This study analyzes the competitive landscape, business models, pricing, and future focus areas of dealerships, DMS providers, and third-party vendors in the automotive CRM market.
Automotive retail is shifting from a product-driven to customer-centric approach and accommodating changing customer expectations have become crucial for dealers. However, dealerships are struggling to finely capture customer data through multiple online retail channels, ensure that information is actionable, and achieve a centralized view of customers across all stores. Automotive CRM is trailing behind other industries and dealerships need to utilize the advanced capabilities of CRM to proactively identify business opportunities and build trusted relationships with their customers throughout the ownership lifecycle.
Automotive CRM’s competitive landscape is evolving, with DMS providers entering the market and intensifying competition. DMS providers are lacking advanced CRM capabilities and, hence, acquiring small CRM vendors to realize profitable business opportunities in the market For example, CDK Global acquired ELEAD1ONE to strengthen CRM capabilities and expand its client base in the United States. Third-party CRM vendors are offering flexible integration interfaces to ensure that dealers connect to DMS systems seamlessly. It is essential for CRM and DMS providers to work hand-in-hand to survive in the industry and for dealers to realize business profits. Dealerships/OEMs who establish a well-defined omni-channel strategy are likely to attract more customers, build trusted relationships, and transform the overall customer experience, thereby enabling higher profit margins in sales and aftersales.
Proactive recommendations and targeted campaigns are imperative in the age of omni-channel retailing. Automotive CRM solutions should seamlessly synchronize customer data from multiple touchpoints and analyze them using data mining algorithms to maximize customer engagement. Dealerships should aggressively work with CRM vendors to integrate data from disparate sources and identify profitable business opportunities through CRM analytics. OEMs need to re-evaluate their omni-channel strategies and collaborate with CRM vendors to improve the shopping experience for customers across multiple retail channels.
Web-based CRM has been traditionally deployed in a majority of the dealerships in the United States and Europe. However, key benefits such as reduced capital costs, less maintenance overheads, and usage-based pricing are favoring small and mid-sized dealerships in the US market to implement cloud-based CRM solutions. European dealerships will be relatively slow in migrating to cloud CRM due to stringent data privacy laws (such as the GDPR). Large dealerships will involve a long tail of transition and security concerns when it comes to full cloud adoption and, hence, will remain skeptical towards cloud CRM until 2025.
Key Issues Addressed
- What are the current and the future CRM features?
- How will advanced CRM features act as value-add channels for dealers and OEMs?
- What are the different CRM business models in the automotive industry and which one(s) will garner more value in the current and future ecosystems?
- How is the industry working with franchise regulations and state federal laws in Europe and North America?
- Who are the major CRM market participants? What are the key solution capabilities of the CRM service providers in the automotive industry?