8 Digital Trends for Auto Dealerships in 2020

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2020 is shaping up to be a visionary year for the automotive industry and auto dealerships. 

Consumers’ interests and shopping behaviors continue to change. This year will be even more focused on digital trends, such as connected automobiles and enhanced driver experiences. And, when it comes to digital transformation in the automotive space, it’s all about customer experience.  

Keeping track of consumer trends and emerging technologies – and getting out ahead of new developments – are a must when dealers are competing for business.

Here are 8 digital trends that auto dealerships should stay on top of in 2020:

Understand Your Customer

Last year, Ford pared down its car models to just the 2020 Mustang and Fusion. No one was really surprised to see them go. Sedan sales have been on a downward trend for several years. By listening to what customers want, Ford was able to streamline its vehicle inventory and cater to the needs of the customers.


Connectivity is no longer an option. It’s being demanded by car owners for 2020. WiFi is making automobiles the life of the party. Productivity is happening on the road and life goes on with business, social, and other needs being met as we drive. Digitalization is taking over the driving experience.

Omnichannel Shopping

Omnichannel means giving customers more ways to engage with your brand and vehicles. The average customer engages in 24 actions before buying a vehicle. Those actions can range from performing online research, checking out car reviews, and asking for recommendations on social media.

Customers are walking into auto dealerships more educated and empowered than ever before because of online research tools and various buying options. Your digital presence and digital “store front” should lead customers through the buying process. Shoppers can look at trade-in values, calculate monthly payments, and even line up financing. 

Digital Buying

Customers are researching their car purchase before they even step foot in the dealership. They’ve picked out a make, model, and the features they want on their vehicle. But, what if the dealership doesn’t have that exact vehicle on its show lot? New technology allows you to showcase “photo real” imagery of your entire inventory, using VIN-specific, absolutely-correct, vehicle images. Buyers can see the vehicle without leaving the showroom.

Digital Safety

An exciting feature in car design today is using Augmented Reality to help with driver safety. With AR, drivers can “see through” traffic, and see beyond the semi truck that is in front of them and be prepared to stop. This technology will make driving safer than ever before. 

Develop Your Team

Auto dealerships are rapidly digitizing, yet they continue to have high turnover with sales staff. Dealerships need to improve the customer experience and focus on their team by investing in team training. Training your team with a mobile sales enablement app can help improve the sales process. You can provide the tools to coach your employees on how to create a better dealership experience for customers.

The Year of Electric Vehicles

In 2019, there were more than 40 plug-in electric cars for sale in the United States. 14 new electric cars are expected in 2020 with promises of an unprecedented level of compelling designs, longer range, and attractive prices. The big auto manufacturers are catching up and lowering the cost of new electric vehicles in the consumer’s favor.

Autonomous Driving

Autonomous driving is a trend worth mentioning, as it relies heavily on technology and connectivity. At this point, there seem to be some significant issues with self-driving cars. Human drivers and autonomous vehicles will take a while to get used to one another. But it’s an important trend to remember.

The auto dealership interaction is still critical for customers. Almost 90% of car shoppers want to sign the final paperwork in-person. There’s just something so satisfying about driving that new vehicle off the lot and making it your own!

Want to learn more about how the CatalystXL mobile app can help achieve your digital transformation strategies for 2020? We can launch a private-label mobile app in 2 hours with enterprise-class features and functionality, including Connected Workforce and Sales Enablement. We can make your app available in the Apple Store and Google Play within 48 hours.