Technology has been disrupting the wholesale auto industry since dealers first gained online access to auction data in the late 1990s.
Recently, Manheim has seen digital adoption accelerate, with nearly 50% of vehicles sold to an online buyer through digital wholesale.
This surge is only expected to continue as digital wholesaling now is available through mobile apps, making it even easier for dealers to conduct business. There are many ways digital wholesaling can create advantages beyond a physical sale. For example:
Get Time Back
As heard often, time is money. Mobile apps make it possible for dealers to list and bid from anywhere at any time, reducing visits to auction sites.
Whether this means wholesaling right from the showroom floor or doing so from the comfort of a couch is up to the dealer.
Either way, 24/7 access means dealers can do business on their own terms and have more time available for other things.
Dealers can save more time thanks to new-vehicle recommendation technology. With their target list of vehicles (based on previous buying history) at their fingertips, dealers can reduce time spent searching for the right inventory. Meanwhile, sellers can be assured their inventory is visible to the right buyers – increasing the possibility of a sale and decreasing vehicle-turn time.
Buyers are right to thoroughly vet a used vehicle for wholesale purchase, but when kicking the tires isn’t possible, technology helps fill the gap. With advancements in condition reporting (CR) technologies on mobile devices, such as enhanced CR systems, 360-degree imaging and movable images, phone screens can be just as informative as a physical inspection.
And features like undercarriage shots provide a more comprehensive assessment of a vehicle than can reasonably be done in the auction lane.
When using a mobile wholesale app, the dealership lot essentially is the auction lane, which means lower fees, less transportation and less risk in general.
Plus, assurances from wholesale providers specific to in-app channels, like guaranteed first bids mean sellers have everything to gain and nothing to lose by listing a vehicle online.
Access More Inventory
With smartphone access to listings nationwide, buyers have more inventory to choose from. If the right make, model and mileage combination isn’t available in their local market, now it’s only a few clicks away.
With a larger pool of inventory, buyers can find vehicles that fit exact needs, better serve customers and stand out from the competition.
On the seller side, mobile wholesale apps connect sellers to tens of thousands of buyers. An exponentially wider net dramatically increases the likelihood of sales. Because buyers can bid from their phones, inventory can sell at lightning speed.
Digital wholesale apps offer more opportunities for dealers to step up their inventory strategy while maximizing profits – and they are jumping on the bandwagon in droves.
Manheim experienced double-digit growth every month in 2019 through its mobile app, Manheim Express. And that is just a sample of what is taking place across the wholesale industry. (Derek Hansen, left)
We are seeing new technologies spark the usage of app-based digital wholesale by both buyers and sellers, creating an upward trend that will redefine the future of auto wholesale and how dealers do business.
Derek Hansen is Manheim Digital’s vice president-offsite solutions.