Toyota's omnichannel engagement platform strategy

Transforming the car buying experience with the power of digital

Gordon McGrath, Business Information Officer - Channel Systems, Toyota Financial Services joined our exclusive virtual event for senior executives, PhotonWorld 2020. He discussed how COVID-19 served as a catalyst for digital transformation at Toyota Financial Services. He also spoke about the significance of digital platforms in creating a superior car buying experience. 


PhotonWorld 2020 featured Gordon McGrath, Business Information Officer - Channel Systems, Toyota Financial Services as an esteemed speaker. He discussed how Toyota’s SmartPath digital platform for car dealerships is changing the way cars are sold. 

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is an umbrella brand that markets the products of Toyota Motor Credit Corporation and Toyota Motor Insurance Services. Aside from financing, leasing, and protection plans, TFS also provides financial services to authorized Toyota and Lexus dealers, affiliates, and their customers in the US.

A little over a year ago, TFS embarked on a digital transformation journey as part of a broader business transformation. They started moving from a project-based delivery approach to an agile delivery approach. From a technology perspective, they started transforming from a traditional legacy on-premise IT infrastructure to a cloud-based technology platform. The primary goal was to pave the way for seamless omnichannel experiences, both for the end customers and the dealer partners.

The COVID-19 pandemic further increased the pace of this ongoing digital transformation journey at TFS. They were able to virtualize their entire inbound telephony operations in just over a week. A new cloud-based solution not only facilitated remote operations but also gave them the opportunity to take advantage of some of the out-of-the-box features on the new platform that did not exist on their legacy platform.

“We went for a more omnichannel approach and integrated our MarTech stack to reach customers on the channels of their choice. COVID accelerated the creation of this new integrated engagement platform,” said Gordon McGrath at PhotonWorld 2020.

TFS’s new digital platform SmartPath is an integrated car retailing platform that allows customers to shop online with a quick and transparent process for car ownership. Customers can search inventory, estimate their payments, apply for credit, and complete their purchase online. SmartPath is revolutionizing the way cars are sold by integrating features that allow for:
1. Industry-leading customer experiences
2. Enhanced customer analytics
3. Seamless and transparent transition from online to offline

With a digital foundation like SmartPath in place, it became easier for Toyota to deal with closing car dealerships due to COVID restrictions.


Watch Gordon McGrath’s PhotonWorld session below, where he talks about how COVID-19 has accelerated the delivery of new, digitally-enabled ways of buying and selling cars.

At Photon, we help automotive companies accelerate their transformation with digital platform architecture and create new business models that bolster growth and help them remain competitive amid market disruptions.

Connect with Photon today to drive digital excellence in the automotive industry

“Today’s automotive customers are channel-agnostic, and their expectations are being shaped by their experiences from other digitally disrupted industries such as retail and banking. Digital platforms like Toyota’s SmartPath are key to meeting these expectations and delivering a differentiated customer experience.”

Mukund Balasubramanian

CTO, Co-Founder at PHOTON

Mukund Balasubramanian