F&I visualization tools are showing up in kiosk, tablet and big screen formats, designed to speed the F&I process and increase aftermarket product penetration.

Many of them were demonstrated at the 2016 National Automobile Dealers Assn.’s convention and exhibition.

“There’s a need for change in the F&I buying experience,” says Vincent Santivasi, vice president-business development, finance and insurance for Zurich, which rolled out its new F&I visualization tool, illuminate.

It's an interactive presentation device, permitting customers to view product tiles, tap to view additional content about products, calculate how they figure into the total deal price – and how that price changes as products are selected or excluded.

“There’s a reason products like service contracts are called aftermarket products, because F&I is taught not to sell them until after they’ve sold the car,” Santivasi says. “But consumers today say, ‘No, give us more information up front about the add-on products.”

Another new F&I visualization product is from Pearl Technologies. It is called ShowroomXpress, a cloud-based express retailing platform with an integrated add-on product demonstrator and payment calculator.

It gives consumers 10-second pre-approvals via Experian and works a deal, with or without products added to the transaction.

“This tool accelerates customers through the sales process online and presents them with the dealers’ best first pencil for a given vehicle with factory rebates built in,” says marketing director Hillis Emanuelson.

“Customers can do all this online from the comfort of their living room with a seamless online-to-showroom experience.” The calculations and decisions done by a shopper at home are saved and can be picked up in the showroom, via a dealer’s tablet, smartphone, computer or kiosk.

MaximTrak Technologies describes its technology offering Flite as a deal visualization and presentation tool that incorporates interactive features.

Those include functionality to capture buyer-driving data through interactive surveys. Having this insight helps F&I build presentations tailored to the customer’s reality, says Jim Maxim, Jr., president, Maxim Technologies.

“Flite synthesizes critical data points, like deal information, available products, the chosen vehicle’s cost of repair, the customer’s customer lifestyle and driving behaviors to produce highly tuned product recommendations,” he says.

“All this leads to putting more control in the buyer’s hands for a better buying experience that translates into more sales for the dealer.”

CreditMiner’s DealerAR is billed as the first augmented-reality solution that allows a 4-D-rotation screen view of vehicles and F&I products.

A customer wearing 3-D glasses can view a vehicle at any angle, including the undercarriage. F&I managers can use the device and its laser pointer to show services and aftermarket products that appear to come out of the screen.

“The experience brings deep interaction with the consumer, allowing for visual explanations that go far beyond static photos,” says Don O’Neill, CreditMiner’s general manager.

Another benefit, he says: “It encourages the F&I manager to be as engaged as the customer is.”

With Steve Finlay