Here’s What Happened at the 2017 Digital Dealer Conference

Here’s What Happened at the 2017 Digital Dealer Conference

Hundreds of representatives from the country’s biggest automotive dealers, dealership software companies, and automotive marketing experts met at the iconic Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Digital Dealer 23.

From September 18-20 these industry leaders shared ideas and strategies on how dealerships can thrive in the changing automotive sales landscape. MAX Digital came to join the conversation and demonstrate their unique automotive software solutions. If you weren’t able to attend, here’s a look at what you missed from MAX Digital at the 23rd Digital Dealer conference.

Recap of Digital Dealer 23

Anyone involved in the auto industry can see how much it’s changed. Customers do hours of research online before even stepping into the dealership. In this information age, your dealership’s online presence is your most powerful merchandising tool. Digital Dealer provided dealerships the information they need to hone this tool.

Attendees had the opportunity to gain insight at over a hundred different educational sessions, panels, and addresses throughout the conference.

  • Attribution
  • Industry disruptors
  • Effective merchandising
  • Vendor-dealer relations

How to Turn Your Sales Team into Product Experts

MAX Digital’s Senior VP of Strategy and Innovation, Patrick McMullen, led one of these educational sessions. McMullen’s session addressed how dealerships could turn their sales staff into product experts.

The average auto shopper does 14 hours of online research before he or she stops by your dealership. These customers often come in knowing more about the car they’re looking to buy than your sales team. Not able to defend the pricing, these salespeople often need to drop the price to make the sale.

McMullen showed how dealerships can prepare their sales team to become experts on every car on the lot. By having the information to respond to every concern, your sales staff can build trust with customers and protect your profit margins.

Free Demos at the MAX Digital Booth

The educational session wasn’t the only opportunity attendees had to see MAX Digital. MAX had a booth set up where dealer representatives could learn more about the MAX Digital automotive merchandising platform.

MAX offered free demos, providing a first-hand look at our platform. MAX’s software helps enhance dealership’s VDP’s, creates and distributes quality ads, and arms your sales staff with the information they need to become product experts.

Even if you missed out on the conference, you don’t need to miss out on learning about MAX Digital. Schedule a demo and experience how our platform can help your dealership.

Don’t Miss Out the Next Time

MAX Digital is proud to have been a part of Digital Dealer 23. Make sure you don’t miss your next chance to see MAX in person. Follow our blog, Facebook, or Twitter to find out where we’re going next.

Make sure to save the date for Digital Dealer 24, which will be held April 10-12 in Orlando, Florida.

Learn How MAX Digital Helps You Market and Sell to the Modern Consumer

Learn How MAX Digital Helps You Market and Sell to the Modern Consumer

The modern auto consumer is more engaged and knowledgeable than ever. Over 90% of buyers do research online before they decide on a car, and many have picked out the car they want before they have even stepped on the lot, having done, on average, 14 hours of research.

Adjust your sales strategy to today’s customers with MAX Digital’s online platform.

MAX Digital Helps You Build Trust With Customers

MAX Digital integrates seamlessly with your inventory management system to create high-quality automated content through the MAX Content Generation Engine. MAX provides shoppers with the information and transparency to know that you’re the dealer they can trust. This trust makes for more sales and higher profits.

Learn how the unique parts of MAX’s digital automotive retailing platform can help you.

MAX Ad

MAX Ad helps you to easily merchandise cars by generating relevant ads and allowing you to manage pricing. The ads are made using MAX’s optimal format and provide consumers with the answers to all commonly asked questions.

MAX generated ads also include:

  • Vehicle history
  • Price validation
  • OEM options and pricing
  • Expert reviews
  • CPO information

The ads get sent to where shoppers are looking, automatically going to over 200 third party sites like Cars.com and Kelley Blue Book. These ads create authority and justify the price before the customer even reaches your page.

MAX for Website

Convert website traffic into in-store customers with MAX for Website. MAX for Website creates high-quality Vehicle Detail Pages that include thorough information and dealership reviews. Consumers spend 200% more time on MAX VDPs, and the enhanced value report lets them know they’re getting a fair price.

MAX Digital Showroom

With the extensive research the average consumer does, they might know more about the car they want than your sales staff. MAX Digital Showroom is the tool they need to be inventory experts and justify pricing with easy device access to vehicle information.

Build your merchandising and sales strategy around what your customers are doing, and build trust with MAX Digital. Schedule a demo to learn more about our software solutions. You can also contact us at (888) 841-0884 for more information.

