Car dealers are struggling to adapt to digital world due to ‘fragmented systems’

  • Norton Way Motors boss Jason Cranswick addresses webinar hosted by The Lead Agency
  • Ex-Cinch director says car dealers need to adopt a ‘business strategy for a digital world’
  • Experienced dealer says retailers are currently struggling due to ‘fragmented systems and processes’

Time 8:20 am, March 22, 2024

Car dealers are struggling to adopt a ‘business strategy for the digital world’ due to ‘fragmented systems and processes’.

That is the verdict of Norton Way Motors MD, Jason Cranswick who has experienced online car retailing first hand, having previously worked at Cinch.

Cranswick, who recently appeared on the Car Dealer Podcast, was speaking during a special webinar organised by The Lead Agency.

He explained to delegated that many car dealers are unable to grasp the distinction between ‘a digital strategy’ and ‘a business strategy for a digital world’.

‘Digital, up until recently, has meant filling the sales funnel and transacting’, he told the watching online audience.

‘However, the digital transformation of our industry is around codifying and simplifying our businesses. Most of us have very fragmented data, and that’s because legacy technologies sit behind it.

‘Our ability to become an e-commerce business is impeded by these fragmented systems and processes. We talk about a digital strategy but what we need is a business strategy for a digital world. That is the awakening that dealers like us are having. OEMs are realising this too, as are new entrants to the market.

‘The old way of doing things is not compatible with a codified method of omnichannel retailing. That’s what we have to address.’

Turning to customers’ increasing levels of online activity, he added: ‘What the internet has done is give consumers the ability to determine what they want, when they want it and how they want it.

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‘At Norton Way, we’re aiming to create an omnichannel route for the consumer through our business – using aligned systems, platforms and processes, whether they’re in our hands or the hands of the consumer.

‘We still need the very best salespeople of course, but also data analysts and systems specialists… colleagues we wouldn’t have had, pre-Covid.’

Cranswick, who has worked for the likes of Jardine and Audi during his distinguished career, also explained his ambitions for Norton Way Motors during the webinar.

He said he wanted to make engaging with the company ‘easy, useful and surprising’ in order retain business.

He said: ‘My mission is to make interacting with Norton Way Motors easy, useful and surprising.

‘If I can make life easy for our customers, do things that are useful and deliver good surprises, the likelihood is that the customer will be converted and retained.

‘As we go through this transformation to a digital world, we need a clear vision, extremely strong values and a real growth mindset. Ultimately, resilience is what we need.’

Norton Way Group represents brands such as Nissan, Kia and Peugeot and operates dealerships across Hertfordshire and West London.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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