of customers also want to organize their financing before buying a car. This is a trend that is expected to increase over time as people want more control over the process.
How a finance-focused approach benefits dealers
So what does this mean for auto finance companies? Market dynamics change and as an industry we must change to stay ahead of consumer needs and preferences and find ways to help dealers make their lives easier. For Oodle, the finance-driven approach is the way to go.
Buying a car can be an emotional and complex process – and there’s a lot of pressure on dealerships right now, especially when it comes to financing. Arranging financially with a customer in the dealership is time consuming and can be difficult when the dealership has to go back and forth to design the right package.
The finance route first removes this complicating element. It allows customers to familiarize themselves with their budget before purchasing, and gives them confidence, control and transparency. If a customer shows up at the dealership with a pre-approved credit limit before buying, they can profit from the process – and the dealership can sell cars faster and more efficiently, without the burden of compliance. It’s a win-win.
The Oodle offer
We are in the process of building a network of “Authorized Oodle Resellers” who take the finance-focused approach. We offer high confidence pre-approvals and a comprehensive product line that is tailor-made for each dealership.
We also help dealerships adapt to the new digital age with cost-effective, customer-centric and high-performing digital solutions.
We recently launched OoodlePay, which bridges the gap between “finance first” and an omnichannel shopping experience. OodlePay gives customers the confidence and control of pre-approved financing, loaded into a portable digital wallet they can use to purchase a car from our dealer network online or in person.
Membership in our online marketplace is free and is a true extension of our reseller’s operations. We take the complexity out, do all the upfront work, and dealers have access to pre-approved, ready-to-buy customers.
We are passionate about helping dealerships grow their revenue and gain a competitive advantage. We believe Finance First is the best, most customer-centric way to do it and move the industry as a whole forward.
To learn more about how to become an Oodle Authorized Reseller, visit www.oodlecarfinance.com/dealers