Flexible digital retail integrations for a smoother ride on the car-buying journey

Integrating automotive retail software

Technology should make experiences better for customers as well as your sales, finance, and management teams. Software that makes the job easier means more attention on the customer, not on managing workflows and documents or troubleshooting applications. Whether or not new tools will play nicely with existing ones is a crucial part of choosing a digital retail provider. 

Bouncing between platforms, worrying about information accuracy between stages, and balancing the requirements of every tool can be frustrating. What if the workflow could be united in a simplified and streamlined experience for everyone involved? With the right flexibility and integrations, it can make every part of the process smoother and faster. 

Upstart Auto Retail prioritizes integrations with crucial categories like CRM, trade-in, appraisal, F&I, DMS, and product menu systems. Not only does this ensure accuracy, it unifies every capability in a more powerful, efficient, and seamless experience for sales teams and customers.

Integrations help your business run better

When it comes to choosing a digital retail solution for your car dealership, flexibility is key. Not only flexibility to give your customers the buying experience they want, but flexibility to align with the workflows that already work well for you—and the software that supports it. Essentially, digital retail integrations help you get even more value out of the tech stack you already have while adding additional benefits. These seamless connections allow you to stay in control of your sales and F&I workflows, while boosting efficiency and accuracy at nearly every stage. 

At Upstart Auto Retail, we’re committed to building strong and flexible integrations because they’re crucial for optimal dealer and customer experiences. With dozens of experienced automotive retail professionals on our product and support teams—and because we listen closely to what our clients need—we know how important it is to have every tool not only running flawlessly, but communicating effectively with teams and other technology. 

If your dealership’s online car-buying experience feels fragmented on either side—customer or dealer—here’s how thoughtful digital retail software integrations can help. 

Speed up deals at every stage

When you or your salespeople have to leave one platform to open another, you’re losing precious time. The same is true when they have to get up from their desk or leave the customer’s side to get help from a manager or someone in the F&I office. WANADA reports that customers spend 3+ hours for the deal, including 40 minutes for F&I — and that 50% of customers think that’s too long. Even more, two thirds, feel F&I especially takes too long. 

Digital retail integrations make for smoother car buying

But when a digital retail tool can connect with nearly every tool your teams use, pulling in and sending out the right information automatically, they can do it all from one spot. From creating a lead, to checking in a customer, to handling trade-ins, running credit applications, finessing F&I packages, and completing documents, your sales teams can quickly run through every step within a single digital retail platform, saving time at every turn. 

Simplify the sales workflow

Instead of juggling half a dozen software apps—and knowing when and how to use each one—digital retail and its integrations can make for a simpler workflow. Not only can this reduce errors, it can make onboarding easier and lift overall productivity. 

Imagine training salespeople on a single digital retail tool and a simpler deal workflow to get them up and running more easily, without missing out on the essential information needed from your other technology. 

Preserve accuracy across platforms

Every time there’s a gap in the information flow, or when something has to get written down and re-entered into another platform, the risk of errors and inaccuracies increase. So when every tool’s contribution to the deal progression can be automatically linked to the digital retail tool, your chance of making mistakes is much less. 

From pulling in the correct contact information, to handing off precise vehicle details, and submitting complete and accurate financial paperwork, Upstart Auto Retail’s software connections make information sharing more reliable. 

Retain control of your unique workflow and tech stack

Managing an effective and consistent sales workflow is hard enough when you have a dozen salespeople with different personalities, styles, and preferences for how they use technology in their jobs. With a digital retail tool that unites all the software they’re already using, you can regain and retain control over the essential steps of the process while preserving autonomy and flexibility for each individual. 

Instead of tricky instructions and policies, a deal workflow can be built right into the digital retail platform with every incoming and outgoing software integration ready to go. Salespeople simply login, progress through each step, and free themselves of keeping track of numerous platforms, documents, processes, and pieces of information. 

Support omnichannel experiences for customers and sales teams

From the time a customer browses your online inventory to the time they sign their contract and drive away, they can experience your business all in a single platform — Upstart Auto Retail. That’s because the tool’s integrations connect it to the sources needed to find financing, evaluate a trade-in, collect personal information, and more. 

On the operational side, sales teams and managers have the same benefit — nearly every tool and workflow they need to use throughout the process is accessible from the single digital retail platform. That business-side seamlessness translates into smoother customer experiences, because the salesperson can stay more focused on the customer and their deal rather than hopping between platforms, managers, and documents. 

Here’s how these benefits come to fruition in four critical categories of dealership software.

