Stellantis wants dealers to adopt an online sales platform
DETROIT – Stellantis is making an effort to attract more dealers to its digital retail platform which was launched at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The automaker formed by the January merger of the PSA Group with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has asked its regional malls to encourage dealers to try out the system, which FCA initially called the online retail experience and then rebranded. E-Shop.
The latest pitch touts the platform’s low cost, wide range of features and high efficiency, as well as many improvements over the past year. As an added incentive, the first month is free, there is no registration fee, and dealers can leave at any time, said Kevin Frazier, a spokesperson for Stellantis.
But because new privacy laws make it harder to keep track of customers, dealers should be aware of the risk of data loss if consumers transact on a manufacturer’s website, said Brian Pasch, a marketing consultant who works with many dealers.
In a video posted on LinkedIn, he featured the site of a reseller who uses E-Shop.
“If I click on ‘payment options’ I notice that I am removed from the dealership’s website and redirected to a website called drivefca.com. It pushes the VIN, dealership code and a session id .. And finally when this software loads – and it took quite a long time – you will see that it is now on E-Shop.Jeep.com, a subdomain of Jeep.com. “
This indicates that the manufacturer, and not the dealer, will collect and store the data entered by customers, he said.
But that’s not the case, according to Stellantis. All data collected is available to dealers through the administration tool, Frazier said. “This information is intended for dealers,” he said.
Since April 2020, the platform has benefited from many improvements, according to a slide presentation sent to a Michigan dealer. Improved imagery, integration with Dealertrack for electronic credit applications and contracts, F&I customization, employee pricing, and scheduling of test drives and deliveries were among the highlights on one slide. Another list of improvements coming this quarter, including “KBB-powered” exchanges, e-contracting webinars, and more accurate pricing that incorporates local taxes and fees.
The presentation argues that E-Shop offers more essential services than CarNow, Dealer Inspire, Dealer.com, WebBuy, Darwin Automotive or Gubagoo at a fraction of the cost – $ 500 per month. He also states that from March 1 to 24, he produced more leads than these vendors and those leads led to sales at a faster rate than most.
Frazier declined to say how many dealers are on the system, but said it is the most widely used tool among Stellantis dealers.
Michael Martinez and Lindsay VanHulle contributed to this report.