Research Shows Dealers Are Overestimating Trust from Customers, Not Completely Knowledgeable About Vehicles and Significantly Dropping Price

CHICAGO — April 11, 2016 — MAXDigital, a premium end-to-end software provider for automotive dealers, released new strategic dealer research on the subject of trust and transparency in the digital age. In conjunction with Erickson Research, MAXDigital surveyed U.S. dealers during the 2017 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Dealers are overestimating their trust by customers. Nearly 70 percent of dealers said their customers have a high level of trust in their salespeople. That is a huge disconnect from the December 2016 Gallup poll that showed just 9 percent of consumers have a high level of trust in car salespeople.
  • Customers are not only driven by price; they’re looking for value. Only 21 percent of dealers completely agreed that customers were most concerned about getting the lowest price on a vehicle. This closely aligns with a consumer study that found 79 percent of consumers bought because they were getting quality and value at a fair price, versus only 21 percent that bought on price alone.
  • Salespeople are not completely knowledgeable about all the cars they sell. Only 35 percent of dealer respondents said their salespeople are completely familiar with all the cars they sell.
  • Customers do their research before arriving at the dealership. 8 out of 10 dealers said customers arrive— either most of the time or always— at the dealership having thoroughly researched car options.
  • Customers sometimes know more than the salesperson. 61 percent of respondents said customers either sometimes, most of the time, or always know more about a vehicle they are considering than the sales team.
  • Dealers are providing large discounts on price. 56 percent of dealers are dropping price $500 or more per vehicle during the sale. Another 11 percent don’t know their average “drop.”

“This research highlights the need for dealers to recognize that their sales processes may no longer match customer expectations or pre-conceived notions,” said MAXDigital CEO Steve Fitzgerald. “Consumer buying habits have changed and it appears that many dealers haven’t addressed the need to become product experts and to sell based on quality and value, instead of price.”

Nearly 400 U.S. dealers completed the survey in January 2017 before and during the 2017 NADA Convention. Respondents included General Mangers, Dealer Principals, Internet Managers and Used Car Managers.

Access the full report and findings here: www.maxdigital.com/trust.

About MAXDigital
MAXDigital provides cloud-based software and mobile applications to the automotive industry. As the industry’s premium end-to-end software solution for automotive dealers, MAXDigital empowers thousands of dealerships across the U.S. to manage inventory, increase gross profits and sell more cars through digital retailing. Founded in 2001 with the FIRSTLOOK inventory management product, the MAXDigital suite of products now includes the innovative MAX Ad®, a content generation and distribution system, MAX for Website®, a vehicle value and content creator for dealer websites, and MAX Digital Showroom®, a real-time inventory and pricing tool for desktop and mobile that builds trust and transparency with customers. For more information visit MAXDigital.com.

Used Car Prices Dropped in 2016. Are you Equipped to Handle the Pricing and Profit Pressure?

Used Car Prices Dropped in 2016. Are you Equipped to Handle the Pricing and Profit Pressure?

As MAXDigital customers know, we have been warning about a shift in the industry since late 2015. Now it’s been confirmed. This month, J.D. Power reported that after years of climbing used-car prices, they’ve fallen into what analysts are calling “the first material decline we’ve seen since the recession.” Read more about what we expect to happen next, and how dealers can overcome continued pricing and profit pressure.

Over the past year, used-car prices have declined about 4 percent on average compared with 2015. Not just in one or two categories: J.D. Power’s Used Car Guide found that 14 out of 16 categories were affected.

How did we know it was coming? At the onset of the recession in 2008, consumers were holding onto their cars when they ordinarily would have bought new ones. This created scarcity in the used-car market, pushing prices higher. It was only a matter of time for the recession to ease and the pendulum to swing back.

Add to this the growing popularity of new-car leasing. According to Experian Automotive, the auto industry’s increased willingness to offer leases with low monthly payments helped fuel a rise in leasing from 20% of the new-car market in 2011 to nearly 35% currently. This, in turn, has led to a wave of late-model, recently-leased vehicles flooding into used-car lots—according to Manheim Consulting, about 570,000 more than in 2015.

So here we are, in a flooded used-car market with correspondingly depressed prices. And the future, as forecast by us and other industry watchers, is no better: all signs point to prices continuing to drop for at least the next couple of years. With gross margins tighter than they’ve been in years, how can any dealer profit or even survive?

The key is in not letting your gross margin drop any lower. That may not sound like an easy thing to do, as pressure increases to move vehicles at lower prices. But you can target one of the leading causes of margin erosion: consumer haggling.

Today, consumers spend hours researching vehicles before they set foot in a showroom. They know what you’ve got, they know what your competitors are charging for similar vehicles, and if your sales team isn’t equipped to answer all their questions, they’ll negotiate hard—cutting into your already-low gross margin.

