Demand for a feature that lets automotive retailers offer reserve-and-collect online has been growing substantially, says a motor retail digital technology specialist.
Part of iVendi’s Convert product, it gives people first refusal on a vehicle if they make a small payment online. This takes it off sale for a length of time specified by the dealer, who is sent an alert.
The dealer then has various options, including the ability to generate digital deals so the customer can complete the purchase.
James Tew, chief executive at iVendi, said: ‘We launched this feature in February with the intention that it would allow dealers to provide a new way of giving customers the means to progress a sale online, especially out of hours.
‘Of course, as we emerge from lockdown, it has taken on a whole new significance as dealers look to adopt reserve-and-collect trading models. As a result, we are receiving many calls from dealers and sales are picking up.
‘This is happening in England, as showroom doors are opening, and it seems safe to assume that similar patterns will be followed in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, using a model of online sales accompanied by reserve-and-collect.’
Tew added that over the past few weeks there had been a lot of interest in many different types of online motor retail technology, resulting in high levels of confusion.
‘There is a lot of noise in the market at the moment, with many companies understandably promoting many different kinds of online solutions. It’s not an ideal environment for dealers who need to make fast decisions that may have a very real impact on the future of their business.
‘What we are trying to do, instead of selling the dealer the first thing in which they express an interest, is to talk about how they are reshaping their trading model in response to the current crisis, and then see what kind of technology they need. There is a definite need for support, guidance and expertise.
‘The fact is that there remains quite an extreme differential between dealers with a highly developed online motor retail presence, who are having to effectively tweak their proposition, and those who suddenly find that they are having to adopt a complete solution pretty much from scratch.
‘The latter unavoidably have quite some catching up to do in a very short space of time.’
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