If digital is the future, what is the future of digital?

Kaitlyn Coxon
June 26, 2024

If digital is the future, what is the future of digital?

Everyone knows we live in a digital age. Whether involuntarily or through direct participation, we observe this reality daily. From simple tasks like driving a car, to more detailed tasks like filling out paperwork, nowadays we use technology for everything. The digital realm has seeped into our very framework of life. Its usefulness continues to make our lives easier, our tasks more efficient, and our communication faster. There's no chance of it suddenly going away—the future is indeed digital. So it is here to stay, but where is it going? When's the last time you stopped to ask yourself: “What is the future of digital?”

Phase one is over.

If you think applying minimal digital systems and practices for your dealership is good enough, think again. While this may have worked for you over the last few years, the landscape is shifting. The first phase of digital has ended and we’re entering into the second phase.

Over time, people have come to understand that websites are essential. While they started as a luxury, you’d be pretty frustrated nowadays if you tried to look at a restaurant menu online or browse your favorite brands and you couldn’t find their website because they didn’t have one. The same is true in the dealership world. 10 years ago you may not have needed to list your inventory or show pictures, but now it is expected. Without them, customers would be frustrated—they are the bare minimum. In fact, because they are seen as the minimum, dealerships have begun to embrace additional tools to create a superior buying experience.

Embracing additional tools may sound minor, but it’s actually the key indicator that phase one of digital is ending. Why’s this? While people embracing additional tools such as chat/text on their website may seem insignificant, the underlying motive shows us that it’s no longer about embracing digital, or deciding whether you need to. At this point, everyone knows that it’s necessary and it has shifted from mere function into experience.

We’re entering phase two.

Phase two is characterized by experience. Your digital experience will make it or break it for you and your customers. The experience you offer has the potential to make things easier for you and your customers, or it can lead to frustration, wasted time, and poor conversion rates.

While many believe they’ve embraced digital, what they don’t realize is that we’ve moved beyond fulfilling a task. The first era of digital taught us one fundamental thing: tools are necessary, but it’s more than just the tools. Having a website and offering texting are great, but they're part of a larger picture. Tools in and of themselves are not enough–Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you’re doing it well. Digital tools have become widely accepted and adopted, which means in order to stand out, the experience you offer is essential.



Why do you think 98% of texts are opened and only 21% of emails? Experience. The function is the same, the same message can be relayed, but the speed and convenience of a text makes it more appealing. Beyond having a website or implementing additional tools, the second phase of digital is where experience is essential. No longer is just a website enough, no longer is a website with inventory enough, no longer is content with presence enough. The reason you embrace additional tools in the first place is because customers are demanding a better experience.

The future of digital

A recent study found that 92% of buyers shop online before purchasing.2 This means that the deal is very much won or lost prior to customers even engaging you. As a result, the experience you offer will determine your level of success. The digital experience is the future, so what should it look like?


With rapid innovation, one thing we know about the future of digital is that it’s connected. Yes, connected—with an effortless flow from online to offline, clear and efficient communication, and easier processes for tedious tasks.

There's no longer room for fragmented experiences that leave us frustrated. With automation and technology at our fingertips, seamless communication and streamlined workflows are becoming the standard. As we get further into the second phase of digital, those who fail to adjust to offer a more connected experience will be on the outskirts.


Due to an increased digital presence and various avenues fighting for our attention, the future must be engaging. Without up-to-date technology, styles, and standards, the likelihood of engaging your audience is low. In order to foster invested interaction, you must provide an experience that prioritizes the customer and makes it easy to buy from you. Think about it—to remain interested in a conversation, you must be attentive and provide prompt replies. A purchase journey is no different. To actively attract customers who will follow through and purchase from you, you must prioritize experience. To provide an engaging experience you must have:

  • a website that enables self-shopping and self-action
  • tools that allow them to quickly identify they can afford it,
  • and streamlined communication, to offer prompt replies to any questions they may have.

 In the second phase of digital we’re entering, for customers to buy from you, you must keep them engaged.




Finally, the future of digital is flexible. If a restaurant didn’t let you order over the phone, allowing you to pay online or in store, select dine-in or a pickup option, you’d probably be frustrated and perhaps choose somewhere else. If a clothing store didn’t allow you to order, pay, or choose to have it shipped to your house, you’d probably be frustrated and perhaps choose somewhere else. This principle does not change when we shift industries. Convenience and flexibility are the language of our time and will only continue to become more expected than they are appreciated. Your purchase experience must reflect this if you’re going to gain market share instead of losing it.

Transax—Connected Commerce. Retail Simplified.

Take a look around, we’ve entered into the second phase of digital.  We’re living in an age where everyone has access to the same tools, which means those who utilize them most effectively, to create the best experience, will achieve the most success. The experience you offer is directly correlated to your ability to win deals. Many dealerships sell units equivalent to yours, to set yourself apart you need to provide a connected, engaging, flexible purchase journey.

Transax offers dealers and their customers the ability to simplify all steps of a purchase journey through connected commerce. Streamlining the experience, Transax not only enables dealers to extend their in-person sales experience online, it also drives more leads through increased finance applications, and saves time with seamless customer engagement and by showing credit score. The digital experience is the future. What experience does your dealership offer?

Want to offer a connected commerce experience?

If an engaging, seamless customer experience is something you want to offer, discover the effective ways you can do this through the Connected Commerce platform Transax. With easy set up and iPhone and Android apps, Transax works with your existing website and makes connected commerce affordable and practical for you.

If you want to learn more, schedule a 20-minute demo and talk with one of our digital retail specialists HERE.


1Source: SMS Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2022, Thrive

2Source: From Discovery to Purchase: Key Digital & Physical Influences on the Customer Journey, Power Reviews, 2022

3 Source:  9 Powerful Quotes That Perfectly Capture The Future of Digital Work, NextThink