CDL 2024

Making on and offline sales seamless plus practical AI tips to top Car Dealer Live talk

Time 8:35 am, January 22, 2024

Advice for car dealers looking to fine-tune their omnichannel sales approach and the advances of AI will be top of the agenda at Car Dealer Live.

Event partner Automotive Transformation Group will deliver exclusive research and advice at the event which will help dealers get the most out of their hybrid sales plans.

It’s well known that consumers complete much of their car-buying research online ahead of visiting a car dealership and the best dealers let them conduct as much of the sales process they want to do online.

Automotive Transformation Group’s CEO, Tim Smith, will take to the stage at our forthcoming Car Dealer Live event with an as-yet-unnamed car dealer to discuss the group’s research and give top tips on navigating an online and offline combined sales tactic.

Headline speakers at the event also include franchised car dealer Peter Vardy and used car whizz Peter Waddell. The full line-up is available on the event website alongside ticket details for car dealers and suppliers.

Car Dealer Live takes place on March 7 at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon. 

In a video (above) discussing what attendees can look forward to at the event, Smith details the topics he’ll be covering.

He said: ‘It will come as no surprise we’ll be focusing on technology. For us, a major focus has been really joining up the dots in terms of the automotive retail journey.

‘There’s a lot of technology out there that obviously helps drive efficiencies in dealerships and the industry and we’re really going to be focusing on the next generation of the omnichannel approach to automotive retailing.’

Smith said that the technology available to car dealers and manufacturers has come ‘a long, long way’ in 20 years, but his session will look at the next steps to making sure dealerships are set up to work in tandem with their websites.

‘We’ll be looking at how dealers can make sure every key press is recorded and sent through the entire system and processed seamlessly, as that’s been an area that has been very complicated and taken a long time,’ he explained.

‘We’ll show how a consumer can come and browse any digital real estate in the ether and then pick up that journey, spec a car, move through that journey into the dealership and that information, that consumer experience, is shared through devices to ensure it becomes a more two-way interaction, so customers can look over a shoulder of a salesperson at their journey.

‘If the customer then decides they want to go home and continue that transaction online, well, this session is about how you can use technology to create a hybrid omnichannel solution which facilitates that.’

Practical tips

Smith said dealers were already making a success of omnichannel sales, but in his session he’ll give attendees tips on how they can make small, practical improvements to drive success.

He added: ‘This is a very resilient and innovative industry and from a dealer perspective it is incredibly entrepreneurial. 

‘When you have organisations that have to operate on wafer-thin profit margins compared to a lot of other industries, you have to be reactive and proactive to think at every level of the cost and efficiency within your operation.

‘Obviously, ATG provides tool sets and technologies that are there to improve efficiency within our dealers and manufacturer customers’ businesses.’

Reduce marketing spend

Smith said he’ll also be talking about how dealers can reduce the amount of money they spend on marketing to acquire customers and instead focus on existing clients.

He added: ‘ATG has a large focus on renewal and retention strategies which helps reduce the cost per acquisition of customers and reduces marketing costs. 

‘We think there is an awful amount of marketing pounds spent on acquiring new customers all the time, and really a takeaway from our session will be helping dealers introduce that efficiency around reducing costs in the organisation.’

Smith will also take a look at the role of artificial intelligence in car dealerships and give some examples of how it can be used in dealerships. 

This is something Car Dealer is focusing on itself with its AI Car Dealership Project. The latest video update on our project was posted at the weekend.

Smith added: ‘There’s a huge hype around AI and we’re hoping to give some practical insights and practical examples of where that is actually starting to improve operations and efficiency and actually beginning to help drive sales up.  

‘We’re really looking forward to Car Dealer Live. Meeting everyone face to face is so important to get individuals together – we love that. We are a Teams and Zoom society nowadays, so just seeing everyone face to face is the most important thing.’

All event partners – which comprise Auto Trader, Google, Cox Automotive, Automotive Transformation Group and iVendi – will deliver exclusive research at Car Dealer Live.

This will be discussed on stage with car dealers, and attendees will be able to download the exclusive research from the event website.

Attendees will also enjoy panel sessions with franchised, used car, luxury car dealers as well as car manufacturer representatives. Tickets are selling fast and available from the event website today

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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