CRM integrations for digital retail 

CRM, or customer relationship management, is in many ways the oil that keeps the gears turning at your dealership. Without consistent, reliable lead collection and nurture, sales and profitability will undoubtedly be impacted. Upstart Auto Retail utilizes both a push-and-pull-style API integration as well as ADF XML (Auto-Lead Data Format) to share and update information collected in the digital retail tool with the CRM’s own records.


Digital retail integrates with CRM for easy outreach

So not only will a new lead be created in your CRM when they begin their activity in the digital retail workflow. Those leads will also update with deal progress and other information collected further into that contact’s journey. Salespeople will be delighted to see a reduction in duplicate leads with this smooth CRM-to-digital retail integration. And when deals are closed, that event gets passed along as well, to help initiate aftersales and remarketing activities in the CRM. 

Crucial updates such as customer details, credit applications, and trade information can all be synced between digital retail and CRM. But even more exciting is Upstart Auto Retail’s ability to handle pricing customization and then push that pricing directly to the dealership, a standout feature in digital retail. 

“It’s magical the way that Upstart Auto Retail’s online platform draws customers through transactions. I’ve never had so many people say ‘this is the best purchase experience I’ve ever had’ or ‘your tool works so much better than everyone else’s,’” says Mike Anderson, CSO at Lexus of Lehigh Valley and owner of The Rikess Group, an automotive sales and strategy consulting firm. “The best is always seeing emails that inform us we have a new car purchase in our CRM.”

Current CRM integrations include:

  • eLeads
  • VinSolutions
  • DealerSocket
  • Reynolds & Reynolds (contact management)

Trade-in and appraisal integrations with digital retail

When your sales team inputs trade-in vehicle information into Upstart Auto Retail, integrations with popular trade-in value applications can provide an offer in seconds. 

Current trade acquisition integrations include:

  • FirstLook (Max Digital)
  • vAuto

Trade-in tools integrated with digital retail workflows

In the customer-facing app, salespeople and customers alike can enter a vehicle VIN into the digital retail tool to get an estimate or a firm offer on their trade-in vehicle. Without disrupting the online car buying experience, buyers can use this estimate or offer to customize their pricing in real time. 

Estimates provide a range of trade-in values based on vehicle condition.  Firm offers, presented after the customer enters in more detailed vehicle information, provide a more customized trade-in value. Both estimates and firm offers can be presented with a disclaimer that an in-person inspection will still be required to determine the exact amount offered.

Current trade-in tool integrations include:

  • Kelley Blue Book (estimates)
  • Accutrade (firm offers)
  • KBB ICO (firm offers)

In the case of KBB ICO, if the dealer does not choose to honor the offer presented to the customer, KBB ICO itself will purchase the vehicle. 

F&I and product menu integrations with digital retail

Transparency and simplicity in auto retaill with customizable payments

When a customer is happy with their selected vehicle and penciled pricing, Upstart Auto Retail can facilitate credit applications through its own platform as well as the dealer’s F&I programs via integration. These real-time credit approvals are presented to the customer quickly and in a single view, so if multiple offers are made they can compare and select which is right for them. 

Current F&I integrations include:

  • RouteOne
  • DealerTrack
  • CUDL

Offer add-ons

Additional back-end F&I products such as accessories, warranties, and GAP insurance are also integrated into Upstart Auto Retail for instant and seamless availability during the customer’s digital buying journey. Sourced from the Provider Exchange Network (PEN), dynamic vehicle-specific products are automatically populated for easy selection. 

DMS integrations with digital retail

With everything your dealership management system (DMS) handles, it’s crucial to make sure deal details stay up to date and accurate. Similar to CRM integrations, Upstart Auto Retail leverages ADF XML pushes to pass deal details from the digital retail platform into the DMS. This can reduce unnecessary steps in keeping your management decisions accurately informed, freeing sales teams to focus on customer experience rather than tedious data input. 

Current DMS integrations include:

  • CDK
  • DealerTrack
  • Reynolds & Reynolds (coming 2023)

Integration flexibility is crucial to digital retail success

When you’re exploring digital retail providers, it’s important to consider how nicely a tool will play with your existing systems. After all, it’s rarely ideal to rip-and-replace an entire tech stack just to accommodate digital retail capabilities. Not only is that costly, it’s disruptive to your business operations—and will likely make employees unhappy as they have to learn completely new systems. 

But when a digital retail tool can digitize the entire car-buying journey without disrupting the way you do business behind the scenes, it can be a much smoother path to implementation. 

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