How can MAXDigital help you “stop the drop?” By demonstrating to consumers that your prices are fair. When they see your customized Value Report complete with MSRP and OEM package information, and trusted third-party evaluations from the likes of Kelly Blue Book, NADA and Edmunds, consumer haggling is reduced or eliminated. So instead of being negotiated away, maintain your profits through communicating quality and value. Start protecting your margin by setting up a demo today.

MAXDigital Re-Designs Digital Showroom, Adds Recall Alert Feature & Enhances Mobile App

MAXDigital Re-Designs Digital Showroom, Adds Recall Alert Feature & Enhances Mobile App

CHICAGO — January 26, 2016 — MAXDigital, a premium end-to-end software provider for automotive dealers, announced today a number of software innovations including a newly re-designed MAX Digital Showroom mobile experience, added recall alert features for appraisals, and an enhanced mobile application.

The re-designed MAX Digital Showroom features an updated user interface with larger photos, interactive map, native phone features, a photo carousel, and a singular scrolling screen, resulting in a better user experience for both dealers and consumers.

“Our mission is to identify opportunities that make our software more convenient and easy to use for auto dealerships,” said MAXDigital CEO Steve Fitzgerald. “This re-design provides an outstanding user experience and better functionality. It will empower dealers to increase gross profits by selling the value of each individual vehicle and avoid additional discounting. The end result is a more satisfied customer because they have a better overall customer experience.”

Other notable enhancements include:
• Recall Identification & Remedy: Allows users to quickly learn if a vehicle has any open recalls, and if there is a remedy, during the appraisal process. The inventory management software pulls data from multiple sources to provide the most accurate recall information on each vehicle.

• Mobile to Desktop: The MAXDigital mobile app now includes two-way communication allowing information to synchronize between the phone and desktop. It also features an improved design and appraisal functionality.

• Group View in Digital Showroom: The inventory of all dealerships within a group can now be viewed in Digital Showroom. By having all inventory in one location, a salesperson can keep a customer from shopping with a competitor if the desired unit isn’t on their lot, but is located at a sister store. New group reporting has been developed to allow side-by-side store performance, so best practices can be duplicated.

About MAXDigital
MAXDigital provides cloud-based software and mobile applications to the automotive industry. As the industry’s premium end-to-end software solution for automotive dealers, MAXDigital empowers thousands of dealerships across the U.S. to manage inventory, increase gross profits and sell more cars through digital retailing. Founded in 2001 with the FIRSTLOOK inventory management product, the MAXDigital suite of products now includes the innovative MAX Ad®, a content generation and distribution system, MAX for Website®, a vehicle value and content creator for dealer websites, and MAX Digital Showroom®, a real-time inventory and pricing tool for desktop and mobile that builds trust and transparency with customers. For more information visit MAXDigital.com.

MAXDigital is Set to Steal the Show at NADA Convention

MAXDigital is Set to Steal the Show at NADA Convention

If you haven’t made plans to attend the 2017 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Expo, now’s your last chance.

The convention, commemorating the 100th anniversary of NADA, will be held Jan. 26-29 in New Orleans. Among the many attractions at this year’s event will be the keynote speakers. Included in the lineup are:

  • Jeff Carlson, NADA Chairman. Carlson is president of Glenwood Springs Ford and Glenwood Springs Subaru in Glenwood Springs, CO, as well as Summit Ford in Silverthorne, CO. 
  • Jim Gaffigan, comedian. Automotive dealers will no doubt recognize Gaffigan from his hilarious television commercials for the Chrysler Pacifica as well as The Jim Gaffigan Show.   

  • Mark Fields, President and CEO, Ford Motor Co. In less than three years at the wheel, Fields has driven Ford’s growth and investment in its design, manufacturing, marketing, financing, and servicing while also making a commitment to Ford Smart Mobility
  • Mark N. Scarpelli, Incoming NADA Chairman. Scarpelli is president of Raymond Chevrolet/Kia in Antioch, IL, and represents metropolitan Chicago’s franchised new car dealers on its board of directors. 
  • Amy Purdy, adaptive snowboarder. Purdy overcame the loss of her legs at age 19 along with a 2% chance of survival to become a three-time World Cup Para-Snowboard winner and a 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist.

 

 

In addition to the keynote speakers, the following two guests will engage in an intimate conversation with Keith E. Crain, Editor-in-Chief of Automotive News, Autoweek, and Automobilwoche.

