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Changes in online-showroom relationship being accelerated by further lockdowns

4 months ago

Recurring lockdowns are accelerating the relationship been online and physical sales for dealers, reports iVendi.

The company says that dealers are increasingly adopting infrastructure designed to enable them to switch between the two spheres as easily as possible.

And with every lockdown, dealers are getting better at transitioning their businesses to online retailing and altering the emphasis of their business strategies.

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iVendi CEO, James Tew (pictured), said: ‘There is already talk that the new lockdown could last until March. That potentially means an entire quarter of the new year when digital-click-and-collect will be the only option. Dealers have to maximise these opportunities to be viable.

‘This process of maximisation means creating increasingly sophisticated online channels but is accompanied by a recognition that digital sales do not exist in a silo. They need to be directly connected to the showroom, so that when we do return to some kind of normality, both channels are potentially equally productive.

‘This creates an obvious departure from the past. It means that increasingly, there is absolute flexibility between using online and showroom sales, supported by technology that makes such a relationship possible. At iVendi, we’ve been terming this ‘connected retailing’ and it’s a description that is starting to catch on.’

Because of the imposition of lockdowns, retailers have become increasingly adept at changing the emphasis between showroom and digital activity

iVendi believes the boost lockdowns provided to online sales could be seen from the fact that, during the first 10 days of November’s previous lockdown in England, iVendi had tracked a 33 per cent increase in use of its new Digital Deal propositions during the first few days compared to October.

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‘One of the big trends we have seen, as dealers have reacted to the coronavirus crisis, is the way in which they are using the online tools available to them in a much more proactive manner, as these new figures illustrate,’ said Tew.

He added: ‘Because of the imposition of lockdowns, retailers have become increasingly adept at changing the emphasis between showroom and digital activity, and the increase in Digital Deals that were sent during November shows how quickly they are now capable of moving from one to the other. We’re expecting an even larger shift this time around.

‘However, what is perhaps the most interesting aspect of our previous lockdown statistics is not the 33 per cent increase in deals being sent by dealers but the 24 per cent rise in those being opened by customers.

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‘This shows how this proactive approach to digital is providing a valuable new sales channel during difficult trading conditions.’

Tew also pointed to vehicles totalling more than £77m on finance have been sold using iVendi’s Digital Deals service during the last nine months.

Digital Deals were introduced by iVendi in its Transact product that was introduced in April 2020.

James Batchelor

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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