InterviewApr 25th, 2023

CXAUTO2023 Speaker Spotlight: Kevin Frye, Jeff Wyler Automotive Family


Like many people in the automotive industry, I fell into my position. My wife and I had a chain of five eBay stores where we helped customers sell their items. I got involved in the early days of eBay Motors, navigating the challenging process of selling cars online, including hosting photos on a server and using the right camera settings. Unfortunately, there was no instruction book on how to do it.

"I became one of those early e-commerce pioneers in automotive to write the book on how to sell a car online, and I literally sold over 500 on eBay Motors in one year."

This achievement caught the attention of dealers who initially thought selling cars without physical test drives was impossible. So I started a business to serve these dealers, and eventually, the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family approached me about becoming their first-ever E-commerce Director. They recognized that e-commerce would play a significant role in the future of automotive sales.

"That means, of course, you need to understand what the consumer wants and needs."

One of the key principles we follow at the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family is focusing on being more consumer-facing. We conduct an annual user experience study, bringing in people from different backgrounds to give their input on current and future market trends. We ask questions about preferences for electric vehicles, online purchases, and dealership versus online platforms like Carvana.

One surprising finding from our study was the security aspect of consumers preferring to sell or trade their vehicles directly to a dealership. As dealers, we offer simplicity and security that customers increasingly value due to rising concerns about fraud and violence related to private transactions.

As we celebrate our 50th year in business, we can provide trust and security to customers, alleviating any fears or concerns about online transactions. To lead in this industry, we must be humble and continuously learn by directly asking questions to the people we work with. This approach helps us better understand consumer needs and improve our services.

"In today's market, there's such a tremendous amount of data to include real-time data. So, how can you make that actionable and more personalized?"

The biggest change in the automotive industry has undoubtedly been the advent of the Internet, which completely upended traditional automotive retail. However, I believe there are two more significant shifts on the horizon. The first involves leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the automotive retail experience. We're in the early stages of this, with chatbots on our websites, for instance. In addition, we've recently installed AI sales and service components across all our dealerships and websites, convinced that it will be a crucial part of the future consumer experience.

The second shift is the adoption of Consumer Data Platforms (CDPs) to better manage our first-party data. The automotive industry has typically done a poor job managing data, and our goal with CDPs is to have all the data in one place so we can analyze and market based on it. AI will also play a role in taking this to the next level. Imagine AI analyzing recorded calls and providing insights on the most effective scripts, allowing us to personalize the process and become more consumer-facing. These two components—AI and CDPs—will undoubtedly shape the future of automotive retail.

Artificial intelligence is the key to leveraging today's data to create a more personalized and effective consumer experience. The focus should always be on whether using AI and data improves the customer experience. As we continue to innovate in the automotive industry, it's essential to prioritize the consumers' needs and desires. By leveraging AI and constantly evaluating its impact on the customer experience, we can ensure we stay ahead and provide a seamless, tailored service for our customers.

That's what we're constantly looking at. And part of what I will be discussing with my presentation at CXAUTO2023.

Catch Kevin Frye live at CXAUTO2023 in Marina Del Rey, The Ritz-Carlton, California.

June 20th - 21st 2023.

Head over to for more information and to understand why CXAUTO2023 is one of the most exclusive and sought-after events in the automotive industry. 

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