  • Roger Penske, Chairman, Penske Corp. Anybody in the car business is familiar with Penske Corp. and its retail automotive, truck leasing, transportation logistics, and motorsports success.
  • Hélio Castroneves, professional race car driver. A three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, Castroneves is one of the most accomplished drivers of all time and the face of Team Penske.

Visit MAXDigital at Our Booth for a Chance to Win Prizes

In addition to catching the guest speakers, be sure to swing by the MAXDigital booth where you can fill out a survey for a chance to win a $250 gift card or receive a $100 gift card just for participating in a product demonstration.

We’ll also be giving away framed autographed jerseys of Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and John Elway, and hosting a pop-a-shot tournament with prizes. Visitors can enjoy a drink and watch games on one of 10 televisions in our sports bar.

Come to the expo for the guest speakers. Stay for MAXDigital. We hope to see you there.

NADA, MAXDigital, and New Orleans: A Combination You Won’t Want to Miss

NADA, MAXDigital, and New Orleans: A Combination You Won’t Want to Miss

There’s no shortage of things to see and do in the city of New Orleans. And if you just happen to be there during the NADA Convention and Expo in January of 2017, one of those things is to stop by the MAXDigital booth.  

MAXDigital, an industry leader in helping car dealerships optimize their online presence in order to maximize sales, will be well-represented during the annual convention put on by the National Automobile Dealers’ Association.

New Orleans is known for its Super Bowls, and the MAXDigital sports bar will be open for business where visitors can have a drink and take in the action on more than 10 TV’s. While you’re there, go ahead and fill out a survey and be entered to win a $250 gift card.

Better yet, complete a live MAXDigital product demonstration and receive a $100 Visa gift card just for doing so. Plus, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a framed autographed jersey from Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana, Dan Marino or John Elway.  

We’ll also be hosting a pop-a-shot tournament with prizes for the highest scores from each day.

About the Convention

The four-day convention and expo, tabbed the “Auto Industry Event of the Year,” runs from Jan. 26-29 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Automotive dealers in attendance will have the opportunity to network with major automotive manufacturers, share ideas, learn about new insights and trends in the industry, listen to keynote speakers and participate in workshops. You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with vendors like MAXDigital who are reshaping and redefining the way cars are bought and sold.

In addition to acquiring a wealth of knowledge and meeting other important people in the industry, there will also be time for fun with the NADA100 Carnival. On Jan. 26 at Mardi Gras World, NADA will be celebrating its 100th anniversary with live music including Foreigner and New Orleans jazz musicians along with cuisine from some of New Orleans’ most famous establishments.    

Register for the NADA Convention and Expo now and do New Orleans MAXDigital style!  

 

A MAXDigital Testimonial Highlight: BMW of Palm Spring

A MAXDigital Testimonial Highlight: BMW of Palm Spring

It’s one thing to hear the creator of a product sing its praises, but it’s another when the glowing reviews come from your peers. At MAXDigital, we believe wholeheartedly in our products, but also understand that you might want to hear from the actual dealerships that we work with.

Change is happening at BMW of Palm Springs. John Donaghy joined the BMW of Palm Springs team as the new Center Operator — and he is positively raving about the results seen from MAXDigital’s Marketing and Sales Platform at his previous dealership in Fresno.

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How You Can Win An Autographed Jersey With A Free MAXDigital Demo

How You Can Win An Autographed Jersey With A Free MAXDigital Demo

Sports are exciting, they bring people together, and provide a sense of belonging. This community-centric, positive atmosphere is what almost every dealer strives to bring to their dealership.

How can you use sports to build even more trust with your customers?

In today’s technology-driven world, customers usually begin by shopping on your website, follow through to your listings, and eventually end up in your dealership’s showroom. What if once that customer arrived, they saw a jersey signed by their favorite athlete displayed on the wall? It can potentially push your sale over the goal line.

Find out more about how you can score points with your customers by winning a framed, autographed jersey for your showroom.
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MAXDigital Strengthens Leadership Team, Focuses on “Stop the Drop” Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAXDigital Strengthens Leadership Team, Focuses on “Stop the Drop” Campaign
Digital Retailing solutions help auto dealers maintain gross profits

CHICAGO — October 5, 2016 — MAXDigital, a premium end-to-end software provider for automotive dealers, announced today that Patrick McMullen, previously the SVP of Customer Success, will now be the company’s SVP of Strategy and Innovation. He will be traveling the country to deliver the company’s “Stop the Drop” message which helps dealers maintain gross profits and transform the way they deliver value during every sale.

Additionally, Rebecca Oistad has joined MAXDigital as the company’s VP of Marketing. In her new role, she will focus on building brand awareness, leading marketing communications, and driving demand for the company’s Digital Retailing and inventory management software solutions.

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