“Dallas-based startup Fastlane has raised the bar for online car buying with the launch of its new e-commerce platform for automotive dealerships”
CHICAGO, IL, August 23, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — Dallas-based startup Fastlane has raised the bar for online car buying with the launch of its new e-commerce platform for automotive dealerships. The new platform offers car dealers the ability to customize and brand their online car buying experience, while providing customers with a start-to-finish purchasing process. Dealers use Fastlane to showcase their inventory, help their customers pick out the car they want, and choose other purchase components such as financing, service contracts and insurance.
“Fastlane has taken online car-buying to the next level by letting dealers customize their online check-out flow,” said David Luce, Fastlane’s Vice President of Sales. “Other car-buying platforms have a cookie cutter check-out flow that cannot be changed. Fastlane recognizes that dealers in one market, such as New York, may sell cars differently from dealers in other markets, such as Georgia or California. Fastlane offers dealers a way to personalize the online car buying experience to meet their customers’ needs, while adding value to the overall purchase experience.”
“Fastlane is much more than a lead-generating tool for dealers. It is a complete car buying system, with advanced features and customizability,” explains Brandon Hall, Fastlane’s CEO. “The platform seamlessly walks customers through the many aspects of the buying process.”
In today’s world of online car buying, customers can shop for the vehicle, get a value for their trade-in vehicle, get pre-approved for financing and even educate themselves on warranty and insurance products for their vehicle. Until now, the challenge has been that all of these issues are dealt with by different websites or tools–customers are often told to “see dealer for details.” Fastlane brings all these separate elements of car buying together under one umbrella. Customers can view the inventory, pick out their car of choice, arrange for financing, add service contracts and insurance products to their shopping cart – all in a one-stop online checkout.
“Online car-buying certainly has its benefits, but that doesn’t eliminate the need for car owners to have a good relationship with a dealer. Our goal is to supplement current dealer operations by adding a unique customer experience through our online checkout. We are here to make online car buying advantageous for car dealers and customers alike by fostering new ways of engagement and creating a dynamic shopping experience for all parties. It’s the best of both worlds,” said Hall.
Fastlane helps dealers navigate the cyclical nature of the car business and focus on building dynamic customer relationships
One of the challenges that the automobile industry continually faces is its cyclical nature. Depending on the state of the economy, manufacturers may find themselves with too little or too much product and, in turn, dealers face the same dilemma. At the height of the recession, there was an overabundance of new car inventory and a shortage of quality pre-owned cars, as people held off their new car purchases. Once the recession was over, there was a run on new car sales and dealers had a difficult time maintaining their new car inventory, while having the challenge of moving a large inventory of pre-owned cars (trade-ins). Today, car sales across the U.S. have continued to slow and again there is an overabundance of inventory.
Fastlane’s online checkout helps dealers by getting their inventory–both new and pre-owned cars–sold online to prospective buyers so dealers can move product more quickly and efficiently. Dealers also benefit from Fastlane’s in-dealership checkout systems, which include a mobile purchase order system used by sales to close a customer in the showroom or on a test drive, as well as a self-service kiosk where customers can browse inventory, submit trade-in information and apply for financing. Fastlane’s solutions help streamline the purchase process, while freeing the store’s staff and customers from some of the most time consuming transactional aspects of the purchase. This enables the dealership to concentrate on the value-add the store brings to the customer–expertise, trust and a great experience.
Transformation of the auto industry makes the case for Fastlane
“For well over a decade, the vast majority of car buyers have been starting their purchase process from an internet browser,” said Hall. “With companies such as Carvana, Tesla and others pioneering online car buying, there is even more evidence that online car buying is not the future automotive retailing–it is today.”
It was not too long ago that car buying was locally-driven–buyers visited their local showrooms, where they made their purchase, and sales were driven through ads in the Sunday paper. These days, marketing a car for sale in Detroit could result in selling it to a customer located in Chicago. Localization has evolved into globalization, and with it come the challenges of increased competition and increased expense. This means dealers are working harder than ever to engage new customers and maintain customer loyalty.
Dealers are already adapting to this new world, and those with keen foresight consider this transformation a huge opportunity. With the ease of online price comparison tools, an increasing number of dealers are putting their best price forward and opting for no-haggle pricing. Now with more leveled pricing, transformative stores are rising to the occasion by offering service-based incentives to drive a best in class customer experience in order to compete for market share. Millennials, in particular, have come to expect a modern shopping experience and increasingly use online buying sites for many of their purchases. Dealers who meet this growing expectation by offering a dynamic purchase experience, online and in-store, will maintain relevancy to tomorrow’s buyer.
“Fastlane’s greatest strength is that it transforms the buying experience into an easy, efficient process while making it possible for dealer staff to spend less time on paperwork and data entry, and more time engaging with their customers,” explained Hall. “Our technology gives dealers a way to offer an unparalleled customer experience. Dealers can then concentrate on earning more business by offering unique service-based incentives and advice, meanwhile turning customers into evangelists for their dealership. These “e-dealers” are the ones who will continue experiencing the most success.”
Fastlane, with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, is a developer of innovative e-commerce and showroom technologies for automotive dealerships. Fastlane creates value for dealers by providing them with an online checkout experience and enhancing dealer’s in-store purchase experience, giving them the power to sell more cars, be more profitable and increase overall customer satisfaction. By offering Fastlane’s turnkey purchasing solution, dealers give customers a convenient way to complete the purchase transaction while the sales team focuses on engaging with customers and building long-term relationships that last well after the car is purchased.
Fastlane’s technical integration team, based in Dallas, Texas, customizes the Fastlane e-commerce platform to meet the specific and unique needs of individual dealerships and dealer groups.
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