GFORCES, a leader in providing digital technology, marketing and consultancy services to the automotive industry, has appointed the former MD of Rockar, Paul Stokes, as head of online retailing.
It marks a number of progressive changes the company has made over the last six months, as it commits to a new focus on ecommerce, user experience, and the connected consumer journey.
Before his time at Rockar, Paul was the managing director of a long-established multi-franchise dealer group in Yorkshire. And before that, he held senior positions in sales and network development for Vauxhall Motors.
Being involved from the early inception of the Rockar business, Paul was responsible for delivering the operational set-up and strategy of various retail stores, which focused on a completely different customer experience than the traditional methods of selling a car.
GForces’ commitment to ecommerce is therefore something Paul is excited to be part of. He has been instrumental in the strategic development of NetDirector Auto-e, GForces’ next-generation ecommerce platform for automotive retailers.
He said: ‘There needs to be recognition that consumer car buying habits have changed. And, although controversial, there needs to be recognition that the sales process we are clinging to is archaic.
‘The traditional retail environment is one now considered very uncomfortable for the consumer, and it’s one they have zero empathy with.
‘As long as we continue to steer consumers down a lead-generation model, and cling to this draconian sales process that is all about controlling the customer, we’re denying that things have changed.
‘Ecommerce isn’t hype. Customers are willing to transact online, more so than ever, as they are already comfortable in doing so with other industries.
‘We need to make the consumer journey a seamless one that brings together the online and offline experience. An online sales solution can support that, in whatever form you approach it.’