Retail tech firms promise to solve systemic problems

The 2023 NADA Show in Dallas kicked off with a spectacular show.

Early on, I realized that the adage “everything is big in Texas” was (almost) true. According to the facility’s website, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is huge, with one million square feet of exhibit space and 88 meeting rooms.

Vendors crammed many of them into the four-day conference. Many featured multi-level displays complete with opulence such as plush lounge chairs and espresso or juice bars. Salespeople sold new software tools using fancy screens alongside vendors selling everything from analytics to car wash tech recreated to giant spinning brushes.

At least one booth was selling private planes (!!) for dealer owners. did you know who?

To avoid getting caught up in the chaos, smaller vendors pitched products, advertising software, and services that filled their niches, such as helping retailers better move hard-to-sell products. Several architects staffed small but elegant booths to showcase their work in photographs and drawings. Automakers also showcased distinctive vehicles and technologies.

It was a reminder that retail technology exists in a vast ecosystem. “Ecosystem” is one of those clichéd business terms, but it fits here.

Software and related technologies are becoming increasingly important for dealers to operate in the 21st century world. Customers want to be able to buy cars in any number of ways: high-tech, low-tech, or a combination of both. But remember that retailers (and new retail tech reporters) are just one of the many parts that together make up a huge business that plays a vital role in the US and global economy. is important.

Many of the software vendors at the NADA Show claimed that they now have systems that help make retail transactions and processes at their dealerships more seamless, from large companies to small businesses.

2023 will continue to test whether that is true.

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