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E-signatures Accelerate Digital Transformation from Paper to Paperless for Automotive Sector

How Electronic Signatures Power up the Automotive Sector

Vijith Menon

The automotive sector has prided itself on delivery. When customers needed petrol cars, the automobile sector delivered. When they required audio systems, the industry delivered. When customers asked for more speed, the sector delivered as well. So why is it that when customers need their buying journey to be just as smooth, the industry is hesitant?

The global automotive motors market size was estimated at USD 29.2 billion in 2021, and it is
expected to reach around USD 41.66 billion by 2030.

The automotive industry has leveled up continuously to deliver high customer satisfaction. When greener options arrived to disrupt the industry, major automotive manufacturers welcomed the move and developed electric cars in anticipation of the future. The customer buying journey is the last leg and possibly the most important one for the sector.

When buying a car in the US, you will go through the following steps:

  1. Looking for cars and obtaining several offers
  2. Test drives
  3. Additional checks (vehicle documents, vehicle history, independent inspection)
  4. Price negotiation
  5. Signing the purchase contract
  6. Payment
  7. Vehicle registration with the DMV in your US State

More than 50% of this journey is ridden with paperwork, contract signing, document checking, etc. Unfortunately, the customer journey tends to be a long, stretched-out, paper-laden workflow that has become a deterrent for most buyers. The digitalization of processes at an unprecedented scale makes you wonder why automakers are still holding onto legacy solutions. However, it's not all their fault. For decades, customers have preferred to buy new or second-hand cars by checking everything physically and doing manual paperwork.

To counter this, many industry leaders have gone digital with their paperwork. However, printing, scanning, and shredding are still a large part of the workflow in this sector. Electronic signature solutions help automotive dealers and manufacturers completely digitize their paper workflows. The traditional paper process has various administrative hurdles when onboarding new customers. But digitization helps simplify all processes by allowing users to sign, send, and store documents digitally. Additionally, it offers customers a unique user experience in their buying journey.

The Current State of the US Automotive Industry

The United States boasts of a highly accessible road network globally, which is responsible for the high sales of cars. The increased demand for vehicles fuels the automotive industry in the country. However, sales have been nose-diving as of late. As per the J.D. Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index, customers are more comfortable with online buying. In addition, most customers prefer completing the purchase paperwork online.

Global automotive sales reached 66.7 million units. – Statista

Gone are the days when you would have customers wander into a dealership, check out each vehicle, speak to the salesman for hours, take a couple of test drives, and finally make a decision. Today, car salespeople must make an extra effort and provide top-quality services such as home visits, online documentation, and in some cases, even online vehicle selection, also known as special orders. Special orders could prove pivotal in driving sales in the region. Per the J.D. Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index, special orders led to higher sales satisfaction than buying directly from the dealer's lot.

Online visits to carmaker websites have seen an uptick due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital retailing has picked up, with many buyers comfortable browsing for cars online. As per the same survey, nearly 18% of buyers completed their paper purchase work digitally, indicating that customers are comfortable with digital agreements and an end-to-end digital process.

Electric Vehicles (E.V.s) to be a Game Changer

Electric vehicles (E.V.s) promise energy efficiency and independence from fossil fuels. As a result, they have garnered increasing interest from various consumers. According to the EY Mobility Lens Consumer Index, 41% of consumers plan to purchase an E.V. as their next car. In addition, an upcoming trend states that customers prefer traveling by personal vehicle rather than relying on public transportation.

Many E.V. startups like Lucid Motors Inc. choose to approach and sign up potential customers through online modes. And this is only possible when electronic signature solutions are introduced.

Government Support for Paperless Transactions

Whenever there is talk of new technology that has the potential to positively impact the world or a country, governments must step up and provide the population with the right tools. In short, government support for new technologies is instrumental in their implementation. Likewise, customers are powerless without government support. Thankfully, the US Government has made it easier and safer for the public to adopt end-to-end digital workflows.

