Online Car Sales Shift into High Gear at Dilawri Dealers Across Canada

Canada’s largest automotive dealer network, Dilawri Group of Companies, has had a unique experience managing business through the COVID-19 crisis. David Boots, VP Strategic Development, spoke with Docusign Canada to share the impact the pandemic has had on their digitization plans. 


Dilawri Anywhere is a program designed to digitally transform the car buying experience. Road-mapped several years ago, it has been gaining traction ever since. The coronavirus has only accelerated Dilawri’s plans. From a single dealership in Regina in 1985, to 74 franchises representing 32 automotive brands across five major markets, Dilawri continues to drive the way Canadians buy cars.

Businesses best positioned to operate during the recent economic shutdown (besides essential services) have one key thing in common: digitization. Organizations that have adopted technology to manage operations, reduced reliance on paper and store data in the cloud, or already serve clients remotely, have come out ahead.

Dilawri is among them. Their progressive approach to auto sales reflects the rise of e-commerce and the public’s growing ease in purchasing virtually anything online. Case in point: Tesla’s proven and positive all-online car buying experience, and the popular web-based used car site, Carvana.

Bills of sale, work orders, credit applications, and lease agreements, represent the backbone of transactions in auto dealerships – and all require signatures. Facilitating remote signatures became vital to Dilawri’s new remote customer experiences. They chose Docusign as their e-signature vendor.


Why Docusign?

A trusted transaction is vital in remote operations. With more than half a million customers, and hundreds of millions of users in over 180 countries, the strength of the brand and high consumer awareness was the biggest driver in Dilawri selecting Docusign. Most customers are familiar with the Docusign brand and its functionality, contributing to built-in trust and security.

"The decision was an easy one."

David Boots, VP Strategic Development, Dilawri Group


Docusign Integrations

The coronavirus created an entirely different environment at the dealership level. With in-person visits curtailed, the ability to facilitate transactions with electronic signatures became critical to dealer operations. Several Docusign integrations have paved the way to simplified, remote customer interactions.

  1. Integrated payments

Remote payments were a key function – and critical achievement – to keeping dealer doors open. Docusign Payments integrated with the Stripe payment platform allows dealerships to collect payments at the time of signature.

The Docusign implementation is simple. Dilawri generates the document, puts it into a Docusign envelope for eSignature, then attaches the Stripe payment process to it. That combined experience removes all friction and creates a single, seamless experience for the customer.

  1. Proof of ID for remote sales

Fraud prevention is always top of mind; stringent processes and policies are in place to verify ID and validate payments. Remote transactions are trickier. Dilawri uses Docusign’s “add an attachment” feature which allows a field to be added to the transaction document with customizable instructions. A required field such as “Please include a copy of your Driver’s License” helps dealers assure remote payment and delivery to the correct person.

  1. Multi-channel customer communications

Another Docusign integration, pivotal to customer communications, is with Acquire, a customer engagement platform. Dilawri is leveraging Acquire for effective multi-channel customer support experiences. A great example is the ability to co-browse contract documents and provide explanations for clarity.

  1. Service & Parts transactions

A major hurdle during COVID-19 was in maintaining service appointments when customers were not able or willing to come in for service. Facilitating service transactions remotely with e-signatures was a bonus to dealer operations. Now, Service & Parts work orders are generated online, payments are taken remotely, and customers sign off with Docusign eSignature to complete the agreement.

An additional challenge is providing integration with solutions that vary from one auto brand to the next. Manufacturers’ processes differ. Docusign eSignature helps dealers transact effectively across those varied platforms in the context of social distancing.


COVID compressed digital timeline

When COVID-19 brought mandatory social distancing, Dilawri wasted no time in hastening plans to enable electronic signatures and payment requests for remote transactions. Frictionless customer experiences are the goal of the Dilawri Anywhere concept. Provisioning electronic signatures and payments from any device, anytime, is a key component of that program – not just a short-term solution.

"If you can provide a transparent, seamless, straightforward experience online for customers, there’s a willingness and desire to complete that transaction remotely."

   David Boots, VP Strategic Development, Dilawri Group

Dilawri went from initial discussions to a drafted agreement with Docusign in just 10 business days. It took a short couple of weeks to integrate Docusign into the existing operation, and just two days to configure Docusign Payments with Stripe online payment gateway. Within 30 days, all 74 dealerships had active Docusign accounts and four of the five regional offices had already completed training.

"Docusign’s simplicity, and a focus on a core set of features, made it easy for associates to master the new processes."

   David Boots, VP Strategic Development, Dilawri Group



Driving into the future

While not everyone will move online to buy a car, certain steps in the traditional process can certainly be accomplished digitally. Dilawri is always working to evolve business practices to increase customer satisfaction and convenience; and dealers are attuned to the fact that businesses require modernization.

Plans are in the works to build deeper integrations with Docusign, like a true e-commerce website that supports transactions from parts to purchases. And Docusign’s API will allow Dilawri to extend online options to other transactions on their road to full digital transformation.

"Docusign has become part of facilitating a full breadth of remote experiences.”

   David Boots, VP Strategic Development, Dilawri Group

Ultimately, customers will drive demand for their preferred interactions. Test drives and vehicle pick-ups will likely remain face to face. But Dilawri is committed to following changing consumer behaviours and adjusting to modernize the business. That will surely help them stay ahead of the curve.

Contact us to learn more about how to digitize your operation.