Independent Dealers Can Compete with Online Vehicle Retailers – Here’s How

How to Compete With Online Vehicle Retailers

If there’s one thing 2020 has shown the auto industry, it’s that customers demand safety, convenience and an online, modern-day car-buying experience. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic started to amplify this reality in the earlier part of the year, customers were already demanding remote options for vehicle shopping and home delivery – oftentimes, choosing to purchase from online vehicle retailers who made the process straightforward and simple.  

In fact, online retailers have been taking up market share in recent years, and that’s only increased since early 2020, as those retailers have made it easy for customers to research and buy the cars they want. Oftentimes, this new reality means that brick-and-mortar dealers must work harder just to stay competitive.  

Yet there’s still plenty of room for local and independent dealers to make headway within the online-business and vehicle-delivery realm. In fact, when it comes to dealers expanding their marketing-and-selling options to include home delivery but still retaining their physical dealership sites, they can really achieve the best of both worlds. These independent dealers will gain a true competitive edge with both a presence both digitally and physically, as they communicate and make themselves available to customers via all possible touchpoints. 

But the question becomes, where do dealerbegin? How do they develop a safe, efficient and customer-focused online retail and home-delivery program that can successfully compete with those of the online-retailer giants? 

In working with its auto-partner customers to establish home-delivery programs for their unique business needs, ACERTUS has identified a few key elements that independent dealers should keep in mind as they move forward with their home-delivery strategies. 

Sophisticated but Easy-to-Use Technology is Crucial 

Dealers who want to offer their customers the vehicle home-delivery solutions they demand need an intuitive website where shoppers can quickly and easily browse and select inventory, as well as request home delivery for their vehicle purchases. 

To ensure they have access to technology that allows for such home-delivery options, dealers can choose to partner with a vehicle-logistics provider that already has the technology and infrastructure to offer home-delivery solutions. Such technology means a customer can operate completely remotely, never having to take off work, run home or alter their schedule in any way to have a vehicle delivered directly to their home, office or anywhere else. Ideally, such technology is also able to integrate with an independent dealer’s existing operating system and can communicate back-and-forth with the dealer’s system quickly and easilyproviding transparent and timely updates to the customer and reducing the customer’s home-delivery waiting time. 

 ACERTUS has developed its own sophisticated, easy-to-use proprietary technology – called VINlocity – which not only enables customers to request vehicle home delivery, but also handles all incoming requests and updates and provides customers direct access to real-time vehicle tracking. This technology also allows for API integration, so it seamlessly connects with the dealer’s current operating system and provides timely and important updates to its customers – from the first request through the final vehicle delivery. 

This VINlocity technology also paves the way for more options that dealers can offer their customers, such as remote and contact-free care and maintenance, test drives and securing trade-ins at the time of delivery. Additionally, by utilizing this technology in a reverse-logistics fashion for home pickups ACERTUS also offers customers the ability to sell their vehicles directly to a local dealer – allowing them to go online to sell their vehicles, as well as arrange for them to be picked up and transported.  

Tech-enabled flexibility like this ensures customers’ needs are accommodated in just a few easy steps and gives them more reasons to select a local or independent dealer over a larger, online-based retailer. 


Safety and Convenience Must Be Prioritized  

In this time of COVID-19, now than ever before, convenience and safety must be top priorities for independent dealers working to set up their own home-delivery programs. It’s essential the vehicle-transportation process is straightforward and simple for the customer and that there’s a safety routine to meet both CDC guidelines and customers’ expectations.  

Depending on the specific route or distance, many vehicle-logistics providers have two primary transport options that the dealer and its customers can choose between. Car haul allows customers to receive their new vehicles without any unnecessary mileage, which is especially ideal for brand-new car purchases. But providers like ACERTUS also offer a drive-away option for many transport routes, which means a highlytrained, professionally dressed driver delivers the vehicle to a customer’s preferred drop-off site. In this personalized type of vehicle shipping, the driver can actually perform a full vehicle check upon delivery, answer any questions the customer has and show off the vehicle’s most unique features. 

Additionally, providers who work with dealers often have high standards and very stringent protocol to ensure the safety of all involved – customers, drivers, dealers, vendors and more. ACERTUS requires thorough sanitization at all possible points of contact and requires all drivers and carriers to wear masks, use the proper gear and socially distance from customers at all times. Its commitment to safety, as well as its infrastructure and tech-enabled solutions, allow it to offer independent dealers a fully contact-free experience for their customers with all vehicle-shopping-and-shipping needs taken care of online. 


Partnering with a Logistics Provider Can Deliver Results 

Ultimately, if independent  dealers choose to partner with an outside vehicle-logistics provider, they can gain access to a wide range of options when it comes the type of vehicle home-delivery program they want for their customers. When considering a partnership with such a provider, dealers should ensure it has the following: 

  • Sophisticated, easy-to-use technology that features accurate vehicle-tracking capabilities. 
  • Proper precautions to ensure safety, full sanitization and options for no-contact vehicle deliveries. 
  • Options on delivery type, such as car-haul and drive-away services.
  • Network of professional, highly qualified drivers and carriers, as well as options for additional remote services like contact-free care and maintenance, trade-ins and more. 
  • The flexibility needed to establish a vehicle home-delivery program that works for both the dealer and its customers. 

Fortunately, ACERTUS is not at all new to vehicle home deliveries. With more than 23 years of experience, its tech-enabled logistics allow it to create a truly customer-focused experience, allowing dealers to tap into a full range of vehicle services – including transporttitle and registrationcare and maintenance,compliance services and more. In fact, ACERTUS even offers storage options, where vehicles can be cleaned, fueled and detailed before a long-haul delivery is complete.  

Working with local and independent dealers as they compete in the realm of vehicle home delivery, ACERTUS is committed to helping these dealers realize many new benefits to their businesses and to meeting their customers’ specific expectations. 

Learn even more about ACERTUS’ vehicle home-delivery solutions, as well as its wide range of vehicle-transport and logistics services across the United States and Canada, at To connect with one of our team members or receive a quick quote, contact us hereor call us at this phone number: 855-ACERTUS (855-223-7887). 

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