DEALERS should ‘consider going deskless’, according to e-commerce solutions provider iVendi.
The firm is suggesting that dealers consider doing away with their trusty melamine-covered counterparts, and instead look towards introducing technology such as tablets.
The idea, says iVendi, is to improve the sales experience that the customer receives – with the traditional sit-down desk almost unnecessary in the sales process.
‘In most dealerships, the standard sales procedure is that a test drive is followed by the customer sitting at one side of a desk and the sales person on the other to complete the deal, often for around an hour,’ said iVendi director Richard Tavenor.
‘I have sat on both sides of that desk, as have many people reading this, and it is a longwinded experience that is fatiguing for everyone involved while basic details, options, warranties and finance are finalised. It is often gruelling enough to puncture the feelgood balloon that the customer experiences when buying a car.
‘The truth is that, in 2013, there is no need for the process to be so static. Much can be achieved using a tablet while you are sitting in the car with the customer, or you could perhaps take them through an options ‘wall’ or screen installed in the dealership. There are all kinds of fairly cost-effective possibilities.’
Tavenor suggests there are signs that the tide is turning in favour of technology already, thanks to many dealerships’ adoption of iPads and other tablets that allow customers to virtually configure their ideal cars.
‘This is very much a first step,’ he said. ‘Soon, we believe that dealers may start to recognise that they may not need a desktop PC on the sales floor at all, or at least far fewer than they have now.
‘We expect the dealership of the near future to be a much more kinetic, interactive environment thanks to technology such as tablets, and that they will become much more interesting and stimulating places for customers as a result.’