Recently, Dennis Ephlin, Auto CoE: Customer Engagement & Digital Transformation at IBM, wrote a blog for Dealer Marketing Magazine about the Future of auto dealerships. Below is an excerpt. Read the blog in its entirety here.
The future of auto dealerships survival will not be enabled by physical inventory and assets or traditional parts and service. No matter how much these departments are squeezed for cost reduction and profit margins, it will not be enough. The future survival and success of auto dealerships will be enabled by those that can create a customer network platform and deliver new goods, services, and experiences into that ecosystem. The future retailers in the mobility industry will be those that offer and deliver on the following:
New Services: These may include mobile servicing, electric vehicle charging and power utility exchanges, storage, rentals, shopping and concierge services.
Fleet and Fleet Management: Offering and managing a fleet of vehicles for consumers to acquire, borrow, or even serve as the outpost for person-to-person and car sharing platforms (pick-up/drop-off) and servicing needs.
Access Models: Retailers of the future will need to think of “offering mileage and mobility” and not just selling inventory. Enabling all ways for consumers of mobility to buy, lease, borrow, rent, and access mobility and mobility needs will be a major service of the future.
Personal Concierge: Serve and meet the multitude of needs that come with the consumer’s entire mobility journey. This includes vehicle access, usage, flexible servicing, full-service provider or manager of mobility needs that include finding and delivering mobility, vehicle options for use, scheduling, pick-up, delivery, insurance, financing, maintenance, and much more.
Customer Mobility Platform: Successful retailers in the future will operate more as customer mobility platforms—arranging and delivering all of the above possible services. This will help them become an “On Demand” mobility access platform for consumers of all kinds, all needs, and all models.