Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is making it easier for vehicle shoppers to buy a vehicle over the internet by offering several new features to its online retailing experience.
Consumer can now schedule test drive appointments or have their questions answered in real time via online chatting.
Each brand — Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat and Alfa Romeo — has its own E-shop website and promotional video. The voiceovers are similar, but language is tweaked to have tonality that matches each brand.
Dealers now can list their entire certified preowned vehicle and used vehicle inventories on E-Shop.
In April, FCA pulled ahead the launch of it online retailing experience to help dealers who were attempting to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, says Jeff Kommor, U.S. head of sales. Little did the automaker know what a powerful tool it would become.
About 45% of FCA's monthly sales originate from an internet lead, compared to 25% a year ago, he says. Online shopping traffic across the dealer network has increased more than 65% since the spring. Customers who complete the process online are spending less time in the dealership and more time learning about the new features of their vehicles, making the purchase process more enjoyable, he says.
“Consumers say E-Shop gives them more transparency, while dealers say the entire process, including home delivery, allows them to create a strong bond with the shopper,” Kommor says in a release.
The platform allows customers the ability to complete the entire vehicle purchasing process online, including pricing information, trade-in value of the current vehicle, financial lending options, e-signature to complete final paperwork and, in most cases, scheduling home delivery.
E-Shop is accessible through each brand's website, participating dealer sites and a variety of social media applications.
The automaker envisions E-Shop as a digital backbone onto which it could add elements that put the customer first, says Marissa Hunter, head of marketing, FCA - North America. “Internal intelligence, early customer and dealer feedback, are shaping the next phase of E-Shop, giving our brands and dealer body a sophisticated online tool to drive more excitement, affinity and trust in the shopping process,” Hunter says in a release.