England’s new lockdown measures are speeding up the digital trend among dealers.
That’s according to connected motor retail technology specialist iVendi, which said that during the pandemic, sales teams had been using its products more and more in a targeted way to offer deals and use them for ongoing negotiation.
Chief executive James Tew said: ‘Many car, van and motorcycle dealers have historically tended to view their digital offering as essentially passive.
‘However sophisticated their online vehicle-buying journey, it is ultimately reliant on the buyer initiating and driving the process, rather than allowing dealers to take a proactive approach.
‘What we have seen with this year’s lockdowns and have been able to track from use of our products, especially with the closure of showrooms for long periods, is a strategy that you could describe as much more of a sales push.
‘At a time when dealers have a much-reduced opportunity to talk to customers in person and an increasing number of leads arrive through digital channels, this is becoming not just important but an essential means for driving sales.’
Tew said that a key tool of this type for its dealer customer base during the past few months had been the Digital Deals included in the Transact product that iVendi introduced in April.
‘The trend we are seeing is not limited to Digital Deals but they are the most obvious example.
‘They allow a proposition to be created by a sales person then sent to the potential buyer as the basis for an online negotiation designed to replicate the subtleties of an in-person dialogue.’
And he said that nearly £53m of vehicles had been sold on finance alone using Digital Deals during the past six months.
‘We now have dealers who send them to every potential customer with whom they have contact and are subsequently seeing sales increase.
‘The value of this approach during lockdown cannot be understated, making absolute sense alongside the adoption of home delivery or click-and-collect models.’