Retail Anywhere - F&I - Completing the Deal From Online to In-Store

Hey, everyone. I'm Jordan Eechaute-Lopez with Reynolds and Reynolds. For years, sales has been shifting toward an online experience, but even when the vehicle was selected and negotiation occurred online, there wasn't an effective way to handle selling F&I products and signing paperwork remotely. Making the purchasing process fun, engaging, and personalized has always been a challenge, but taking your F&I manager out of the equation and simply letting your customers shop online for F&I products adds a whole new level of difficulty. The opportunity for profit or a sale at all shrinks quickly. There are several challenges that come with implementing a virtual F&I experience.

The first is simply letting customers browse F&I products on their own. You hire and train highly skilled F&I managers for a reason. They are selling products that aren't altogether easy for the consumer to understand, especially if they aren't familiar with the auto industry. That's why F&I presentations oftentimes include brochures or even videos to help educate the consumer. And the highly skilled F&I manager does a great job at selling these products in a virtual environment. You can't afford to eliminate the step altogether.

When we talk with dealers, they consistently say when their customers are working the deal online, they often call or ask to come in to review the finance products. Or worse, the customer immediately dismisses them because they've been conditioned to say no or they don't understand the value. This is probably the scariest part of it all. If customers aren't choosing add on products, what does that mean for profitability? The difference is in the approach – online versus in-store. The finance department is typically the make or break when it comes to profit on a new vehicle sale. After all, you hired them to sell. Are you prepared to hand over this process to the consumer with no control and risk losing profits?

A second challenge is compliance, how do you ensure every customer is receiving the same presentation every time? Are your in-store and online presentations the same? How do you verify the customer signing the paperwork online is actually who they say they are? These are the lingering questions that make compliance so hard to manage in a fully remote environment.

And the last thing to consider is getting the deal funded. If the customer is signing everything digitally, how do you package that up to send to the lender? Do you put everything together and upload it into a portal? Do you print and send it overnight? How do you make sure all of the required ancillary documents are attached to the deal? The question isn't whether or not to provide a digital F&I experience. At this point, it's necessary to have options. The real question is how is it done in a way that your dealership's profitability is protected? The answer, ensuring your dealership is able to stay in control of the process, even in a virtual setting.

With Retail Anywhere in your F&I department, you can provide a virtual F&I experience without sacrificing what's important to your dealership: control and profitability of the sale, accuracy of the transaction, and efficiency of your employees. Let's look at control and profitability first.

Your customers won't just be browsing online. Your F&I managers can provide a virtual interactive presentation and signing ceremony to customers no matter where they are. This will help bring a personal touch to the sale in an otherwise impersonal environment and ensure your F&I managers are able to present and truly sell aftermarket products.

The second part of this is accuracy. You're able to ensure that everything automatically flows from the beginning of the sale into F&I, no matter where the customer is or where the deal started. And it's one hundred percent accurate. There is no rekeying data or transposition errors. You can ensure customers are shown all necessary and relevant products and your F&I staff will be able to explain the true value behind them.

And lastly, we have efficiency. You don't want to have two completely different sales and F&I processes for your staff. With Retail Anywhere, your F&I managers can use the same seamless and efficient process online and in-store. Your employees aren't using different platforms and following different processes. This creates a streamlined and efficient experience for both customers and employees. A Retail Anywhere approach in F&I, or any department, is about giving your dealership a single, seamless process to conduct business, no matter where the customer is, whether they're at home, in-store or both, without sacrificing what is important to long-term success in the F&I office. That's profitability, compliance, efficiency, and control. Focusing on the success of your dealership is what makes Retail Anywhere so valuable. Thanks for watching. Visit for more information.