DEALERS are using online car and van sales to speed up the turnaround of their stock and fight margin erosion.
According to iVendi, dealers who see their per-unit profit decrease under pressure see the online market as a way to increase volumes.
The e-commerce solutions company’s recent research covered 12,500 transactions and shows that 35 per cent of car sales could take place completely online because no dealer contact is needed in the process.
Approximately 5.6 per cent of purchases in the sample were almost entirely online in that there was no contact with dealer staff via phone, email or in person until the car was collected or delivered.
James Tew, CEO of iVendi, said: ‘Most franchise and independent dealers will tell you that, while the number of both new and used cars being sold remains relatively healthy, margins are coming under pressure both from rising costs and increasing oversupply.
‘The main way that dealers can fight this is to simply turn around more units and there are limited methods by which to do this. The key area of innovation is through online sales, which potentially offer a 24-hour, nationwide sales channel.
‘Some people will tell you that there are no genuine online car sales happening in the UK. This is simply not true, as you can see from our sample, which also suggests that many more car sales could happen online, if dealers provided the option.
‘What smarter dealers are now starting to realise is that, at a time when margins are under pressure, online sales are a way to build volume and fight profit erosion.
‘Every dealer knows that advertising a car online creates a faster turnaround than putting it on the forecourt and in the local paper. Allowing it to be potentially bought online, including motor finance, creates a further substantial boost.
‘At a point in time when dealers need to build sales volumes, an open-all-hours online showroom that allows the customer to take the sale through to completion is a valuable new channel that can help you to retain profitability.’
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