  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles has accepted digital signatures for vehicle purchases. This will help buyers in purchasing their vehicles online. In addition, with the updated rules by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), customers can take advantage of the new technology and digitally complete the buying process.

  • The ESIGN Act is a federal law passed in 2000 granting legal recognition to electronic signatures. UETA, a precursor to the ESIGN Act, was introduced in 1999 and adopted by 47 US states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands. Among other things, UETA provides that when a signature is required, an electronic record or an electronic signature can satisfy that requirement when the parties to the transaction have agreed to proceed electronically. These Acts solidified the legal landscape for using e-signatures in commerce by confirming that they carry the same weight and have the same legal effect as traditional paper and wet ink signatures.

How Electronic Signatures Shape the Future of Mobility

Electronic signatures, or eSignatures, help automobile dealers and manufacturers transition to paperless environments. It is a convenient tool to improve customer experience. Electronic signatures enable storing and archiving documents digitally, with a real-time trail helping track any document changes. These are some of the use cases that will benefit dealerships and manufacturers:

  • Close Deals Faster:
  • Electronic signatures help dealerships close deals much faster. It makes signing documents quicker and empowers salespersons to receive signatures quickly.

  • Automate Agreements:
  • Electronic signatures assist automakers in using templates to send documents in bulk and immediately. These include purchase orders, vehicle quotations, and contracts.

  • Quality Check Documents:
  • Paper documents have been notorious for costing departments heavily. Its errors have cost companies contracts and deals. Electronic signature solutions help dealerships cut errors by more than 90%.

  • Improve Visibility:
  • eSignatures help dealerships and customers gain transparency in the process. A deal will be considered closed only after the consent of all parties involved. One cannot tamper with an electronic document once it is e-signed.

  • Collaboration with Partners:
  • Automobile dealers can easily collaborate, share and sign documents online with car distributors and manufacturers.

  • Digitize Workflows:
  • Digitization of workflows will help strengthen collaboration and improve efficiency across all channels. Departments within dealerships can exit silos and get an approval immediately. Any roadblocks can be identified and resolved thanks to a completely digital process.

Also Read: Recession Rumors Setting You on Edge? E-signatures Help You Bring Down Expenditures

The Role of DrySign

DrySign, a trustworthy and reliable electronic signature solution provider, will help the automotive sector change gears quickly in today's dynamic digital world. Here's how DrySign provides an advantage:

  • Minimizes Errors
  • The automobile industry deals with large volumes of paperwork. The sheer volume can lead to missing pages and signatures, misfiling, etc. A missing signature can delay processes and cause customer frustration. DrySign ensures that all signature fields are visible and customers miss no spaces.

  • Highly Convenient
  • Customers can utilize electronic signatures on the go. This means customers can sign papers anytime, anywhere, from any device. DrySign provides ease and convenience to customers while helping create a simple sales process for dealerships.

  • Blazing Speed
  • Speed is of tantamount importance, and DrySign displays its value by assisting salespersons in engaging with customers in real time. It provides a seamless signing experience and ensures a timely purchase that does not waste the customer's time.

  • Advanced Security
  • DrySign protects sensitive documents by offering security methods such as two-factor authentication (2FA), one-time password (OTP), and others to prevent unauthorized access. It allows real-time document monitoring through mail trails and lowers the chances of fraud.

  • Legally Compliant
  • DrySign complies with the US ESIGN Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). This lets automotive dealers and customers trust the eSignature solution for real-time transactions.

  • Paperless and Sustainable Solution
  • DrySign helps automotive dealerships eliminate paperwork and curb spending on unnecessary expenses.

Closing Thoughts

Electronic signatures will help the automotive industry navigate hurdles caused by manual paper workflows. Switching to eSignatures reduces errors, saves on costs, and enhances speed and security.

Reimagine Customer Experience with DrySign.

Source: azom.com | jdpower.com | statista.com | dmv.ca.gov | ey.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

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