Rapid Retail, a newly launched addition to HomeNet’s Inventory Online (IOL) platform, earned the name of one of 2017’s most innovative automotive retail products by Driving Sales in their annual Executive Summit Innovation Cup competition.
Rapid Retail’s integrated technology collects detailed data and real, non-damage photos from vehicles purchased at any Manheim location in the U.S., applies merchandising treatments while in transit, and distributes that inventory to dealer websites and online advertising platforms. Cox Automotive’s HomeNet is the only auto retail partner with the ability to quickly market auction buys within hours of the gavel dropping. The speed and its associated value is only possible because of the rich data sharing between fellow Cox Automotive brands HomeNet and Manheim.
“It can take ten days on average for inventory from the auction to appear online with photos and descriptions,” said Russ Daniels, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, HomeNet Automotive. ”Rapid Retail imports vehicle data and photos from the auction into IOL in hours, providing speed to market to accelerate vehicle turn.”
As dealerships face a post-peak era and tight margin compression, speed to market and technology to streamline dealer operations to protect profits becomes more important than ever. A one to two week delay has a cascading negative effect on a dealership: in addition to racking up holding cost, it also creates a lag and inconsistencies in vehicle marketing on the website and in the showroom, which add up to missed opportunities to capture interest from shoppers and reduced front-end gross.
Rapid Retail allows for lead generation and even the purchase of auction vehicles before they arrive on the dealers’ lot. “My dealership benefits from faster speed to market as we’re able to start conversations with customers early, and make them aware of cars we bought only hours before,” said Jimmy Esteves, Sales Manager, Paul Miller BMW in Wayne, New Jersey. “The extra days of exposure create more interactions with customers. Some are calling my dealership before the car arrives.”