E-commerce Auto Retail: Strategies for Success

By Venkat Jonnala & Jean-Mathieu Chabas

E-Commerce has been one of the fastest growing areas within the US economy, and is expected to show continued strong growth. According to Forrester Inc., US e-commerce sales value totaled ~$200 Billion in 2011 and is expected to reach ~$300 Billion in 2016 — a growth of 62% over just 5 years.

Despite this growth, the automotive retail industry — an extremely large industry with $500-$600B of sales in 2013 — has yet to completely adopt e-commerce as a significant and standalone sales channel. Instead, most auto retailers / dealerships use the internet primarily as an advertising channel and make the sale at the dealership.

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